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Ike Opara wanted a fair deal. Now he's got a fresh start, and a new challenge, in Minnesota

Ike Opara is officially a Minnesotan now. It's not down to the fact that he's one of several new faces with Minnesota United, or that he spent his New Year's holiday in the Twin Cities. Instead, it comes down to a recent purchase.

"I finally invested in a proper outerwear jacket," said Opara, a native of North Carolina. "It's amazing how comfortable and warm those things are. You don't actually realize how cold it is here."

After obtaining Opara in a January trade with Sporting Kansas City,...

What to expect from Ibrahimovic, Rooney and MLS' superstar DPs in 2019

With MLS stars grabbing the attention of clubs overseas, the ESPN FC panel assess how the league is viewed in Europe.

The 2018 season might have been the best yet for Major League Soccer's designated players. Zlatan Ibrahimovic walked onto the field, scored a goal from darn near Malmo, and didn't stop until the final whistle on the final day. Wayne Rooney joined D.C. United midway through the year and helped turn Ben Olsen's boys around. Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi produced magic for LAFC. Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron led Atlanta's fun, high-powered attack straight to MLS Cup. Albert Rusnak was quietly a...

Marco Fabian can't wait to get started on next chapter in MLS with Philadelphia

Every Major League Soccer player will be getting anxious ahead of opening weekend on March 2 and 3. If they aren't, then they almost certainly aren't in the right profession, and it will be a long season ahead. But when 29-year-old Marco Fabian declares midway through an interview -- far from his first since signing for Philadelphia Union on Feb. 8 -- that his overriding emotion right now is that he is "anxious to be on the pitch," it doesn't feel like a throwaway statement.

The veteran of two...

After Giovinco and Vazquez exits, Toronto must reload quickly to recapture magic of 2017

Paul Mariner offers his thoughts on why Toronto FC decided to part with Sebastian Giovinco.
Taylor Twellman reflects on Sebastian Giovinco's time at Toronto FC and examines where he ranks among the best Designated Players in MLS history.

Toronto FC has taken the phrase "May you live in interesting times" to the extreme this offseason.

It appeared the Reds would return nearly all of the pieces, both on and off the field, that won a domestic treble in 2017. All were ready to make amends for a brutal 2018 that saw Toronto miss the postseason.

Then the departures started piling up.

The first loss was GM Tim Bezbatchenko, who left to take over as president of the Columbus Crew. Ali Curtis was picked to replace him, but then TFC...

MLS Hot Stove: Will Nagbe end up in Columbus? Is Vargas the man for Portland up front?

The MLS regular season isn't due to start for another two weeks, but for a quintet of MLS teams, the start of the season has arrived. Next week the quarterfinal round of the CONCACAF Champions League begins with Toronto FC, Sporting Kansas City, the Houston Dynamo, Supporters Shield holder New York Red Bulls and reigning MLS Cup champion Atlanta United all in action.

Yet that doesn't mean teams are settled in terms of personnel. Far from it. Here's the latest from around the league.

The Nagbe mystery...

Preseason with the Earthquakes: How Matias Almeyda aims to turn San Jose around

CANCUN, Mexico -- On the surface, the samurai Bushido code of conduct -- "the way of the warrior" -- has very little to do with any soccer team's preseason. Perhaps even less so at an American club, led by an Argentine, amid the opulence of a pristine vacation resort. But when it comes to the San Jose Earthquakes' attempts to turn the page on a disastrous 2018 season, the sense of discipline, honor, sacrifice and selflessness enshrined in the Bushido code has commonalities with what's been drilled...