We're only two days until the opening match of the USL-1 season (Rochester at Puerto Rico, 8 p.m. Friday - NOT ON FSC), and most of the 12 teams have all but cemented their rosters.
Wednesday's big news has Montreal sending Jason McLaughlin to Vancouver for Sita-Taty Matondo in a swap of forwards. McLaughin, the former Atlanta Silverback who was traded to Montreal earlier in the offseason, leaves the Impact before playing a regular-season match. For Matondo, he returns to Montreal for his third stint with the Impact.
Late last week, Vancouver also announced the signing of former Chicago defender Jared Montz.
With the majority of its players returning from last season's championship squad, we're betting the Whitecaps will be the team to beat this season in the USL-1.
Virginia Beach: Good news from the awful situation in Virginia Beach: several former Mariners have strengthened the rosters of a few remaining USL clubs. Kupono Low has signed with the expansion Carolina RailHawks, while goalkeeper Matt Nelson is moving down to the USL-2 to play in Harrisburg.
Carolina: The RailHawks also announced the signing of ex-Toronto and Richmond striker Kevin Jeffrey. This is bad news for Atlanta fans, as Jeffrey is known to play his best against the Silverbacks. In the 10 matches Jeffrey has played against Atlanta since 2004, he's scored eight times.
Seattle: Good and bad news for the Sounders. Rumors are coming out of Rochester that indoor specialist Greg Howes is leaving the Rhinos and will play for Seattle. Howes is one of several USL players who will join their teams after the MISL playoffs conclude (come back later this week for our MISL playoff preview). Unfortunately for Sounders fans, it seems the club has decided not to sign former Puerto Rico star Corey Woolfolk. Woolfolk played last season in Vancouver but was not nearly as effective for the Whitecaps as he was in 2005 for the Islanders. Woolfolk had been on trial this preseason with the Sounders.
We'll leave you with the 2005 USL Goal of the Year - Woolfolk's bicycle kick vs. Richmond.