Good morning, Lion Nation.
Let's get through this hump day as quickly and painlessly as possible, because that will bring us closer to Orlando City's friendly (closed to fans, sorry) against Swedish side BK Hacken on Friday. Let's start the day immediately with your daily dose of Lion Links.
After a breakout 2014, Fabian Castillo has been rewarded with a new five-year contract by FC Dallas. After being signed in 2011 from Colombian side Deportivo Cali, Castillo has appeared 107 times for the team, racking up 20 goals and 16 assists during that period. However, his best year was undoubtedly last year where he racked up team MVP honors whilst setting career highs in goals, minutes played, games started, shots and shots on goal.
FC Dallas also announced that they will be setting up an affiliation with USL side Arizona United SC. So look out for those players dropping down to get some playing time with Arizona United and ex-Orlando City players Rob Valentino, Carl Woszczynski and Long Tan.
JJ goes under the knife
After seeing a rejuvenation in his career since returning to MLS with the New England Revolution, midfielder Jermaine Jones will probably have to wait a little while longer for the 2015 season to start. On Tuesday, Jones underwent sports hernia surgery and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, which means he is probably likely to miss the New England season opener on March 8 against Seattle.
Jones, who was 2nd in MLS Newcomer of the Year Award balloting in 2014, will be a big miss for the team if he doesn't make it. However, New England fans will be glad that he won't be a long absentee and that getting the surgery out of the way now will allow the Revs to remain competitive, especially since a lot of people have New England being in the running for winning the Eastern Conference.
Sounders get stronger
After losing DeAndre Yedlin to Tottenham in the offseason, Seattle has eventually added some strength to the defensive lineup. Colombian defender Andres Correa joins the Sounders from Independiete Medellin, having also spent time on loan last season with Fortaleza.
Correa, who has a similar playing style as the departed Yedlin, was on the U-20 Colombian national team that won the 2013 South American Youth Football Championship, and Seattle GM Garth Lagerway believes that he will be a good contributor to the Sounders this year, saying: "He is a dynamic, exciting young player that we believe can compete for minutes on our back line as we head into a packed season across multiple competitions."
Farfan returns to MLS
After spending a year out of MLS with Liga MX club Cruz Azul, midfielder Michael Farfan is returning to the league with DC United. DC picked him up via the league's allocation ranking order and he is expected to compete for a place straight away, despite playing only one game in Liga MX.
Farfan made 82 appearances for the Philadelphia Union, scoring four goals and 11 assists, between 2011 and 2014 prior to leaving for Cruz Azul.
That's all we've got for you today. Enjoy your Wednesday!