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Among offseason moves, LAFC declines contract option on forward Marco Urena

Among offseason moves, LAFC declines contract option on forward Marco Urena
LAFC players celebrate a goal by forward Marco Urena against the Portland Timbers during the first half of a match on July 18. (Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

The Los Angeles Football Club has declined its contract option on forward Marco Urena and did not pick up purchase offers on loans involving defender Danilo Silva, goalkeeper Luis Lopez and midfielder Aaron Kovar, the team said Tuesday.

This week’s league deadline for exercising contract options marked the first major offseason decisions for LAFC, which finished third in the Western Conference in 2018 and reached the playoffs in its first MLS season.

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The club picked up options on five players — goalkeeper Tyler Miller, midfielders Mark Anthony-Kaye, Lee Nguyen and Josh Perez, and forward Shaft Brewer — while defenders Jordan Harvey, Dejan Jakovic and Walker Zimmerman and midfielder Benny Feilhaber will see their contracts expire at the end of the year.

LAFC can continue to negotiate with players whose contracts have expired or whose options have been declined. Among those the team is especially interested in keeping is Silva, 32, who joined the club in the summer on loan from Brazil’s Internacional.

The club has made a bona fide contract offer to Zimmerman, 25, who reportedly declined a contract extension in September. Zimmerman, a U.S. national team defender, has attracted attention from a handful of European clubs. MLS columnist Sam Stejskal has reported that Zimmerman wants more than double the $235,000 he made this season to re-sign with the league.

That may prove too rich for a team that already has seven players who made at least $468,000 in 2018 signed for next season.

Feilhaber, 33, may also be too expensive to bring back. He was a key part of coach Bob Bradley’s possession-based attack and is due a raise from the $625,000 he made in 2018 when he set career highs for games (34), starts (32) and minutes (2804). Feilhaber is eligible for free agency, as is Harvey, 34, who appeared in 29 games.

Jakovic can enter the MLS re-entry draft as can midfielders Calum Mallace and goalkeeper Quillan Roberts, whose options were declined.

Options were also refused on goalkeeper Charlie Lyon, midfielders Nico Czornomaz and James Murphy, and forward Steeve Saint-Duc. None of the four played in a game last season.

Tuesday’s moves leaves LAFC with 16 players on its active roster:

Goalkeepers: Tyler Miller

Defenders: Steven Beitashour, Tristan Blackmon, Joao Moutinho, Eddie Segura

Midfielders: Eduard Atuesta, Andre Horta, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Lee Nguyen, Josh Perez

Forwards: Latif Blessing, Shaft Brewer Jr., Adama Diomande, Christian Ramirez, Diego Rossi, Carlos Vela.

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