It’s hard to keep up with all the teams in MLS. Sometimes it’s hard to just keep up with Sporting Kansas City. So I thought I’d do a public service and round up of what all 28 MLS teams are up to in recent weeks (but is by no means a comprehensive list for anyone but SKC). Starting with the most important one.
Sporting Kansas City
- Rumor: Cyprus left winger (and central attacking player), Marinos Tzionis, has been linked to a move to Sporting KC. He’d fit in with the U-22 Initiative.
- Rumor: SKC are tied to German youth international, Robert Voloder, who was recently purchased by NK Maribor from FC Koln.
- Signing: Belgian Youth International left back, Logan Ndenbe joins SKC from French Ligue 2 side Guingamp. He’s likely a U-22 signing but SKC will not disclose until the roster compliance date on February 25th.
- Signing: Former Colorado Rapids center back Kortne Ford signs with Sporting KC. Our newest writer, and frequent podcast guest, David Greenwald, goes a bit deeper on the Ford signing.
- Tyler Freeman has returned from loan in Germany six months early and will be in Arizona for preseason.
- Midfielder Felipe Hernandez has applied for reinstatement into MLS after his suspension for the latter half of the 2021 season.
- Re-Sign: Sporting KC brought back future legends Graham Zusi and Roger Espinoza. Zusi on a 1+1 and Espinoza on a one year deal.
- SKC added two (and passed on a third) in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft.
- Former Chicago Fire striker Robert Beric was drafted but then subsequently turned down an offer to sign with Sporting Kansas City.
- Signing: Sporting KC bring back former MLS Cup Champion, Uri Rosell, from Orlando City SC.
- Signing: Former Austin FC left back, Ben Sweat, joins Sporting KC as a free agent.
- Sporting KC made some hard cuts following the season, including declining options on Ilie Sanchez, Luis Martins and Wilson Harris.
- Atlanta signed backup goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth for the 2022 season with an option for 2023.
- Atlanta have too many DPs on the books if all their rumored signings are true, so Ezequiel Barco looks likely to head out on loan to Internacional in Brazil. Atlanta wanted to sell Barco, but the market is depressed.
- The rumor, that was announced by his former club but backtracked (probably as Atlanta try to make room), is that Velez Sarsfield is selling Thiago Almada to Atlanta for $16 million. Almada feels like a real top talent. In FIFA 20 or 21, I made him a 96 overall after acquiring him for SKC.
- Midfielder Jhojan Valencia has transferred from Deportivo Cali and signed through 2024 with a team option for 2025. He’s thought of as a defensive midfielder, which is curious since they already have Alex Ring occupying a DP spot in that role.
- Charlotte FC haven’t even stepped onto an MLS pitch yet and they are already flipping players for a profit. Midfielder Riley McGree was sent to English Championship side Middlesbrough. He has spent the last year and a half on loan with Birmingham City in the same league. Rumors have Charlotte making several million in profit on the deal for the 23-year-old Australian international.
- They may be flipping some of that money for Club Tijuana winger Christian Ortiz according to a rumor out of Argentina. He’s 29 and the team confirmed the signing is expected in the coming days.
- Former Sporting KC Goalkeeper, Adrian Zendejas, has joined Charlotte.
Chicago Fire FC
- The Fire signed center back Rafael Czichos from Bundesliga side FC Koln through 2024. He’s a TAM signing and is 31-years-old.
- Chicago are bringing back DP Gaston Gimenez, who re-signed through 2023. However, they transferred forward Ignacio Aliseda to FC Lugano in the Swiss Super League.
- The Rapids have been busy. Perhaps their biggest, and most recent move, is trading away Kellyn Acosta to LAFC. And he’s not happy! Apparently the team had offers on the table for him to go to Europe and went this way instead. This is something you never hear from SKC players, as the team seems to do right by them. LAFC traded up to $1.5 million in General Allocation Money (GAM). $1.1m of that is guaranteed, another $150k is likely and the last $250k is only if LAFC win a trophy. Colorado retained a sell on percentage as well. Colorado disputes that they had a foreign offer for Acosta. The Revolution were reportedly in the running to acquire Acosta too. That trade leaves Colorado without their two highest paid players from 2021 (the other being Namli).
- Dutch club Feyenoord is nearing a loan deal for the Colorado Rapids Cole Bassett. The USMNT midfielder would go on loan for 18 months with a purchase option.
- Our sister site, The Burgundy Wave, have their take on the Acosta and Bassett moves.
- Former Sporting Kansas City center back, Jalil Anibaba, has joined the Columbus Crew via free agency. Anibaba previously played for SKC, Nashville SC, Chicago Fire, the Houston Dynamo and the New England Revolution. He’s got a long way to go to catch Kei Kamara’s record.
- The Crew also made another move, trading for the Seattle Sounders Jake Morris, who signed through 2023 with options for 2024 and 2025. Morris’ Homegrown rights come over in the deal with Seattle getting $50,000 in General Allocation Money and up to another $50,000 in GAM from incentives. His younger brother, Aidan Morris, already plays for Columbus and featured extensively in the MLS Cup that the Crew won in 2020. Despite the last name and Seattle connection, they are not related to Jordan Morris.
- Paul Arriola may head back to Liga MX, this time with Club America. He’s currently one of two DPs on D.C. United’s roster.
- Cincinnati re-signed CB Nick Hagglund on a two year deal. They paid a king’s ransom to get him in their expansion season, so it’s probably good business keeping the 29-year-old as they continue their latest rebuild.
- Striker and USMNT forward Ricardo Pepi is sold for a stunning $20 million to Augsburg in Germany. At least it could end up being that high.
- FCD are reportedly spending some of that Pepi money on Independiente winger Alan Velasco. They are rumored to have made a $7 million bid for the 19-year-old. Depending on his salary, he could be a U-22 signing (if he makes less than $612,500 per season).
- USMNT defender Justin Che is headed to Germany to join Hoffenheim on an 18-month loan deal with the option to buy. The 18-year-old could be the next in a long line of talents sold from Dallas. Imagine if MLS was a destination league and all these guys stayed in Dallas. They’d be unbeatable. Pepi, Winston McKinnie, Reggie Cannon, Bryan Reynolds, Tanner Tessman, just to name a few.
- Dallas acquired the third overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft in exchange for acquiring and buying out Toronto FC forward Dom Dwyer, making him a free agent. We try to break down why such a move would happen.
- FCD did a one-year loan for Nanu, a right-back from Portuguese giants FC Porto.
- The Dynamo hired a new coach, former Sporting Kansas City midfielder and SKC II head coach, Paulo Nagamura.
- Houston are attached to Paraguayan striker Sebastian Ferreira. He plays for Club Libertad in Paraguay and is just 22-years-old.
Inter Miami CF
- Signed center back Christopher McVey. He joins from Swedish club IF Elfsborg on a deal that last through 2024 with an option for 2025. Apparently he can also play fullback.
- Midfielder George Acosta and defender Aime Mabika signed with Miami. Mabika is the 26th pick in last years SuperDraft and Acosta came through their academy affiliate Fort Lauderdale CF.
- Jamaican international Damion Lowe has joined Miami through 2023 with an option for 2024. The 28-year-old center back will look to build back an horrendous Miami squad.
- The Galaxy are reportedly looking to sign Montpellier (Ligue 1) attacking midfielder Teji Savanier.
- Earlier in the offseason they offloaded United States Men’s National Team midfielder, Sebastian Lletget to the Revolution.
- Los Angeles acquired Kellyn Acosta, from the Rapids, as outlined above.
- LAFC also signed former Sporting KC midfielder Ilie Sanchez.
- Brian Rodriguez is linked to the same squad that Atlanta’s Barco is, Brazilian side Internacional. His move is expected to be a loan too. Both of these are anything but finalized.
- MNUFC brought back former top draft pick, Abu Danladi, after two years away at Nashville SC. Maybe they are trying to make right what appeared to be a botched draft, as after Danladi, in order the following players were picked: Miles Robinson (ATL), Jonathan Lewis (NYC), Jeremy Ebobisse (POR), Lalas Abubakar (CLB), Jackson Yueill (SJ), Jake Nerwinski (VAN) and Julian Gressel (ATL). What a draft 2017 was at the top. Also in that draft: Niko Hanson (9th), Brian White (20th) and Brandt Bronico (47th), all of whom arguably have been more successful.
- Montreal have acquired Sebastian Breza on loan for the second straight season. The team declined their purchase option after 2021, but they executed another loan with Bologna, which are owned by the same man, Joey Saputo, that owns CF Montreal.
- Nashville are rumored to be transferring attacker Rodrigo Pineiro to Union Espanola in Chile. He was Nashville’s first U-22 signing for $1.7 million, but it’s a reminder those moves are high risk. The 22-year-old only played 16 minutes! It’ll be interesting to see if they recovered any of that money for him. For now, it just looks like a loan deal, no word on a purchase option.
New England Revolution
- Forward Adam Buksa could be on the way out of New England. A Polish report has Italian Serie B side Pisa, offering a $9.5 million transfer fee. They only paid $4 million to get him, so that’d be quite the profitable flip but would dent their attack.
- Their biggest addition is USMNT midfielder Sebastian Lletget.
New York City FC
- NYCFC re-signed Maxi Morales on a DP deal for 2022 with an option for 2023.
- 2021 MLS Golden Boot winner, Taty Castellanos is being linked to all kinds of clubs, including Juventus, Everton, River Plate and West Ham United.
- Former DP Jesus Medina, who had his option declined, is close to joining CSKA Moscow.
New York Red Bulls
- In their biggest move of the offseason, NYRB traded for Miami winger Lewis Morgan for $1.2m in GAM. It’s a move Miami needed to make in a reaction to their disastrous salary cap situation from carrying five DPs in 2020. I don’t feel bad for them.
- Right back Dylan Nealis was traded from Nashville SC to New York for up to $200,000 in GAM with $125k guaranteed.
- Former Orlando City Designated Player, Nani, joins Gianluca Busio in Italy with Venezia FC. (He made an immediate impact in his first appearance).
- Forward Facundo Torres, who is a Uruguay international, is rumored to be joining Orlando for a $10 million transfer fee. Despite the large fee, he could be a U-22 player depending on his salary as he is only 21-years-old. He can play striker or the right wing.
- That move is probably in response to sending Daryl Dike to Europe to West Bromwich Albion.
- Benjamin Tetteh, a striker who plays in Turkey, could be coming to the Union, but it looks unlikely.
- Diego Chara signed an extension with the Portland Timbers through 2024! Does this man not age??
- Portland are looking for a U-22 signing in 19-year-old David Ayala, according to rumors out of Argentina.
- Portland lost GK Steve Clark, so they’ve signed two attempts to replace him. They added Aljiaz Ivacic and David Bingham. Ivacic is a re-sign, having been lingering around the fringe of the roster for quite a few years from Poland and Bingham joins from the LA Galaxy, after originally being a draft pick for the San Jose Earthquakes.
Real Salt Lake
- 14-year-old Axel Kei (who is already 6’4”) broke Freddy Adu’s record to become the youngest signing in MLS history by 153 days. When Gianluca Busio signed with Sporting Kansas City, he was the second youngest signing ever. Just a few years later, he’s now 8th.
- Real Salt Lake are trying desperately to replace former DP Albert Rusnak.
- Justin Meram, who helped in the late crushing of SKC in the playoffs, has re-signed with Real Salt Lake. It’s a two-year deal.
- Scott Caldwell has left the Supporter’s Shield winning New England Revolution to sign with RSL on a two year deal.
San Jose Earthquakes
- It’s been pretty quiet for the Quakes, just mostly re-signing players or adding Homegrowns. Their biggest move is probably the addition of Jan Gregus, formerly of Minnesota United. They added him through the Re-Entry Draft Stage 2.
- Albert Rusnak officially becomes a Designated Player for the Seattle Sounders. I’m intrigued to see how they play all these weapons together and if anyone on Seattle will be playing defense.
- Rumors have Toronto FC swapping current DP Yeferson Soteldo for a potential future acquisition, Carlos Salcedo. Previously a member of RSL, Salcedo has spent time in Liga MX with Chivas, the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt and Italy with Fiorentina.
- Richie Laryea has been sold to Nottingham Forest in the English Championship for a reported $1 million. Not bad for a 27-year-old fullback.
- Defender Javain Brown, who the Vancouver Whitecaps drafted with one of Sporting KC’s former draft picks, signed an extension with the Caps.