Newsworthy notes from all Major ￼League Soccer teams, every Thursday. MLS transfers, player announcements.
Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Matchday for the first matchday of the 2023 MLS season.
Almada scored both the game-tying and game-winning goal in stoppage time as part of the club’s 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, Feb. 25. Almada became the fourth player in MLS history to score both a game-tying and game-winning goal in the 90th minute or later, and the first to accomplish the feat since Real Salt Lake’s Albert Rusnák in 2018 (August 18 vs. Houston Dynamo FC). His game-winning direct free kick goal in the 99th minute was the latest game-winner in Atlanta United history and also the latest game-winning direct free kick score in MLS since 2003.
Atlanta United returns to action when it hosts Toronto FC on March 4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Austin FC announced that defender Julio Cascante had been diagnosed with a severe left adductor strain sustained in the team’s season-opening match against St. Louis CITY SC. The injury will not require a surgical operation.
📄 | #AustinFC announces update to defender Julio Cascante's injury status.
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) February 28, 2023
Cascante underwent a scan of the injured area on Sunday and began rehabilitation at St. David’s Performance Center on Tuesday. He will be re-evaluated in eight (8) weeks.
Montréal announced Wednesday that defender Ousman Jabang signed his first professional contract with the Club, a one-year deal for the 2023 season, with three option years in 2024, 2025 and 2026
Brazilian Striker Andre Shinyashiki didn’t hide his frustration during an interview with TMLS reporter Gustavo Lopes after the Crown dropped a game at home to the Revolution by the score of 0-1. The forward played only 14 minutes in the contest but told Gustavo the team needed to be more thoughtful while possessing the ball, clearing it out of danger instead of going for style play.
On Monday, the club announced that Colorado Rapids forward Diego Rubio has undergone a successful arthroscopic procedure to remove a loose body in his right knee. The Chilean international is expected to be sidelined for two to five weeks as he rehabilitates from the procedure.
NEWS: Forward @DiegoRubio_ has undergone successful surgery on his right knee.
Wishing him a speedy recovery!
📰 » https://t.co/EFbT2hHEfe pic.twitter.com/EsSePyne9d
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) February 27, 2023
D.C. United have signed former Black-and-Red midfielder Yamil Asad. The Argentine signed a one-year contract through 2023 with options in 2024 and 2025.
Last Saturday, Sergio Santos and Obinna Nwobodo, who earned MLS Team of the Matchday honors, scored their first goals with FC Cincinnati, becoming the 34th and 35th different goalscorers for FC Cincinnati in MLS competition.
O mineiro Sérgio Santos também deixou o dele na vitória do FC Cincinnati diante do Houston Dynamo.#AllForCincy #HoldItDown #MLS
— Território MLS™️ (@territoriomls) February 26, 2023
That marked the first time two FCC players scored their first goals with the club in the same game since August 27, 2021 at Columbus Crew (Ronald Matarrita, Isaac Atanga).
The LA Galaxy announced Monday the club had named midfielder Riqui Puig as a Designated Player. The club acquired Puig from FC Barcelona on Aug. 4, 2022, and signed the midfielder to a three-and-a-half-year contract through the end of the 2025 MLS season. The Matadepera, Spain, native tallied two goals and three assists in 57 appearances (15 starts) across all competitions with FC Barcelona (2018-22).
“We are excited to announce Riqui Puig as our newest Designated Player,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach and Sporting Director Greg Vanney. “Riqui is an exceptional talent that can impact games in many different ways. He is a tireless competitor with a combination of awareness and precision at high speed that is truly unique. We look forward to his continued contributions to the club for years to come.”
The centerpiece of our future — @RiquiPuig 💫 pic.twitter.com/UZebPWbyxa
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 1, 2023
The champs begin a 6-game stint in 21 days this Saturday against Evander and Portland before heading to Costa Rica for its first CCL game of the year. March still features a trip to nemesis, Seattle, early in the year. LAFC also shipped young defender Mohamed Traore to USL’s Phoenix Rising. The loan, which begins immediately, runs through 2023. LAFC retains the right to recall the player.
The New York City Football Club (NYCFC) announced that Midfielder James Sands has returned from his loan spell at Rangers FC and has signed a new contract through the 2027 season.
NY Red Bulls
MEET THE TEAM: Cristian Cásseres Jr.
¡Grande, Chamo! 🇻🇪 pic.twitter.com/nG6ooRG4gP
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) February 23, 2023
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake has announced the season-long loan of Homegrown midfielder Julio Benitez to Forward Madison in USL League One.
Benitez, 17, first signed with the Club as a member of Real Monarchs in 2021 from the Real Salt Lake Academy. He made his professional debut for the Monarchs on June 23, 2021 in a 1-1 draw against Tacoma Defiance. After the 2021 season, Benitez signed with Real Salt Lake as the Club’s 29th all-time Homegrown Player. Benitez has played 15 games for Real Monarchs and has yet to make his Real Salt Lake debut.
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City announced that the club had acquired 29-year-old center-back Dany Rosero in a transfer from Colombian side Atlético Junior.
Rosero has signed a three-year MLS contract through 2025 with an option for 2026 and will occupy an international slot on Sporting’s roster, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 visa.
Toronto FC announced today that the club and defender Kadin Chung have mutually agreed to terminate Chung’s Major League Soccer (MLS) contract, effective February 28, 2023.
Chung, 24, joined Toronto FC ahead of the 2022 Major League Soccer season. He appeared in eight MLS games for the club, starting in five and playing 451 minutes for TFC. Chung was part of the squad that won the postponed 2020 Canadian Championship Final (played on June 4, 2020) after defeating Forge 5-4 on penalties.
Cover: LA Galaxy / Twitter