MLS Transfers: Montreal dominates a week of major moves

MLS Transfers (Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
MLS Transfers (Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) /

January 31st, 2021

Defensa y Justicia signs attacking midfielder Tomas Martinez from Houston Dynamo on a free transfer. After making 85 appearances for Houston since 2017, Martinez heads back to his native Uruguay after his playing time diminished under Head Coach Tab Ramos.

February 1st, 2021

Swansea City A.F.C takes winger Paul Arriola on loan from D.C United until the end of the season. The Wales club, which shares ownership with DC United through Jason Levien, dipped back into the states. This time to take on 26-year old USMNT member, Arriola.

New Mexico United sign midfielder Michael Azira from Chicago Fire FC on a free transfer. With 130 MLS appearances across four teams, the 33-year old midfielder will spend the end of his career winding down in USL Championship.

Barnsley FC takes striker Daryl Dike on loan from Orlando City with a $20M option to buy. 20-year old Dike put clubs worldwide on notice with his rookie campaign, notching eight goals and four assists. If the purchase fee is activated, Dike will become the most expensive export in MLS history.

Vancouver Whitecaps sign ninth overall selection from the 2021 MLS Superdraft, forward David Egbo. In three seasons for the University of Akron, the 22-year old put up 21 goals and 13 assists in 56 appearances.

A.S Roma takes right-back Bryan Reynolds on loan from FC Dallas with an obligation to buy for $8M. Juventus almost had him, but it wasn’t meant to be. Roma was able to slip in last minute to secure the 19-year olds signature. Performance incentives could raise Reynolds transfer fee above $14M.

UD Almería takes winger Brian Rodríguez on loan from LAFC, with performance incentives that could make the move permanent for a fee in the range of $11-19M. A club looking for help in the fight for promotion to La Liga finds it in 20-year old Rodriguez. The Uruguayan has impressed during his short time in MLS, registering three goals and seven assists in 30 appearances, on his way to becoming one of the most prized prospects in the league.

LAFC sign Goalkeeper Tomas Romero to a Homegrown contract. LA acquired Romero’s rights back in January from Philadelphia Union in exchange for $50,000 General Allocation Money.

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February 2nd, 2021

Seattle Sounders sign goalkeeper Spencer Richey from FC Cinncinati on a free transfer. A third-round selection by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Richey found playing time with FC Cincinnati. Having spent time with the Ohio-based club during their final season in USL Championship and started 29 games for the MLS club.

Colorado Rapids sign goalkeeper William Yarbrough from Club León on a free transfer. 30-year old Yarbrough had spent his entire 11-year career in Liga MX, winning two titles.

With his playing time diminishing, it was time to make a move. In 14 opportunities on loan with Colorado, the goalkeeper impressed enough to make the move permanent. Yarbrough proved reliable enough in net, winning six of his starts and keeping four clean sheets.

February 3rd, 2021

Atlético Ottawa takes defender Kessean Ferdinand on loan from CF Montréal for the 2021 season. The 17-year old academy product will get his first taste of professional action in the Candian Premier League.

Cavalry FC takes defender Karifa Yao on loan from CF Montréal for the 2021 season. Another from Montréal’s academy, the 20-year old defender will spend time in Canada’s top-flight following his professional debut for Montréal in 2020.

Sporting Kansas City sign centre-back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin from Beşiktaş J.K. on a free transfer. A three-time Eredivise champion with PSV, the 29-year old signed with Turkish outfit Beşiktaş in 2019 but struggled to adjust to his new team. After only 14 appearances and a loan spell to Toulouse, the defender and club decided to terminate his contract on February 1st.

CF Montréal sign striker Bjørn Johnsen from Ulsan Hyundai on a free transfer. The American-born Norweigian International links up with his twelfth club in eleven years.

Nashville SC sign winger Rodrigo Piñeiro from Danubio for $1.7M. The 21-year old Uruguayan becomes the second most expensive signing his Nashville’s short history. Piñeiro is a burgeoning talent who has started to take strides forward these past two seasons, scoring seven and assisting six times during his last 39 appearances in Urguary top division.

Orlando City takes defender Jonathan Suárez on loan from Querétaro for the 2021 season. Suárez has struggled to find game-time early on in his career for Querétaro, experiencing two loan moves to Liga de Expansión MX since 2018. The 23-year old cut his most recent loan spell in Mexico’s developmental league short for a new challenge in Orlando.

Portland Timbers take right-back Josecarlos Van Rankin on loan from C.D Guadalajara, with an option to buy for $1.1M. Portland continues their makeover at the full-back position. Van Rankin is a modern full-back who will contribute to both attack and defense for Portland and give the upcoming Pablo Bonilla competition. With 203 appearances in Mexico, the 27-year old will bring plenty of experience and ability to a position group lacking depth.

February 4th, 2021

FC Tulsa sign defender Jorge Corrales from CF Montréal on a free transfer. A 29-year old defender who was previously traded for another player on this list-Michael Azira-back in 2019. Like Azira, Corrales is heading down to USL Championship.

CF Montréal takes attacking midfielder Ahmed Hamdi on loan from El Gouna with an option to make the move permanent for an undisclosed fee. Across 60 appearances in the Egyptian Premier League, Egyptian Cup, and CAF Champions League, the 22-year old has shown prowess in the attack, scoring nine times and assisting a further six.

Austin FC signs forward Aaron Schoenfeld from Minnesota United on a free transfer. A veteran of MLS, Schoenfeld made 51 appearances for Columbus Crew before embarking on a five-year tenure in the Israeli Premier League. The 30-year old returned to the states to make 14 appearances for Minnesota United last season before having his option declined for 2021.

CF Montréal takes winger Joaquín Torres on loan from Newell’s Old Boys, with an option to make the move permanent for an undisclosed fee. Once a highly regarded prospect, it appears Newell’s no longer holds the 24-year old in such esteem. A versatile forward deployed mainly on the right, Torress had struggled for game time at Newell’s since 2017-2018, when he featured 27 times. Torress has failed to make an appearance for the first-team over the past two years and was loaned to Greek side Volos last season.

February 5th, 2021

FC Cinncinati sign striker Brenner from São Paulo FC for $13M. The 21-year old has attracted attention from clubs all over the world following his breakout this past season. With 22 goals in 22 goals in 38 appearances, the young Brazillian is just getting started. Brenner possesses instincts and movements that make him a predator in front of goal. Ajax, Juventus, Arsenal, and Paris St-Germain were among the teams who reportedly expressed interest in the striker. Safe to say, this is the most important transfer in Cincy’s history.

DC United sign their fifth overall selection from the 2021 MLS Superdraft, defender Michael DeShields. The 22-year old made 60 appearances for Wake Forrest University and was named Second-Team All-South Region in 2019.

New York Red Bulls take striker Fábio Roberto Gomes Netto on loan from Oeste, with an option to make the move permanent for an undisclosed fee. A low-risk, high reward move for New York. 23-year old Fábio has yet to play in a countries top tier, but that is soon to change. The striker scored 20 times in 47 appearances in Brazil’s Serie B and five times in 19 matches in Japan’s second tier.

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February 6th, 2021

Newell’s Old Boys take defender Franco Escobar on loan from Atlanta United, with an option to buy for just over $1.5M. Escobar had become a mainstay in Atlanta’s lineup since joining in 2018, making 63 appearances and displaying tactical flexibility. New manager Gabriel Heinze will be going in a different direction as he tries to right the ship in Atlanta, sending the 2018 MLS Cup champion back to his boyhood club.