Yeboah to Columbus Crew, Leerdam to LA Galaxy and more

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MLS winter transition windows are now in full swing.

Much focus has been placed on the outgoing transfers of USMNT strikers Ricardo Pepi to Augsburg and Daryl Dike to West Brom – understandably so, given the charges involved.

But MLS clubs are already taking steps to strengthen their lists ahead of the start of the new season in February.

Thursday was a particularly busy day with activities:

Pencil for paper! ✍️

Ohio native @ Nelson_J14 has officially joined? & ?. Welcome home, John!

– FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) January 6, 2022

New general manager Chris Albright and head coach Pat Noonan have already worked hard to review FC Cincinnati’s back line. So far, they have added goalkeeper Alec Kann from Atlanta United, Alvas Powell from Philadelphia Union and Raymon Gaddis who were convinced to retire.

Hardly surprising given that they let in the entire league with 74 goals last season.

Their latest move means they bring Ohio-born John Nelson to TQL Stadium after a three-season stay with FC Dallas where he made 30 MLS appearances during the regular season.

“We would like to welcome John to Cincinnati. He is a promising young defender who has already played matches in this league, and we are delighted to add him to the squad,” Albright said of the 23-year-old left-back in a press release from the club.

Check out that footwork! ? pic.twitter.com/z2VSUtr7C4

– Charlotte FC (@CharlotteFC) January 6, 2022

No club has been busier than Charlotte FC, which is not surprising given that they are building their first ever list for the 2022 season.

The 19th player through the door at Bank of America Stadium is 20-year-old midfielder Chris Hegardt, who comes on a home-made contract from Georgetown University. CLTFC will pay Seattle Sounders $ 50k General Allocation Money (GAM) for its rights, as well as an additional $ 50k if Hegardt meets certain performance markers.

“Chris was a midfielder that we really liked when we evaluated college players across the country ahead of the MLS SuperDraft 2022, and we are delighted to have signed him to an MLS contract,” said sporting director Zoran Krneta in a press release from the club.

“We believe there are good players throughout the United States at the college level, and acquiring Chris before the draft was very important. He had professional experience during his time in Seattle and adding him as a home player allows us to maintain roster flexibility as we continue. to expand our inauguration squad. ”

? ? @yawyeboah_gh pic.twitter.com/iIHUSuvNTY

– The Crew (@ColumbusCrew) January 6, 2022

As defending champions, the crew will have been bitterly disappointed to miss the playoffs in 2021.

Two of the eight teams that finished over them had worse defensive records, while rampant Supporters Shield winner New England Revolution only conceded four fewer than their 45 goals allowed. What really let them down was a blunt attack caused by injuries, where six of the eight teams surpassed them.

To solve the problem, Columbus has brought in the exciting Ghanaian winger Yaw Yeboah, who scored 10 goals and five assists in 50 matches in all competitions for Polish Wisla Krakow. The 24-year-old comes to a TAM agreement and also has experience of Manchester City’s youth system.

“We are pleased to welcome Yaw to Columbus,” Crew President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “Yaw is a young outsider whose dynamic style of play has made him one of the most exciting up-and-coming players in Ekstraklasa during his time in Poland.

“In addition to playing in some of the best leagues in Europe, Yaw also brings with him valuable international experience with the Ghanaian national team. We believe that his addition to our list will strengthen our attack and help us increase production in general.”

???????? ??? ????? ???????? ?? ????! ✨

?? Kelvin Leerdam ??

– LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) January 6, 2022

In order for LA Galaxy to return to being a championship-winning team, maybe they need to add more championship-winning players?

That’s exactly what they’ve done with right-back Kelvin Leerdam, who helped the Seattle Sounders win the 2019 MLS Cup, as well as three Western Conference championships. The Surinamese international arrives via free agency after a year with Inter Miami.

“Kelvin is an experienced championship-winning player and we are delighted to have him at our club,” head coach Greg Vanney said in a press release. “His quality gives more depth and versatility to our roster and we look forward to him playing an important role in the team.”

Leerdam will probably not move Julian Araujo from his right-back position, but will offer experienced coverage and can close gaps in other parts of the pitch if needed.

??? – ????, ???!

? We have signed the Brazilian midfielder Max Alves to a four-year contract with a club option for an extra season.

– Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) January 6, 2022

Colorado Rapids topped the Western Conference last season and have not wasted any time preparing for life in the CONCACAF Champions League by recruiting talented Brazilian midfielder Max Alves from Flamengo.

Max has signed a contract until 2025 with an option for 2026 and qualifies for the MLS U22 Initiative.

“Max is an athletic, technical midfielder who, from an early age, has experience playing for one of the biggest clubs in South America,” said Colorado Vice President and General Manager Padraig Smith in a press release. “We are delighted to add a player of his quality and potential to our squad for next season.”

As a 20-year-old, Max has so far played 25 senior matches for Flamengo and Cuiabá Esporte Clube and scored one goal.

It’s official. ??

NEWS: Earthquakes signs Slovakian midfielder Jan Gregus! Welcome to San Jose!

– San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) January 6, 2022

After picking him up in the MLS Re-Entry Draft, the San Jose Earthquakes did what we all thought they would do by confirming the signing of midfielder Jan Gregus.

The 30-year-old Slovak national team player previously had a designated player spot at Minnesota United but was taken to San Jose with Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) and will not occupy an international roster spot after receiving his green card last year.

“We are very pleased to welcome Jan to San Jose,” General Manager Chris Leitch said in a news release. “We have always liked him a lot during his time in Major League Soccer and know his ability to influence matches in many ways. He is also familiar with the unique challenges of this league and his experience, both domestic and international, will be an asset to our club.

In 74 games for Minnesota United, Gregus scored four goals and provided 17 assists.

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