MLS clubs have opened their preseasons over the last few days, another key sign that the 2023 season is upon us.
While all clubs would ideally prefer to have transfer business set by day one of preseason… that almost never happens. Six weeks remain until Matchday 1 on Feb. 25 – plenty of time for transfer dealings.
One big part of that puzzle is free agency, and a number of talented players remain unsigned.
Viewed by many as the top MLS free agent on the market this winter, there is still no clarity on where Alex Callens will play this year.
Interest is high around MLS and abroad. Recent reports have linked him with Atlanta United, Liga MX and Argentine giants Boca Juniors.
Another longtime NYCFC stalwart, Sean Johnson remains available.
The veteran MLS and USMNT goalkeeper is NYCFC’s all-time leader in appearances with more than 200 games across all competitions. He was named MLS Cup MVP presented by Audi in 2021 when NYCFC lifted the trophy after penalties.
Johnson, 33, remains in talks with NYCFC, but Toronto FC are also pushing for him; he took a visit to Toronto to see the facilities and take in a Toronto Raptors NBA basketball game. There has been interest from the Dutch league as well.
Ola Kamara was tied for the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi just two seasons ago, losing out to Taty Castellanos – who's since left MLS for LaLiga's Girona – in 2021 on a tiebreaker after each striker scored 19 goals.
Kamara’s contract with D.C. United expired this winter and, amid a club rebuild, the forward remains a free agent.
Costa Rica international left back Ronald Matarrita remains available.
There are reports linking him with a move back to Alajuelense in Costa Rica, but at the time of writing, nothing has been announced.
Bruin, 33, has made more than 300 MLS appearances and has scored 77 goals between the Sounders and Houston Dynamo FC. He’s also provided 33 assists.
J. Sam Jones (the J stands for Jealous of the back-to-back NCAA Champion Georgia Bulldogs) theorized that he’d make sense with Atlanta United.
After spending most of his career with D.C. United, veteran goalkeeper Bill Hamid is a free agent and looking for a new club.
Hamid, 32, made 279 regular-season appearances for D.C. after signing a homegrown contract. The goalkeeper spent a brief time with Denmark's FC Midtjylland in 2018.
Veteran MLS defender Jalil Anibaba left the Columbus Crew this winter.
The 34-year-old made five appearances for Columbus last season, part of his career 245 MLS regular-season games. He has played for six different MLS clubs in his career.
One-time MLS MVP finalist (!!) Brek Shea is a free agent again. The former rising US international spent the last three seasons with Inter Miami CF but is out of contract.
Boateng, 28, joined the Revs in 2021 and made 39 appearances over the last two seasons. He made his MLS debut with the LA Galaxy in 2016 and has accrued 160 MLS appearances with 13g/21a.