ROSTER_UPDATES_2021-22_OFFSEASON

On the day following their elimination from the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, clubs must notify the league of contract decisions.

Most announcements have surfaced by now, but more will emerge in the days leading up to and after MLS Cup (Dec. 11) between Portland Timbers and New York City FC.

Here's a club-by-club snapshot featuring all roster decisions. Players who are staying, those who are going and others who have received new contract offers from their club are included.

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DEC 6 – No deal yet between RSL, Albert Rusnak: Surprise Western Conference finalist Real Salt Lake announced their roster update on Monday, with the future of several key players still undetermined.

RSL and DP attacker Albert Rusnak remain in conversations over a new contract, but nothing has been agreed upon. His deal expires this winter.

“Yes, I want to stay with Real Salt Lake," Rusnak told MLSsoccer.com before the playoffs. "I’ve told them many times. I spoke with the front office and said I’ve felt really good since day one and I’d love to stay. They’re aware of that, they’ve expressed they want to keep me. The official part [agreeing to terms] hasn’t been done yet.”

The loan for dynamic winger Anderson Julio expires, but the Claret-and-Cobalt are in talks with Liga MX side Atletico San Luis over a permanent deal. Contracts for Justin Meram and Everton Luiz are up as well, but RSL announced "possibilities remain" for their future.

One-time Young DP Jeizon Ramirez had his contract declined, among eight players who saw their options declined.

Contract options declined (Dec. 6, 2021):

  • Milan Iloski (FWD)
  • Douglas Martinez (FWD)
  • Ashtone Morgan (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Justin Portillo (MID)
  • Noah Powder (DEF)
  • Jeizon Ramirez (FWD)
  • Tate Schmitt (FWD)
  • Donny Toia (DEF) - eligible for free agency

Out of contract but in talks or "possibilities remain" for their future (Dec. 6, 2021)

  • Albert Rusnák (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Justin Meram (FWD) - eligible for free agency
  • Everton Luiz (MID)

DEC 3 – Revs retain majority of Shield-winning squad: The New England Revolution announced their roster update with little surprise, keeping most of their record-setting 2021 team.

The Revolution exercised contract options on the likes of DeJuan Jones, Henry Kessler, Maciel and Jon Bell. Much of their core remains moving forward.

New England knew they'd be losing Tajon Buchanan, as the Canadian international will now join Belgium's Club Brugge for his $7 million transfer, as announced in the summer. Longtime Revs homegrown midfielder Scott Calwell and backup goalkeeper Brad Knighton are out of contract.

Contract options declined (Dec. 3, 2021):

  • Colin Verfurth (DEF)

Out of contract (Dec. 3, 2021)

  • Luis Caicedo (MID)
  • Scott Caldwell (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Brad Knighton (GK) - eligible for free agency

DEC 3 – Rapids decline purchase option on lone DP Younes Namli: The Colorado Rapids have declined the purchase option for DP midfielder Younes Namli, as the attacker returns to Russian Premier League side FK Krasnodar.

Namli, 27, was acquired ahead of the 2020 season on a two-year loan with a purchase option from Krasnodar. He had three goals and five assists in 28 MLS appearances, with last year shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic and his 2021 campaign limited to just 532 minutes after undergoing ankle surgery.

Colorado once again have three DP spots open.

The Rapids exercised contract options for key players Kellyn Acosta, Mark-Anthony Kaye and Andre Shinyashiki. They declined options on six players, including Namli, while three more are out of contract.

Colorado have 25 players under contract but remain in negotiations with Dom Badji, Steven Beitashour, Kortne Ford, Jeremy Kelly, Nicolas Mezquida and Drew Moor over a potential return for the 2022 season.

Contract options declined (Dec. 3, 2021):

  • Kortne Ford (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Jeremy Kelly (DEF)
  • Nicolás Mezquida (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Younes Namli (MID)
  • Andre Rawls (GK) - eligible for free agency
  • Will Vint (MID)

Out of contract (Dec. 3, 2021)

  • Dominique Badji (FWD) - eligible for free agency
  • Steven Beitashour (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Drew Moor (DEF) - eligible for free agency

In negotiations (Dec. 3, 2021)

  • Dominique Badji (FWD) - eligible for free agency
  • Steven Beitashour (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Kortne Ford (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Jeremy Kelly (DEF)
  • Nicolás Mezquida (MID)
  • Drew Moor (DEF) - eligible for free agency
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DEC 2 – Whitecaps have their coach, now have announced roster decisions: After officially naming Vanni Sartini head coach this week, the Whitecaps took their first steps in the offseason.

There aren't many surprises. Vancouver triggered contract options on the likes of Brian White, Cristian Gutierrez and Florian Jungwirth, while declining the likes of Jasser Khmiri and Isaac Boehmer.

Vancouver did not trigger the purchase option for fullback Bruno Gaspar but remain in negotiations with Sporting CP over a potential permanent deal. They are also in talks over a potential return for Andy Rose, Boehmer and Tosaint Ricketts.

“Over the last couple of seasons, we have built a strong core with a priority on improving step-by-step and continuity,” sporting director Axel Schuster said in a club statement. “We are pleased to confirm the majority of our players will return, we will look to add players who will make the team better and explore loan opportunities for some of our younger players.”

They currently have 30 players under contract for 2022, though a number of players are on loan (and more will likely follow before opening day). There is room for additions.

Contract options declined (Dec. 2, 2021):

  • Isaac Boehmer (GK)
  • Patrick Metcalfe (MID)
  • Jasser Khmiri (DEF)

Out of contract (Dec. 2, 2021)

  • Tosaint Ricketts (FWD) - eligible for free agency
  • Andy Rose (DEF) - eligible for free agency

In negotiations (Dec. 2, 2021)

  • Bruno Gaspar (DEF)
  • Isaac Boehmer (GK)
  • Tosaint Ricketts (FWD) - eligible for free agency
  • Andy Rose (DEF) - eligible for free agency

DEC 1 – Quakes extend Chofis loan through June: The San Jose Earthquakes have extended the loan of Eduardo "Chofis" Lopez through June 2022. They retain a purchase option in the deal with Chivas.

Chofis was the biggest decision San Jose needed to grapple with, as they could have purchased him outright, let him return to Chivas, or extend the loan another six months. The 2021 Newcomer of the Year finalist had 12 goals and four assists in 32 appearances during his debut MLS campaign.

San Jose also picked up the contract options on the likes of Judson, Eric Remedi and veteran Shea Salinas.

The Quakes will move on from some veterans like Oswaldo Alanis, Andy Rios, Carlos Fierro and Daniel Vega. The contract options represented the first official duties for new general manager Chris Leitch, who had been interim since the summer.

MLS and club legend Chris Wondolowski announced his retirement after the 2021 season as well. San Jose currently have 20 players under contract for next season.

Contract options declined (Dec. 1, 2021):

  • Luciano Abecasis (DEF)
  • Jacob Akanyirige (DEF)
  • Eric Calvillo (MID)
  • Carlos Fierro (MID)
  • Paul Marie (DEF)
  • Andy Rios (FWD)
  • Thomas Williamson (FWD)

Out of contract (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Matt Bersano (GK) - eligible for free agency
  • Daniel Vega (GK)

Retiring (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Chris Wondolowski (FWD)

Loan expiration (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Oswaldo Alanis (DEF)

DEC 1 – Future of Room, Santos and Valenzuela up in the air: The Columbus Crew trio of Eloy Room, Pedro Santos and Milton Valenzuela is currently out of contract and in negotiations with the 2020 MLS Cup winners over a potential return. But nothing is guaranteed.

Core players Lucas Zelarayan, Darlington Nagbe, Gyasi Zardes and Jonathan Mensah all return for 2022, as the Crew's roster currently stands at 18 deep.

Legendary MLS forward Bradley Wright-Phillips is among those who saw his contract option declined.

"We have a solid core of players around whom we can build on, and we are excited to welcome them back next season," club president and GM Tim Bezbatchenko said in a release. "Preseason is right around the corner and the work has already begun to prepare for improved results in the 2022 season.”

Contract options declined (Dec. 1, 2021):

  • Eric Dick (GK)
  • Waylon Francis (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Erik Hurtado (FWD)
  • Saad Abdul-Salaam (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Vito Wormgoor (DEF)
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips (FWD) - eligible for free agency

Out of contract (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Harrison Afful (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Evan Bush (GK) - eligible for free agency
  • Grant Lillard (DEF)

Loan expiration (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Liam Fraser (MID)

In negotiations with the club (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Eloy Room (GK)
  • Pedro Santos (MID)
  • Milton Valenzuela (DEF)
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DEC 1 – Veterans Bruin, Benezet, Montero, Rowe currently out of contract: The Seattle Sounders have just 19 players under contract for 2022, with several key rotation pieces in flux as the offseason kicks off.

Will Bruin and Shane O'Neill are out of contract while Kelyn Rowe, Fredy Montero and Nicolas Benezet all had their contract options declined. The Sounders noted "for a number of these players, additional conversations about returning to Seattle in 2022 are ongoing."

There's also All-Star wingback Alex Roldan, who is out of contract. The Sounders have extended a bonafide offer.

The Sounders' core of Nicolas Lodeiro, Jordan Morris, Raul Ruidiaz, Cristian Roldan, Joao Paulo, Yeimar Andrade and Stefan Frei remain under contract for 2022. Around those key players, though, there could be some change.

Contract options declined (Dec. 1, 2021):

  • Nicolas Benezet (MID)
  • Jordy Delem (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Shandon Hopeau (MID)
  • Fredy Montero (FWD) - eligible for free agency
  • Trey Muse (GK)
  • Spencer Richey (GK) - eligible for free agency
  • Kelyn Rowe (MID) - eligible for free agency

Out of contract (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Will Bruin (FWD) - eligible for free agency
  • Stefan Cleveland (GK) - eligible for free agency
  • Shane O’Neill (DEF) - eligible for free agency

Bonafide offer made (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Alex Roldan (DEF)

DEC 1 – Bob Bradley era kicks off with contract decisions: Toronto FC have declined the contract option on former USMNT defender Omar Gonzalez, among 11 players who either had an option declined or are out of contract.

Perhaps most surprisingly? Rising Canadian international and homegrown forward Ayo Akinola is out of contract. The club's release made no mention of making him an offer ... or being in negotiations ... or that he's off to another team. So this one is confusing and definitely one to watch.

Veterans Patrick Mullins and Nick DeLeon are departing, as is homegrown midfielder Liam Fraser. The club did exercise contract options on goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, midfield stalwart Jonathan Osorio and others, though.

Just 15 players are under contract for 2022 at the moment. One of which is Jozy Altidore, who is widely expected to not return. Another is Yeferson Soteldo, who has similarly big question marks around his future. For those keeping track: Altidore and Soteldo are two of Toronto's three DPs alongside Alejandro Pozuelo.

Contract options declined (Dec. 1, 2021):

  • Omar Gonzalez (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Patrick Mullins (FWD) - eligible for free agency
  • Rocco Romeo (DEF)
  • Kevin Silva (GK)
  • Eriq Zavaleta (DEF) - eligible for free agency

Out of contract (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Ayo Akinola (FWD)
  • Julian Dunn (DEF)
  • Nick DeLeon (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Tsubasa Endoh (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Liam Fraser (MID)
  • Erickson Gallardo (FWD)

Retiring (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Justin Morrow (DEF)

DEC 1 – Carlos Vela is back (for now): LAFC announced their roster updates on Wednesday, with the headline being they picked up the 2022 contract option on former MVP and superstar Carlos Vela.

Vela, who turns 33 just after the season starts next year, has made only 19 starts over the last two seasons due to injuries after his historic 2019 campaign when he had 49 (!) goal involvements in 31 matches. There were plenty of rumors about his future, but he's with LAFC until next year (for now).

LAFC also triggered the contract option for Eduard Atuesta, though co-president and GM John Thorrington has already noted it's expected the Colombian midfielder will have plenty of transfer offers this winter. Keep an eye there.

The club declined the options on a few players, most notably goalkeeper Jamal Blackman. The former Chelsea academy product made eight starts after arriving late in the summer, but will not return. LAFC have just one GK under contract at the moment: Tomas Romero.

Contract options declined (Dec. 1, 2021):

  • Jamal Blackman (GK)
  • Danny Crisostomo (MID)
  • Alvaro Quezada (DEF)

Out of contract (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Jordan Harvey (DEF)
  • Raheem Edwards (MID)
  • Pablo Sisniega (GK)

Loan expiration (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Michee Ngalina (FWD)
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DEC 1 – Gregus, Alonso, Finlay all out: Minnesota United will move on from DP midfielder Jan Gregus, as well as veterans Ozzie Alonso and Ethan Finlay.

Finlay had been with Minnesota since their inaugural 2017 season. He had 19 goals and 12 assists in 95 MLS appearances for Minnesota. Alonso arrived ahead of the 2019 season and is regarded as one of the very best defensive midfielders in league history, but just turned 36. Gregus fell out of favor this year.

Minnesota now have 23 players under contract for next season, with one DP spot and some room to maneuver after 2021.

Contract options declined (Dec. 1, 2021):

  • Fanendo Adi (FWD) - eligible for free agency
  • Juan Agudelo (FWD) - eligible for free agency
  • Noah Billingsley (DEF)
  • Jan Gregus (MID)
  • Brent Kallman (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Jukka Raitala (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Adrian Zendejas (GK) - eligible for free agency

Out of contract (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Osvaldo Alonso (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Ethan Finlay (MID) - eligible for free agency

DEC 1 – Franco Escobar may return?: Atlanta United didn't have a ton of big decisions with their roster update, with many core players already under contract for 2022. But one name jumped out: Franco Escobar.

The Argentine defender was on loan at Newell's Old Boys in 2021, but Atlanta picked up his contract option for 2022. He could be returning, or Atlanta hope to retain value for an asset so he can't leave for free this winter. We'll see.

The club exercised options on fullbacks Brooks Lennon and George Bello as well, while declining options on Mo Adams and Cubo Torres. For now, defender Andrew Gutman is back in Atlanta after spending the 2021 season on loan at New York Red Bulls.

Contract options declined (Dec. 1, 2021):

  • Mo Adams (MID)
  • Josh Bauer (DEF)
  • Alec Kann (GK) - eligible for free agency
  • Ben Lundgaard (GK)
  • Cubo Torres (FWD) - eligible for free agency

Loan expiration (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Ronald Hernandez (DEF)

DEC 1 – Orlando could have three DP spots open: With the already-announced departure of Nani and Mauricio Pereyra out of contract, Orlando City and new ownership could add three DPs this winter.

Exciting times in Orlando.

“This year we saw our organization reach new heights and set even more club records, and we are committed to continue building so we can deliver even more next year that our fans can be proud of,” Orlando City EVP of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi said in a club statement.

Pereyra may return, as Orlando are in negotiations over a potential new deal; ditto for midfielder Uri Rosell. Orlando also extended an offer to forward Alexandre Pato, who was limited to just 106 minutes and no goals in 2020 due to injuries.

Chris Mueller departs for Scotland's Hibernian FC, as previously announced.

Contract options declined (Dec. 1, 2021):

  • Raul Aguilera (MID)
  • Jordan Bender (MID)
  • Derek Dodson (FWD)
  • Rio Hope-Gund (DEF)
  • David Loera (FWD)
  • Emmanuel Mas (DEF)
  • Nani (FWD)

Out of contract (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Chris Mueller (FWD)
  • Alexandre Pato (FWD)
  • Mauricio Pereyra (MID)
  • Uri Rosell (MID)

In negotiations with the club (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Alexandre Pato (FWD)
  • Mauricio Pereyra (MID)
  • Uri Rosell (MID) - eligible for free agency
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DEC 1 – RBNY begin another transformational offseason: The New York Red Bulls were not short on big news in their end-of-year roster decisions. Where to start?

I guess the simplest place is the club's option to purchase goalkeeper Carlos Coronel. That's a no-brainer, Coronel was one of the best goalies in MLS this year and was on loan from sister club RB Salzburg. They also picked up the contract option for Aaron Long and Wikelman Carmona, two easy decisions as well. Long is in the last season of his contract, though.

There will be a number of departures. How many? It remains to be seen fully.

Starting forward Fabio will depart after RBNY declined his purchase option. Daniel Royer's contract option was declined after 127 appearances, with 39 goals and 17 assists, over six seasons. Kyle Duncan joined Belgian club KV Oostende on a pre-contract after his contract expired. Andrew Gutman's loan from Atlanta United expired. Caden Clark heads to RB Leipzig now. That's three 2021 starters, a wunderkind and a half-decade regular all gone.

Tom Edwards' loan expired as well, but RBNY are in negotiations over potentially keeping him. Club captain Sean Davis is out on contract and in negotiations as well.

Head of sport Kevin Thelwell has also spoken of the importance of building on this group. RBNY are a team to watch this offseason.

Contract options declined (Dec. 1, 2021):

  • Luca Lewis (GK)
  • Mandela Egbo (DEF)
  • Issiar Dramé (DEF)
  • Fábio (FWD)
  • Matias Jørgensen (FWD)
  • Daniel Royer (FWD) - eligible for free agency

Out of contract (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Kyle Duncan (DEF)
  • Sean Davis (MID) - eligible for free agency

Loan expiration (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Youba Diarra (MID)
  • Tom Edwards (DEF)
  • Andrew Gutman (DEF)

In negotiations with the club (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Issiar Dramé (DEF)
  • Sean Davis (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Tom Edwards (DEF)

DEC 1 – Cincinnati move on from 12 of 14 players out of contract: Chris Albright's first big moves as FC Cincinnati general manager are underway, as he worked to create as much flexibility as he could.

Cincinnati had 14 players either out of contract or with a contract option; only Gustavo Vallecilla and Zico Bailey are returning. FCC declined options on the likes of Joe Gyau and Przemyslaw Tyton, while Haris Medunjanin and Florian Valot are among those out of contract.

Some may return, though.

“We remain in discussions with a few players who saw their contracts expire about their futures with FC Cincinnati, and we wish the players who are departing all the best moving forward," Albright said in a club statement.

Cincy are among the teams with a head coaching vacancy as well, as they aim for improvement in 2022 after three difficult seasons in MLS. Luciano Acosta, Brenner, Vallecilla and Ronald Matarrita are among the Orange & Blue's building blocks moving forward. Expect plenty more change this offseason.

Contract options declined (Dec. 1, 2021):

  • Edgar Castillo (DEF)
  • Chris Duvall (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Jonas Fjeldberg (DEF)
  • Avionne Flanagan (DEF)
  • Joseph-Claude Gyau (DEF)
  • Nick Hagglund (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Ben Lundt (GK)
  • Caleb Stanko (MID)
  • Przemyslaw Tytoń (GK)

Out of contract (Dec. 1, 2021)

  • Haris Medunjanin (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Florian Valot (MID)
  • Maikel van der Werff (DEF)

NOV 30 – Dynamo move on from a few big contracts: New Houston Dynamo FC general manager Pat Onstad has given himself and his staff plenty of room to maneuver (and needs to fill) this offseason.

The Dynamo announced they declined contract options on eight players, while a further two are out of contract. The likes of Darwin Quintero, Maxi Urruti and Marko Maric are not currently under contract, opening a ton of roster space for meaningful change.

With Houston almost certainly able to buy down the cap hit of Teenage Hadebe to free up a DP spot, the Dynamo can add three DPs this winter, a few U22 Initiative players and a few high-earners on the cap. They are also amid a coaching search.

It's a clean slate for Onstad and new managing owner Ted Segal.

Contract options declined (Nov. 30, 2021):

  • Jose Bizama (DEF)
  • Maynor Figueroa (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Erik McCue (DEF)
  • Marko Maric (GK)
  • Kyle Morton (GK)
  • Darwin Quintero (FWD)
  • Maxi Urruti (FWD) - eligible for free agency

Out of contract (Nov. 30, 2021)

  • Alejandro Fuenmayor (DEF)
  • Boniek Garcia (MID) - eligible for free agency
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NOV 30 – At least eight depart Montréal after strong season: CF Montréal showed MLS they were ahead of schedule in 2021, taking their playoff hopes to Decision Day under Wilfried Nancy before coming up just short. With a strong core in place, they enter the offseason with optimism.

Their offseason is underway after announcing roster decisions, headlined by the likes of Kiki Struna, Ballou Tabla, Emanuel Maciel and Rudy Camacho all heading out. With those departures, Montréal will have plenty of flexibility to add to a strong group, though have several needs to fill.

Struna and Camacho combined to start 45 games in central defense in 2021 and were two key members of the depth chart in Nancy's preferred three-man backline. From a pure numbers standpoint, CFM will need to make additions here.

There will be "an update regarding a forthcoming agreement" on versatile attacker Lassi Lappalainen, the club added. Montréal previously announced they triggered the purchase options for Joaquin Torres and Ahmed Hamdi.

Contract options declined (Nov. 30, 2021):

  • Sebastian Breza (GK)
  • Jean-Yves Ballou Tabla (MID)
  • Clément Bayiha (MID)
  • Tomas Giraldo (MID)
  • Mustafa Kizza (DEF)
  • Aljaz “Kiki” Struna (DEF)
  • Emanuel Maciel (MID)

Out of contract (Nov. 30, 2021)

  • Rudy Camacho (DEF)

In negotiations with the club (Nov. 30, 2021)

  • Lassi Lappalainen (MID)

NOV 30 – Ilie Sanchez among those departing SKC: After 144 appearances over five hugely successful seasons, Ilie Sanchez's Sporting Kansas City contract has been declined. Now, the Spanish midfielder/defender will depart the club.

Sanchez was the biggest name among those definitely leaving Sporting, though regulars like Luis Martins and Roberto Puncec also had their options declined. Graham Zusi and Roger Espinoza are out of contract, but SKC remain in discussions with those two club legends about a new deal.

SKC also picked up the contract option on homegrown midfielder Felipe Hernandez, who is currently suspended by the league for betting on MLS matches. He is eligible to apply for reinstatement on January 1, 2022.

Contract options declined (Nov. 30, 2021):

  • Amadou Dia (DEF)
  • Wilson Harris (FWD)
  • Luis Martins (DEF)
  • Roberto Puncec (DEF)
  • Ilie Sanchez (MID)
  • Brooks Thompson (GK)

Out of contract (Nov. 30, 2021)

  • Graham Smith (DEF)

In negotiations with the club (Nov. 30, 2021)

  • Roger Espinoza (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Kendall McIntosh (GK) - eligible for free agency
  • Graham Zusi (DEF) - eligible for free agency

NOV. 30 – FC Dallas have two DP spots open: It's a pivotal winter for FC Dallas. They're in the final stages of a coaching search and, after announcing their roster update, have two Designated Player spots to use.

Dallas created plenty of flexibility by declining contract options on seven players, including DP Bryan Acosta and TAM-signing Andres Ricaurte – two midfielders. Winger Freddy Vargas departs after a disappointing season in Texas, while the Brazilian duo of goalkeeper Phelipe and defender Bressan had options declined as well.

Vargas, Phelipe and Ricaurte had been on loan.

With two DP spots open and a bunch of talented homegrowns – Ricardo Pepi, Jesus Ferreira, Justin Che and Paxton Pomykal chief among them – FCD's roster is in a strong spot to make a jump with the right key signings. A new head coach and potentially two new DPs? Big changes are coming.

Dallas did pick up the contract options for midfielders Edwin Cerrillo and Brandon Servania, as well as defenders Ryan Hollingshead, Eddie Munjoma, Nkosi Tafari and Ema Twumasi.

Contract options declined (Nov. 30, 2021):

  • Bryan Acosta (MID)
  • Bressan (DEF)
  • Caiser Gomes (DEF)
  • Phelipe Megiolaro (GK)
  • Johnny Nelson (DEF)
  • Andrés Ricaurte (MID)
  • Freddy Vargas (FWD)

Out of contract (Nov. 30, 2021)

  • Kyle Zobeck (GK) - eligible for free agency
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NOV. 30 – Austin FC head into year two: Austin FC announced their roster update on Tuesday, unsurprisingly retaining a large number of players, as is generally the case for expansion clubs heading into their second season, particularly one that made a few key signings in the summer.

ATX aren't staying static, of course. They triggered only three contract options, one of which was midfield stalwart Alex Ring. The club previously exercised the purchase option for rising left back Zan Kolmanic, making it unsurprising that they declined the option for left back Ben Sweat, who missed most of 2021 with an ACL tear.

Austin head into 2022 with a core in place but some flexibility. Building around Designated Players Sebastian Driussi, Cecilio Dominguez and Tomas Pochettino, as well as key players like Ring, Moussa Djitte, Diego Fagundez, Jhohan Romana, Nick Lima, Austin will look to climb from second-worst in the West toward the playoffs under head coach Josh Wolff.

A foundation is there, and the flexibility to improve seems requisite as well.

Contract options declined (Nov. 30, 2021):

  • Kekuta Manneh (FWD) - eligible for free agency
  • Aaron Schoenfeld (FWD)
  • Brady Scott (GK)
  • Aedan Stanley (DEF)
  • Jared Stroud (MID)
  • Ben Sweat (DEF) - eligible for free agency

Retired (Nov. 30, 2021)

  • Matt Besler (DEF) - eligible for free agency

Loan expiration (Nov. 30, 2021):

  • Sebastian Berhalter (MID)
  • Manny Perez (MID)

NOV. 29 – LA Galaxy open DP spot with dos Santos exit: After a promising start to the Greg Vanney era in Los Angeles ultimately ended with heartbreak on Decision Day, the Galaxy continue their transformation under the well-respected head coach.

Jonathan dos Santos is out of contract and will not return, opening a Designated Player spot for the Galaxy to work with this offseason, alongside Chicharito and Kevin Cabral. Dos Santos headlines the departures, though that is fluid. Veteran midfielders Sacha Kljestan and Victor Vazquez are both in discussions with LA about returning next season. The Galaxy are also in discussions with goalkeeper Eric Lopez and forward Ethan Zubak after declining their 2022 contract options.

General manager Dennis te Kloese officially departed last week too, joining Dutch club Feyenoord.

Contract options declined (Nov. 29, 2021):

  • Daniel Acosta (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Kai Koreniuk (FWD)
  • Eric Lopez (GK)
  • Oniel Fisher (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Victor Vazquez (MID)
  • Augustine Williams (FWD)
  • Ethan Zubak (FWD)

Out of contract (Nov. 29, 2021):

  • Jonathan dos Santos (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Sacha Klejstan (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Justin vom Steeg (GK)

Loan expiration (Nov. 29, 2021):

  • Niko Hämäläinen (DEF)

NOV. 29 – D.C. United move on from some regulars: D.C. United announced their roster update on Monday, moving the team further into the Hernan Losada era.

A number of players familiar to the casual MLS fan will not be returning to the club, including Joseph Mora, Frederic Brillant, Yordy Reyna, Roman Abila and Yamil Asad.

Midfielder Junior Moreno is also out of contract, but D.C. have made a bona fide offer on an extension. The club noted they're in talks with midfielder Felipe and goalkeeper Jon Kempin about potentially remaining as well, while D.C. are in negotiations with Belgian club KV Kortrijk over a permanent deal for defender Brendan Hines-Ike after he spent 2021 on loan in MLS.

As it stands, the Black-and-Red have 21 players under contract and a bunch of flexibility (and needs) this winter. Losada publicly hoped for more resources this offseason, let's see how it manifests for the Argentine manager in Year 2.

“We are continuing to scout and identify players that fit Hernán’s philosophy and style of play so we can reinforce and bolster our roster to compete in 2022," GM Lucy Rushton said in a club statement.

Contract options declined (Nov. 29, 2021):

  • Yamil Asad (MID)
  • Jon Kempin (GK) - eligible for free agency
  • Felipe Martins (MID) - eligible for free agency

Out of contract (Nov. 29, 2021):

  • Ramón Ábila (FWD)
  • Jovanny Bolívar (FWD)
  • Frédéric Brillant (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Michael DeShields (DEF)
  • Joseph Mora (DEF)
  • Junior Moreno (MID)
  • Yordy Reyna (FWD)
  • Chris Seitz (GK) - eligible for free agency
;

NOV. 15 – Miami look to create flexibility: The keywords in Miami's roster update announcement are as follows: "Contract options exercised: None."

That about sums it up. Miami, following a disappointing 2021 season, head into 2022 with the beginning of sanctions related to the league's investigation into the acquisition of Blaise Matuidi. For each of the next two seasons, the club will be without more than $2 million in allocation money. That is significant. With a number of key (and expensive) players under contract, the front office will have to get creative to free up allocation money and make improvements to a roster that finished seven points below the Eastern Conference playoff line.

Ventura Alvarado, Kelvin Leerdam and Victor Ulloa were among the 10 players' options that were declined, plus another three players are out of contract (or, in Indiana Vassilev's case, loan expiration). The release did note sporting director Chris Henderson saying “we remain in conversations with several players about returning next year," so perhaps it won't be quite as many gone.

But for now? Miami have 19 players under contract as the offseason begins.

Contract options declined (Nov. 15, 2021):

  • George Acosta (MID)
  • Ventura Alvarado (DEF)
  • Dylan Castanheira (GK)
  • Jay Chapman (MID) - eligible for free agency
  • Sami Guediri (MID)
  • Kelvin Leerdam (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • John McCarthy (GK) - eligible for free agency
  • Josh Penn (FWD)
  • Patrick Seagrist (DEF)
  • Victor Ulloa (MID) - eligible for free agency

Out of contract (Nov. 15, 2021):

  • Federico Higuain (MID) - retired, eligible for free agency
  • Brek Shea (DEF) - eligible for free agency

Loan expiration (Nov. 15, 2021):

  • Indiana Vassilev (FWD)

NOV. 8 – Fire begin to clean house: Chicago parted ways with head coach Raphael Wicky weeks ago. Then news began trickling out ahead of Decision Day that they already informed nine players they wouldn't be returning to the club in 2022.

They wasted no time in announcing those nine, several of which were key players (or occupying key roster/cap assets). They included Robert Beric (Designated Player), Alvaro Medran, Francisco Calvo, Johan Kappelhof, Luka Stojanovic and Kenneth Kronholm.

Beric, Medran and Stojanovic were three of the club's key signings ahead of their rebuild for the 2020 season. Beric was reported to have been signed for a $3.5 million transfer fee; Medran ostensibly still had value in Europe today. Both can now sign abroad on a free transfer.

This isn't the end of the departures, either. This is just nine guys who definitely won't be back.

The Fire didn't announce officially who else has contract options still up in the air, but Gaston Gimenez (DP) is definitely one of them. They don't have a hard deadline today to make that decision. Maybe a new head coach will be in place early enough to have input. Beric opens at least one DP spot, if not two with Gimenez; Medran, Calvo and the rest open allocation and budget money.

Their roster for 2021 will look much different. Highly-rated U22 Initiative signing Jhon Jader Duran will arrive this winter, midseason acquisition Federico Navarro will have his first full season with the club and key homegrowns Gabriel Slonina, Brian Gutierrez, Mauricio Pineda and more will move forward.

Contract options declined (Nov. 8, 2021):

  • Robert Berić (FWD)
  • Francisco Calvo (DEF)
  • Elliot Collier (MID)
  • Kenneth Kronholm (GK)
  • Álvaro Medrán (MID)
  • Nick Slonina (DEF)
  • Luka Stojanović (MID)

Out of contract (Nov. 8, 2021):

  • Johan Kappelhof (DEF) - eligible for free agency
  • Bobby Shuttleworth (GK) - eligible for free agency