Clubs are in full roster construction mode for the 2023 season, scouting and looking to get deals – both domestic and international – over the line.
As fans clamor for news, let’s spotlight some signings from the 2022 campaign where teams struck gold. Trades, transfers and frees were all considered.
Here’s the Eastern Conference version (all 14 teams). The Western Conference version (with its 14 teams) will follow.
- Date signed: Feb. 9, 2022
- Past club: Vélez Sarsfield (Argentina)
MLS-record signing at a reported $16 million. 2022 MLS Newcomer of the Year via 6g/12a in 29 games. First active MLS player to make a FIFA World Cup final. It's a decent résumé he's amassing.
- Date signed: Jan. 26, 2022
- Past club: PAOK (Greece)
Charlotte had to assemble a roster by scratch for their expansion season, so you’re left picking from their entire squad. Let’s go with their best player and first-ever DP, shall we?
- Date signed: Jan. 11, 2021
- Past club: Envigado FC (Colombia)
Yes, Chicago brought in key veterans like club-record signing Xherdan Shaqiri and veteran Bundesliga defender Rafael Czichos. And Durán was technically signed two winters ago (he couldn’t join until 2022 due to transfer/age rules).
But this rising Colombian international, only age 19, is reportedly being tracked by some top Premier League clubs. Durán had 8g/3a in 27 games after getting increased playing time late in the Fire’s season. He’s got a super bright future.
- Date signed: April 13, 2022
- Past club: Göztepe SK (Turkey)
For about a decade, MLS clubs have been trying to replicate Portland bringing in Diego Chara as No. 6. Cincy’s attempt looks pretty, pretty good.
Nwobodo is the first DP signing under Cincy’s new brass, and his disruptive qualities have provided a base for those like Lucho Acosta, Brenner and Brandon Vazquez to thrive.
- Date signed: June 21, 2022
- Past club: Watford FC (England)
A 23-year-old Colombian international, with Premier League and LaLiga experience, coming to MLS? These moves are becoming increasingly common.
- Date signed: January 27, 2022
- Past club: Rapid Vienna (Austria)
D.C. United are in a funky place, bridging together BWR (Before Wayne Rooney) and WWR (With Wayne Rooney) signings. Taxi comes from the former camp, and became an MLS All-Star behind 12g/3a in 21 games as the Black-and-Red toiled as the league’s last-place team.
The Greek international is eligible to play for D.C. United during the 2023 season after his alleged use of racially abusive language during a 2022 match.
- Date signed: February 2, 2022
- Past club: Galatasaray (Turkey)
So much of Inter Miami’s 2022 season centered around strikers Leo Campana (first half) and Gonzalo Higuain (second half) leading the way. But bringing US international right back DeAndre Yedlin back to MLS was a great piece of business by sporting director Chris Henderson.
Yedlin just featured at his second-ever World Cup with the USMNT and brought a veteran presence to the Herons’ backline. He supplied four assists across 34 games upon arriving from Turkey’s Galatasaray last winter.
- Date signed: December 27, 2021
- Past club: Nashville SC (MLS)
Johnston was a really solid player for Nashville SC, but he reached a new level in 2022 after being traded to CF Montréal. He became a key player for Canada’s World Cup squad as they topped the Concacaf Octagonal, and now is transferred to Scottish powerhouse Celtic.
It won’t be easy to replace the versatile defender; he's another example of MLS becoming more of a selling league.
- Date signed: April 6, 2022
- Past club: FK Čukarički (Serbia)
Petrovic was tasked with replacing USMNT goalie Matt Turner after he joined Arsenal, and it’s hard to imagine things going much better in New England. The Serbian international finished second in 2022 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting, and seems on track for a transfer back to Europe.
He made four penalty saves (from 12 attempts), the most in MLS. That’s incredible.
- Date signed: March 17, 2022
- Past club: Corinthians (Brazil)
In hindsight, should Pereira have appeared on last year’s 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR list? Probably.
The Brazilian winger had 8g/4a in 26 games as NYCFC made the Eastern Conference Final and weathered the midseason departure of striker Taty Castellanos.
- Date signed: December 12, 2021
- Past club: Inter Miami CF (MLS)
At one point last offseason, Morgan’s move from Miami to RBNY set an intraleague trade record. That windfall ($1.2 million in General Allocation Money) has since been surpassed.
The Scottish winger left a huge mark on the Red Bulls, tallying 14g/4a in 32 games as they equaled the league record of 13 straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearances.
- Date signed: January 24, 2022
- Past club: Peñarol (Uruguay)
When you’re a club-record signing, you’re expected to deliver. It took Torres a bit to get going, but he led Orlando in goal contributions (19) via 9g/10a and represented Uruguay at the World Cup.
The 22-year-old stepped up in Orlando’s US Open Cup final victory, delivering a man-of-the-match performance as they beat USL Championship side Sacramento Republic FC 3-0. That marked the club’s first MLS-era trophy and secured a 2023 Concacaf Champions League spot.
- Date signed: December 23, 2021
- Past club: Inter Miami CF (MLS)
Carranza first joined Philly from Miami via loan before his purchase option was exercised last summer. Put another way, the Union got a Young DP striker on the relative cheap and paired him with Mikael Uhre, their club-record signing.
That duo was immense as Philly reached MLS Cup 2022, with Carranza supplying 14g/9a in 31 games. The Argentine’s relentless pressing style was a dream fit tactically.
- Date signed: July 15, 2022
- Past club: Juventus (Italy)
There was a ton of buzz around Toronto signing Lorenzo Insigne, and deservedly so. But was Bernardeschi, their other Italian international departing Serie A, better? In some respects, yes.
The DP had 8g/3a in 13 games as the Reds’ playoff push never quite materialized. Entering his first full season, Bernaredschi should be among MLS’s top wingers.