MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

FC Cincinnati reject significant bid from Chivas for Brandon Vazquez

Brandon Vazquez

FC Cincinnati have rejected a significant transfer offer from Liga MX club Chivas for star forward Brandon Vazquez.

A source says the most recent bid was at $7 million, which the club placed under careful consideration with the sporting staff and ownership but ultimately turned down. Chivas had a longstanding interest in the player and the clubs have held months of cordial conversations.

“We appreciate Chivas’ offer and their professionalism in the process," FC Cincinnati general manager Chris Albright told "However, at this point, our ownership is focused on winning games and building a sustainably successful organization, and we see Brandon being a big part of that.”

Vazquez's breakthrough

Vazquez, 24, had a breakout 2022 season with 18 goals and eight assists in 33 games. His 18 goals were tied for fourth-most in the Golden Boot presented by Audi race, and he placed on the 2022 MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire.

Cincinnati aim to keep Vazquez as part of their core and build off the 2022 season, when they made the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in their four-year MLS history and won a Round One playoff game, away to the New York Red Bulls. Vazquez scored the game-winning goal.

Chivas contacted Cincinnati about Vazquez in the summer, but Vazquez agreed to a new, long-term contract with the Orange & Blue through 2025. The former US youth international is also eligible for Mexico, which aligns Vazquez with Chivas' policy to only sign Mexican players. Chivas finished ninth in Liga MX's Apertura this fall.

Vazquez is still eligible to represent either United States or Mexico at the senior international level, should either federation call him up. He remains uncapped.

Last winter, and before his breakout campaign, Vazquez was the subject of interest from other MLS clubs. Sources told that numerous clubs asked Cincy about Vazquez's availability before the season started – yet Cincy valued him despite the player never surpassing 900 minutes in a league season.

Cincy's direction

Cincy's rebuild is ahead of schedule. Albright took over last winter and named Pat Noonan head coach as the club looked to remake the roster and build for the future. They were competitive early and hit their stride as the season went on under Noonan, aided by key midseason acquisitions of defensive midfielder Obinna Nwobodo and center back Matt Miazga.

Vazquez is a key part of Cincy's core alongside playmaker Luciano Acosta, Brenner, Nwobodo, Miazga, Junior Moreno and more. Expectations for 2023 remain high.

So far this offseason, FCC re-signed forward Sergio Santos and signed 15-year-old academy standout Stiven Jimenez to a homegrown contract. They expect to make a few more additions before preseason starts.