MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

Insider notebook: Klich to D.C. appears imminent, how LAFC landed Long


Another insider notebook! Here’s the latest on what I’m hearing around the wide world of Major League Soccer…

D.C. United finalizing deal to sign Mateusz Klich

After a deal being close for about a month, D.C. United are finalizing the acquisition of Poland international Mateusz Klich from Leeds United, sources tell

D.C. being in advanced talks to sign Klich was originally reported by on December 9. The deal has had a few hurdles, and with D.C. not reporting for preseason until this week, there wasn’t a big rush to complete it in December.

Jesse Marsch, manager of Leeds, wanted Klich to remain with the club through the rest of the season, insisting he had a role to play in the squad still, but Klich wanted a move to D.C. after he fell out of the starting lineup with US men's national team captain Tyler Adams signing for the club.

With a deal generally agreed since early December, final details were sorted over the last couple of weeks. All parties agreed that Klich would play one final game on January 4 before departing for D.C. to complete the move and join up with his new teammates as preseason starts.

Leeds released a statement on Wednesday night saying Klich “will leave the club, pending an offer from Major League Soccer.” Klich made his final appearance for the club on Wednesday, coming off the bench in a 2-2 draw with West Ham. After the game, Klich took a lap of honor to salute the fans and was given a guard of honor by his teammates as he left the pitch for the final time. Supporters were chanting “you’re Leeds and you know it” to Klich, a fan favorite during his time in England.

Klich, 32, played a crucial role to Leeds being promoted in 2019-20 as well as playing a crucial role as they fought relegation the past two seasons. From 2018-22, he appeared in 159 of a possible 168 league games.

The move is a significant signing for D.C. United, with Klich slotting in central midfield under head coach Wayne Rooney. Klich, Christian Benteke and Taxi Fountas will be integral pieces to the club’s new-look attack. D.C. have signed the likes of Tyler Miller, Pedro Santos, Ruan, Derrick Williams, Alex Bono and Mohanad Jeahze this offseason as well.

New England acquire Dave Romney

The New England Revolution have acquired defender Dave Romney in a trade with Nashville SC for $525,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM), the clubs announced Thursday morning.

Romney, 29, started 87 of a possible 91 regular season games with Nashville in their first three seasons in the league, making the playoffs each year. The center back was originally acquired by NSC from the LA Galaxy for $225,000 GAM ahead of the 2020 season.

Romney was entering the final year of his guaranteed contract and is likely to sign a new deal with the Revs. The move gives New England another center back as they continue to add to the group.

The Revs are returning Henry Kessler and Andrew Farrell, while Jon Bell was selected by St. Louis CITY SC in the Expansion Draft. New England also traded for midfielder Latif Blessing this week and sources told Nacho Gil has been re-signed.

Rising Nashville center back Jack Maher will now be Walker Zimmerman’s primary center back partner. Maher made at least 18 starts in each of the last two seasons, as Gary Smith often used a three center back formation, but now should be set to start most of the team’s 34 matches.

How can LAFC afford Aaron Long?

When reports around Aaron Long’s free agency emerged over the last two months, LAFC were never mentioned.

On Wednesday, LAFC shocked the MLS community by announcing the signing of the former MLS Defender of the Year in free agency. Starting Tuesday evening when I reported the deal was close, sources across the league expressed their surprise as well.

How did LAFC find the budget space?

Well, the club are amidst cap gymnastics this offseason to keep together as much of their MLS Cup/Supporters’ Shield-winning squad together while adding around it. They had already used a U22 Initiative slot to sign rising Croatian youth international Stipe Biuk.

As for Long, who will have a significantly larger budget charge than a U22 Initiative signing, the club have had some key departures this winter already:

  • Latif Blessing to the New England Revolution for $400k GAM
  • Sebastien Ibeagha left in free agency
  • Contracts for Franco Escobar, Cristian Tello, Eddie Segura and Sebastián Méndez are expired

More outgoings are expected, namely Ecuador international José Cifuentes. A source says there are “active talks” from clubs in Europe to sign the midfielder, who is expected to leave in a lucrative transfer. Such a move would provide LAFC with more allocation money. Previous transfers of Eduard Atuesta, Diego Rossi, Brian Rodriguez and Kim Moon-Hwan helped bring in allocation money over previous years too.

LAFC are still in talks with Tello, per source. A source also adds the club is much less optimistic that a deal could be reached for Méndez, who has interest in Europe after appearing in the World Cup as well. Diego Palacios has suitors in Europe as well.

The future around Gareth Bale remains murky, with light speculation that he may retire this winter. Either way, his contract is only through June 30, which comes with a club contract option that would make him a DP.

LAFC will remain active this winter, even after adding Long.

Philly star Gazdag gets new DP contract

The Philadelphia Union signed star attacking midfielder Daniel Gazdag to a contract extension, one that officially makes him a Designated Player.

The deal is through 2025 with a club option for 2026.

Gazdag, 26, had a breakout season with 22g/10a as he was named to 2022 MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire. He started all 34 games for the Union, who finished level on points with LAFC in the Supporters’ Shield race.

“Daniel became one of the top two-way players in Major League Soccer as well as a league MVP candidate last season," sporting director Ernst Tanner said in a club statement. “He’s a great fit for our aggressive style of play and we are excited to reward him with a Designated Player contract that keeps him in Philadelphia for the coming years.”

The Hungarian international joined in 2021 and showed flashes but exploded in 2022 after finally getting some time off and a full preseason with the club.

Philly now will likely have all three DP spots filled on opening day for the first time in club history, with Gazdag alongside Mikael Uhre and Julian Carranza. The two forwards were signed last season. Last winter, they very briefly had three DPs before Jamiro Monteiro was traded to the San Jose Earthquakes.

FC Cincinnati sign rising left back

FC Cincinnati have signed left back Isaiah Foster from the Colorado Switchbacks, sources tell

Foster, 19, made 25 appearances in the USL Championship last season.

The move gives FC Cincinnati a young option at a light position. Álvaro Barreal is likely the starter at left wingback in the club’s 3-5-2, but didn’t have another natural option on the current roster. Barreal signed a contract extension this week as well.

Cincy made the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history last year and won their first-ever postseason game over the New York Red Bulls. They have continued to tweak the squad, with their key addition being Ecuador international midfielder Marco Angulo.

Houston continue roster overhaul as Vera nearing move

The Houston Dynamo are finalizing the loan of midfielder Matías Vera to Argentinos Juniors, sources tell The deal includes a purchase option.

Vera, 27, had been a constant in Houston, with 107 starts over the last four years. Argentinos Juniors qualified for the 2023 Copa Libertadores, South America’s biggest club competition.

The move continues Houston’s rebuild this offseason, as Vera will soon be the latest key player to depart the club this winter following Tim Parker, Darwin Quintero, Memo Rodriguez, Mateo Bajamich (U22 Initiative), Thiago (U22 Initiative), Darwin Cerén, Fafa Picault, Zarek Valentin and Zeca.

Houston previously acquired Artur from the Columbus Crew, with key players Héctor Herrera and Coco Carrasquilla making up the midfield trio. The move could open a pathway to minutes for homegrown midfielder Juan Castilla, who was just named to Colombia’s squad at the U20 South American championships, as well as US youth international Brooklyn Raines.

As previously reported by, Houston are finalizing deals to sign Paraguayan winger Ivan Franco and Australian left back Brad Smith. There will be more additions to follow. 

Ben Olsen was named head coach earlier this offseason.