Loan watch: MLS players who could depart (or stay) this summer


Will they stay or will they go?

For a handful of clubs around Major League Soccer, that's an important question as on-loan players near the end of their deals this summer. Loan extensions, purchase options or simple returns are all possibilities.

Let's highlight some of the key decisions that await – a transfer lane that might get overlooked before the MLS Secondary Transfer Window begins July 5 and lasts through Aug. 2.

  • On loan from: Palmeiras (Brazil)

Dynamic on the dribble and in transition, Angulo arrived last summer from the Brazilian Serie A with an option to extend his MLS stay a further six months (through the end of the 2023 MLS season). Understandably, Orlando fans are hoping the former Colombian youth international sticks around.

Angulo, 24, was a key part of the Lions' US Open Cup title run last year and has 3g/4a in 25 league games (19 starts). He's basically an every-game starter for head coach Oscar Pareja, complementing those like Facundo Torres and Martín Ojeda in the final third.

  • On loan from: Kortrijk (Belgium)

Ilic joined Colorado in February, with his loan lasting through July 2023 and containing an option to buy. The once-capped Serbian international has grabbed the Rapids' starting job these last few weeks, providing experienced depth alongside William Yarbrough.

Whether Ilic stays in MLS or returns to Belgium remains to be seen. The 25-year-old has made some strong saves, hardly to blame for the club's last-place struggles.

  • On loan from: Nottingham Forest (England)

Laryea's loan from Nottingham Forest is set to soon expire, but all reporting indicates his time in Toronto will be extended. That's welcomed news for Reds' fans, should it pan out, as Laryea has arguably been their best player in 2023 and is among the premier MLS fullbacks.

Laryea, who represented Canada during their long-awaited World Cup return last fall, has 2g/3a in 17 games (all starts) this year. That Premier League dream is surely still flickering, but he's also at home in Toronto.

  • On loan from: Wolverhampton Wanderers (England)

This one already has a resolution, as Cincinnati confirmed they're keeping Mosquera on loan for the remainder of the 2023 MLS season. The 22-year-old's initial stay was up at the end of June.

Mosquera has been phenomenal for the Supporters' Shield leaders, scoring twice in 16 games (all starts). He's shined alongside Matt Miazga and Nick Hagglund, reinforcing why Wolves believe he's a Premier League defender one day.

  • On loan from: Nottingham Forest (England)

O'Brien is with D.C. United through July 16 with an option to buy. If the right fee can be determined for all parties, and assuming O'Brien doesn't want to return to the Premier League (or Championship), then there's a deal to be had.

The 24-year-old has been a rock-solid midfield piece for the Black-and-Red, supplying 1g/1a in 11 games (all starts). His industrious, under-the-radar work is essential for what D.C. are building under Wayne Rooney.

  • On loan from: Nottingham Forest (England)

Ojeda's loan is up later this summer, RSL have a purchase option and the player has previously stated he hopes to stay in MLS long-term. This one seems pretty simple, right? Yes, if the transfer fee can be worked out with Nottingham Forest.

The 22-year-old Paraguayan international is a key player for RSL, contributing 0g/1a in 16 games (11 starts) thus far. Often playing alongside Pablo Ruiz, this U22 Initiative signing is among the more underrated CMs in MLS.

  • On loan from: Once Caldas (Colombia)

Quiñónes is on loan through July with a purchase option, presenting an important decision for the Dynamo's front office to make this summer. While the U22 Initiative signing was brought in last summer (before head coach Ben Olsen took over), the new staff has shown increased trust in the speedy winger.

Quiñónes has played an important role in Houston making the US Open Cup semifinals and last weekend scored his first-ever MLS goal, a confident strike against defending champions LAFC. He's an important part of building depth alongside Amine Bassi, Iván Franco and Aliyu Ibrahim.

  • On loan from: Kortrijk (Belgium)

Radovanović, brought in to help alleviate an injury crisis in Austin's central defense, is on loan through June 30 with a transfer option. He's only played in five games (two starts) and there's some reporting that he'll return to Belgium once this short-term deal is up.

The bigger question is probably what Austin's center-back situation looks like long-term. Julio Cascante is back from injury, but now Leo Väisänen is out long-term and Alex Ring has done his best as a stop-gap solution. Maybe the Verde & Black have some summertime transfer plans here?

  • On loan from: Grêmio (Brazil)

Rodrigues joined San Jose in August 2022 on a 12-month loan with a purchase option. Ever since, this Brazilian center back has proven instrumental for the Earthquakes and posted 0g/2a in 24 games (all starts).

One has to think Rodrigues, given his centrality to head coach Luchi Gonzalez's plans, will stick around long-term. He's struck up a solid partnership with veteran Jonathan Mensah as well after Nathan's long-term ACL injury.