Transfer Tracker

New York Red Bulls sign DP forward: Dante Vanzeir arrives from Belgium

TRANSFER_Dante Vanzeir


The New York Red Bulls have used a Designated Player spot to boost their attack, announcing Friday they’ve acquired Belgian international forward Dante Vanzeir from Union SG.

The 24-year-old has signed through the 2026 MLS season with an option for 2027. Vanzeir could reportedly become RBNY's club-record signing if all incentives are hit, surpassing the spot former midfielder Kaku holds.

Concurrently, RBNY have transferred Polish striker Patryk Klimala to Israeli Premier League side Hapoel Be'er Sheva after he produced 13g/10a in 57 games. Klimala, alongside attacking midfielder Luquinhas, held a DP spot last year.

"We are very excited to add Dante to our club," head of sport Jochen Schneider said in a release. "He is a top-class professional and is highly motivated to show his skills here in the United States, we are excited to see him on the pitch at Red Bull Arena soon."

Vanzeir has 70 goals and 26 assists in 157 career appearances, emerging as one of the Belgian Pro League’s more dangerous forwards while at Union SG. He’s also played for Beerschot, Genk and KV Mechelen in Belgium, plus made his international debut in November 2021 during a World Cup qualifying match vs. Wales.

Vanzeir proved especially prolific for Union SG, tallying 48g/21a in 92 matches. He won a Golden Boot in the Challenger Pro League, helping Union SG earn promotion to the Belgian top flight for the first time in 48 years.

In signing Vanzeir, RBNY hope they’ve found a consistent, goalscoring striker – a problem that’s lingered since the now-retired Bradley Wright-Phillips departed after the 2019 campaign. He joins Elias Manoel and Cory Burke up top after they respectively joined from and the Philadelphia Union (free agency) this winter.

"Dante is a great human being and has goal-scoring ability; we are happy to have him in New York," head coach Gerhard Struber said in a release. "He is a very talented player, and he will help us accomplish our goals for the 2023 season."

On paper, Vanzeir should join the Red Bulls’ first-choice attacking line alongside Luquinhas and Lewis Morgan. Morgan signed a long-term contract extension this offseason and was RBNY’s leading scorer in 2022 with 14g/4a; Luquinhas joined last year from Polish powerhouse Legia Warsaw and had 5g/3a.

The Red Bulls, co-league record holders of 13 straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs trips, return to action on Feb. 25 when visiting Orlando City SC (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).