TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Transfer/Trade
The Seattle Sounders announced a pair of deadline-day moves on Thursday, with the Rave Green bringing in one young face from outside MLS and one league veteran to bolster their attack ahead of the second half of the 2021 MLS season.
Seattle have signed 21-year-old attacker Léo Chú from Grêmio in the player's native Brazil on a four-year deal with an additional club option year as part of the league's U22 Initiative. Chú has made 38 professional appearances over the past three seasons for Grêmio while also having a stint on loan with Brazilian side Ceará Sporting Club, recording five goals across all competitions and becoming known for his pace and positional versatility that leaves him able to be deployed either centrally or on the wing.
“In Léo’s case, we were able to utilize the league’s new under-22 player initiative, and he is a player that was high on our list in this regard," Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said in a release. "His speed and versatility make him an intriguing option for our club, and like any young player, we are looking forward to integrating him into the organization and giving him the tools to succeed."
The Frenchman has been in MLS since 2019, first with Toronto FC, where he made eight appearances and scored two goals. He's spent the last two seasons with the Rapids, making 22 appearances but never fully breaking into the regular rotation.
Benezet, 30, accrued more than 200 professional matches in France before his move to MLS.
"With Nicolas, he knows what it takes to compete in this league, and he is effective at playing multiple positions across the midfield," Sounders technical director Craig Waibel said. "Whether on the wing or a more central attacking role, we like that he gives [head coach] Brian [Schmetzer] and our assistant coaches options at various spots.”