MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

Six MLS players who could still move to Europe before deadline day | Tom Bogert

Paul Arriola – DC United – scans upfield

There are only a few days left in the European transfer window as (most) countries see their deadline day arrive Feb. 1, but that doesn't mean business still can't get done.

Philadelphia Union exports Brenden Aaronson (RB Salzburg) and Mark McKenzie (Genk) have already debuted for their new clubs, while Seattle Sounders on-loan forward Jordan Morris (Swansea City) isn't far away himself. 

Could several MLSers still follow them to Europe? Here are six situations to monitor.

Bryan Reynolds

I mean, yeah, this still technically hasn't happened.

By now, most of you know the story or have at least been inundated by all the updates and false starts that you've tuned out, but Reynolds is technically still an FC Dallas player for a little longer. In a long, drawn-out saga with so many twists and turns, he looks set to become an AS Roma player soon enough.

But don't let the micro get in the way of the macro: This would be incredible business for both club and player. Dallas would receive around $8.5 million upfront and potentially around $11 million in incentives from Roma, per a source, for a player who had exactly one MLS start before last September. For Reynolds, his rise is meteoric and borderline unbelievable. The 19-year-old would join one of Europe's biggest clubs, but should be given every chance to get minutes under his belt and continue developing.

Reynolds would join US men's national team midfielder Weston McKennie in Serie A, as he's been tearing it up for Juventus.

Paul Arriola

Swansea City aren't only looking at Morris in hoping to turn their Premier League promotion dreams into reality. The Championship club is looking to sign D.C. United midfielder Arriola, too. 

The versatile winger would likely be earmarked for right wingback in Swansea's 3-5-2 formation. They're right in the promotion chase, entering the week second in the Championship. Any move would be a loan with a purchase option, likely hinging on whether or not they do get promoted to the Premier League. 

“With regards to Paul, there are ongoing discussions with the club," D.C. United general manager and VP of soccer operations Dave Kasper told media on Friday. "They’re up against a time clock with the transfer deadline, so we’ll be engaging with Swansea in the coming days.”

No updates since, either official or reported. Keep an eye on this one.

Another facet of this potential move to know: Arriola's former side, Club Tijuana, have a substantial sell-on clause for Arriola's next transfer, per a source. Let's see if Swansea and D.C. can find common ground on a transfer figure that makes sense for both.  

Brian Rodriguez 

When LAFC signed Brian Rodriguez, he was already a big-time prospect in Uruguay. The feeling was that he wouldn't be in Los Angeles for long. 

Will this winter be when his time comes up? The player himself suggests that his future is in Europe, though there haven't been many reports on where he could land.

Rodriguez signed for the club in the summer of 2019. He had two goals and seven assists in 19 MLS appearances in 2020, though was left out of the starting lineup in each of the club's three December Concacaf Champions League matches.

The 20-year-old already has nine caps with Uruguay's senior national team.   

Diego Rossi

Speaking of Uruguayan wingers at LAFC, Rossi has long been projected as a player who could wind up at a big European club. 

Like Rodriguez, there haven't been too many reports around his future with serious offers yet. This past season, Rossi won the inaugural 2020 AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year award en route to winning the 2020 MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi. 

Rossi, 22, has been a star in MLS since the day he debuted for LAFC, with 42 goals and 20 assists in 85 appearances. 

LAFC acquired three wingers over the past few months, leaving the club well stocked even if a deal goes through for Rossi or Rodriguez. The added Corey Baird in a trade from Real Salt Lake earlier this offseason, selected Daniel Trejo in the 2021 SuperDraft and signed Mahalo Opoku last October.   

Aaron Long

With Morris already at Swansea and Arriola possibly soon to follow, could Long be the next USMNT player to move to Europe this winter?

The New York Red Bulls center back has been linked with overseas transfers for the better part of two years, with RBNY reportedly rejecting "multiple bids" from West Ham for his services. also reported in the summer of 2019 that the Red Bulls rejected an offer from a French club. 

Long, 28, was named MLS Defender of the Year in 2018, anchoring RBNY's backline en route to a Supporters' Shield title. He has 18 caps with the USMNT and has been a regular starter under Gregg Berhalter. 

Thomas Chacon

Not the name you were expecting, right? 

Chacon, 20, has been on the outside looking in for playing time since arriving at Minnesota United FC during the summer of 2019, playing just 257 minutes over a season and a half. The Loons have hoped to send him on loan to ensure he gets playing time, though nothing has surfaced. 

“We’re actively looking to getting him out on loan as we speak," head coach Adrian Heath said on December 11th. "Europe continues to play. Thomas has had an incredibly frustrating season. I don’t want to get to March where Thomas is here and not in the team. We want to get him on loan. We’ve been speaking to a couple clubs in Europe, we think we’re close on that. When the window opens in Europe in January, we’re hoping Thomas can get there and play.”

Minnesota were also public with their intent to get the Designated Player out on loan during the 2020 season, a move that never came to fruition.