The Daily KO - Hugo Lloris
What you need to know

Philadelphia Union re-sign defender Wagner

Kai Wagner is remaining with the Philadelphia Union, as the club announced Thursday the left back has signed a new deal through the 2026 MLS season with an option for 2027. The 26-year-old German defender was a free agent and reportedly generated transfer interest from back in Europe.

FC Cincinnati sign forward Baird

FC Cincinnati have added another significant free agent, announcing Thursday forward Corey Baird has signed through the 2025 MLS season with an option for 2026. Aside from Baird, who most recently played for Houston Dynamo FC, the Orange & Blue also added center back Miles Robinson in free agency. Robinson, a US men's national team regular, previously starred for Atlanta United.

Atlanta United sign defender Gregersen from Bordeaux

Atlanta United have acquired Norwegian international center back Stian Gregersen from French second-division side Bordeaux. Gregersen, a 28-year-old defender, is under contract through the 2027 MLS season with an option for 2028.

All-access Major League Soccer docuseries coming to Apple TV+

Apple TV+ and Major League Soccer announced on Thursday a first-of-its-kind, all-access docuseries exploring the spectacular and unpredictable world of soccer in North America, produced in partnership with acclaimed, award-winning filmmakers Box to Box Films (Apple’s “Make or Break,” “Formula 1: Drive to Survive”).

Vancouver Whitecaps sign forward Picault

Vancouver Whitecaps FC have signed a second free-agent forward before the 2024 MLS season, announcing Thursday Fafà Picault has joined the club. Picault, 32, last played for Nashville SC and is under contract through 2024 with an option for 2025. Earlier this winter, Vancouver also added former Real Salt Lake star Damir Kreilach.

Atlanta United loan Ibarra to Rosario Central

Atlanta United have loaned midfielder Franco Ibarra to Argentina Primera División side Rosario Central through the 2024 season. Ibarra, who originally joined Atlanta as a U22 Initiative signing in 2021 from boyhood club Argentinos Juniors, spent the second half of the 2023 campaign on loan at Toronto FC.

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The offseason (so far) Power Rankings

As a person who writes words on the internet for a living, I’m legally required to power rank something once a month or I’m banned forever by the people who control the internet. You do not want to make them mad. So let’s look at what teams have been doing this offseason and put them into tiers based on what truly matters to a place like The Daily Kickoff: Not how good or bad their offseason (so far) has been, but by how not bored they’ve made us.

Tier: Reading a transcript of someone else's HOA meeting
Oh, wow, Terry H. thinks trashcans should be placed next to the curb, not on it. Paul T. thinks sprinklers are too loud. Riveting.

Jáder Obrian and Stefan Cleveland are both certified MLS Guys, but Austin haven't really done anything exciting yet in Rodolfo Borrell’s first window at the helm.

Charlotte FC have signed as many players as you have this offseason. They did announce a new manager, but he’s not even the most famous guy with that name in North Carolina.

U22 attacker Enes Sali is kind of interesting. But other than that, it’s mostly been a mix of homegrowns and SuperDraft picks.

They re-signed Griffin Dorsey. That’s it. Let’s get this rolling Houston, there’s a DP spot to fill.

Getting sleepy…


So tired (until Cade Cowell goes to Chivas).....

Asleep (and unsure where Desamparados is).

The Wooden Spoon winners have a lot of work to do.

Tier: Mindlessly scrolling through algorithm-suggested videos
“No….no…no…why is that even there?…haha yeah, that’s pretty good…no…”

Grabbing Andrew Gutman is enough to at least make us perk up. There aren’t many players who play the wild card role more effectively. They also made a trade for the sometimes pretty effective Tom Barlow.

Keeping together the core of your MLS Cup-winning roster while making a smart signing in midfielder Derrick Jones and a high-upside signing in U22 midfielder Marino Hinestroza is so lame. We’re not here to be romantic about efficient, low-risk business practices. Trade Cucho for the discovery rights to a soccer-playing golden retriever or something, Columbus.

It’s been quiet. The biggest signing so far is defender Miki Yamane from Kawasaki Frontale. But I’m allowing myself to be a bit preemptive here. There are rumors out there of bigger moves on the way. Moves that might have the Galaxy playing to outscore teams 4-3 this season. That’s intriguing enough to be in the second tier.

They brought in new manager Laurent Courtois and made some very MLS trades for Raheem Edwards and Ruan.

Speaking of trades involving guys you probably know, Nashville brought in Dru Yearwood, McKinze Gaines and Tyler Boyd.

They would have been Tier One before yesterday, but a surprise move to bring back fullback Kai Wagner has them here. Now someone needs to take care of Alejandro Bedoya.

Bringing in Emil Forsberg rules, but that’s been it so far for the Red Bulls.

Phil Neville is in charge now and Kamal Miller is their newest starting center back. They’re one more move away from our next tier though.

Seattle are gunning for the next tier if they have another major signing up their sleeve. Winger Pedro de la Vega should officially arrive for around $7 million soon. The 23-year-old Argentinian isn’t your typical Sounders signing.

St. Louis are here for signing defenders from FC Midtjylland and BK Häcken.

Damir Kreilach and Fafa Picault are two very solid MLS signings for a very solid MLS team.

Tier: Going out despite not wanting to and then saying afterward "I'm glad I did that, I should go out more, I always enjoy it."
You will forget you said that the very next time someone asks you to do something, but this was fun.

The Five Stripes have made a move for a new starting goalkeeper in Josh Cohen, officially brought in Xande Silva long term, lost their starting center back in kind of spectacular fashion in free agency, brought in a new starting center back and made a move for MLS legend Dax McCarty. Throw in some U22 loans plus ongoing speculation around Thiago Almada’s future, and Atlanta have been a regular source of stuff to put in a daily MLS newsletter so far.

Swooping in to swipe Miles Robinson in the biggest free-agent move in MLS history would have had them here anyway. But they also shipped off star striker Brandon Vazquez earlier this week. Can Robinson replace Yerson Mosquera? Can anyone replace Vazquez?

Whoa, wait, remember when they traded for Aaron Herrera and Jared Stroud on the same day? I almost forgot somehow. That’s excellent MLS work. They also brought in U22 Gabriel Pirani for the long term and hired former Red Bulls interim Troy Lesesne to manage the team. I’d bet new GM Ally Mackay will make a few more moves before all is said and done too. They kind of have to. Thirteen players from last year's roster are no longer with the team.

The move to bring in Tomas Chancalay for good on a DP deal was the right one. The move to bring in goalkeeper Henrich Ravas was probably just them signing the next great MLS shotstopper because that’s just what they do. What really put the Revs over the top, though, was bringing Caleb Porter back into the fold. It’s MLS Cup or bust for New England.

The Lions had a will they/won’t they/they’d be crazy not to mini-saga with Oscar Pareja that ended with Pareja staying in Orlando. They followed it up by locking in Wilder Cartagena, Ivan Angulo and Facundo Torres long-term. And they’ve brought in Nico Lodeiro to see what the MLS legend has in the tank. Effective and entertaining work so far from the Lions.

Tier: MLS Cup 2022
How good was that game, right?

Luis Suarez. Julian Gressel.

If we were ranking each team one by one, the Rapids might have been at the top. The Chris Armas redemption arc is fascinating enough, but throwing in the Zack Steffen redemption arc and the Djordje Mihailovic redemption arc is almost overkill. They could be much improved this season. They could also end up being about the same. That’s why they’re ruling this winter window so far.

Signing Hugo Lloris! Fourteen players from the previous roster out of contract including five starters! A brewing saga over a European transfer request with their lone DP Denis Bouanga! LAFC will be in our top-tier before too long, I can feel it….actually, you know what, I thought about it, they’re in. Why delay the inevitable?

Sure, they’ve only re-signed Wil Trapp. But that’s what makes Minnesota an elite offseason team so far. They’ve only re-signed Wil Trapp because the new GM they hired back in November hasn’t technically joined the team yet, which may also be related to the fact they’re on their second interim manager of the offseason.

Other Things

San Jose Earthquakes re-sign midfielder Skahan: The San Jose Earthquakes have re-signed midfielder Jack Skahan through the 2025 MLS season with an option for 2026. Skahan originally joined San Jose via the 2020 MLS SuperDraft (No. 27 overall) after starring at the University of North Carolina. He has since made 29 MLS appearances (six starts), scoring two goals and recording one assist.

Real Salt Lake sign Barajas from Charleston Battery: Real Salt Lake have acquired Mexican youth international winger Fidel Barajas from USL Championship side Charleston Battery. To sign Barajas, RSL obtained the top spot in the MLS waiver order from Toronto FC. In exchange, they traded $50,000 in 2024 General Allocation Money (GAM) and the No. 17 overall waiver position.

The Reading Rainbow
Full Time

Good luck out there. Work your way back.