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What you need to know

DC United sign Iraq international defender Jeahze

D.C. United have signed Iraq national team defender Mohanad Jeahze from Swedish top-flight side Hammarby IF. The 25-year-old joins through the 2025 MLS season with an option for 2026. The deal used Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).

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Small-sided: Some early morning scoops

Some mornings you wake up with an MLS newsletter and nothing to talk about. Other mornings you wake up with an MLS newsletter and nothing to talk about, then Tom “Merry Scoopmas” Bogert gets online and decides to clue the world in on two big moves in the works. I’m forever grateful. And you should be too. We were going to be stuck talking about the four-year anniversary of Atlanta United winning MLS Cup or something. 

To be clear, these moves are not official yet, but they are worth discussing.

1
Cabral to Colorado?

I am glad we got to talk about Kevin Cabral a few days ago before this move potentially goes down. It’s a solid primer for how to process it. Because as much as Cabral has notably looked clumsy in his attempts to finish in front of goal, he’s piled up a ton of solid chances along the way. And as much as he’s piled up solid chances, he’s looked seriously clumsy in front of goal. 

There you go. That’s the entire thesis for both sides of this deal here. LA can move on from a player that simply hasn’t been productive enough and open up a DP spot to fill before their transfer ban kicks in in the summer. Colorado can pick up a player on the cheap with a lot of potential. 

In a lot of ways, it’s kind of a perfect Colorado signing, isn’t it? Robin Fraser and the Rapids have a knack for getting the best out of guys who need a change of scenery. In fact, sometimes it feels like they only get players in that mold, but at least it’s an ethos? 

Anyway, I’m saying you shouldn’t be all that surprised if Cabral comes good should he move to Colorado. Like we talked about the other day, he finished second in the league when it comes to underperforming his xG. All he has to do is regress back to somewhere near just below average when it comes to finishing chances and we’re talking about a winger with double-digit goal potential. He’ll at least get plenty of opportunities to course correct in Colorado. It’s worth a shot, right?

2
Zardes to Austin?

This one isn’t quite as concrete it seems, but there’s a high, high percentage chance we see Gyasi Zardes in verde next season. It makes a ton of sense. 

Across stints with Columbus and Colorado last season, Zardes put up 10 goals and 2 assists. Those are solid numbers, but maybe not quite numbers you’d want from a DP. The good news for Austin is that Zardes will be coming on a free agent deal and (barring some unforeseen moves with Austin’s current DPs) very likely won’t take up a DP spot. They’ve just improved on a position of slight need without having to break the bank. In MLS, those kinds of moves can be critical. 

Now they’ll be able to put either Zardes or Maxi Urruti up top to lead the line. Both offer different skillsets and are coming off years with decent production. They’re guys with proven MLS value. And Austin should feel very comfortable with their attacking front for the foreseeable future…although they would probably feel even better if they can get DP winger Emiliano Rigoni to prove a little more MLS value next season. But hey, Zardes should make things easier for everyone up top in Austin.

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Other Things

Houston Dynamo sign forward Achara: Houston Dynamo FC have signed forward Ifunanyachi Achara for the 2023 MLS season with an option for 2024. After last featuring for Toronto FC, the 25-year-old Nigeria native was picked by Houston in Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft. That process occurred on Nov. 22. Achara has three goals and two assists in 30 games (11 starts) since Toronto picked him in the first round of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.

2022 adidas MLS College Showcase to feature 44 top college prospects: Major League Soccer announced the third-ever adidas MLS College Showcase will take place from Dec. 9-12 in Raleigh, North Carolina in conjunction with the 2022 NCAA Men’s College Cup and in advance of the 2023 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas on Dec. 21.

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Good luck out there. Be well-rounded.

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