What you need to know

LAFC sign goalkeeper Lloris from Tottenham Hotspur

LAFC have signed a World Cup-winning goalkeeper and longtime Premier League standout, announcing Saturday they have acquired Hugo Lloris from Tottenham Hotspur. Lloris is under contract with the Black & Gold through the 2024 MLS season with options for 2025 and 2026.

Kinda departs Sporting KC for Israeli club

Sporting Kansas City have officially opened a Designated Player spot. Attacking midfielder Gadi Kinda has joined Israeli Premier League side Maccabi Haifa FC.

Columbus sign midfielder Hinestroza from Pachuca

The Columbus Crew have continued adding to their MLS Cup-winning roster, announcing they've signed Colombian midfielder Marino Hinestroza as a U22 Initiative player. The 21-year-old arrives from Liga MX side Pachuca through the 2026 MLS season with an option for 2027. He will fill an international roster slot.

D.C. United acquire Pirani from Santos FC

Gabriel Pirani will remain at D.C. United, as the club announced Monday they have permanently acquired the attacking midfielder from Brazilian top-flight side Santos FC. Pirani, who occupies a U22 Initiative roster slot, is under contract through the 2025 MLS season with options for 2026 and 2027.

Vancouver Whitecaps sign Kreilach after RSL exit

Nashville SC acquire Boyd from LA Galaxy

Nashville SC have acquired US international winger Tyler Boyd from the LA Galaxy, the clubs announced Saturday. In the deal, LA receive two international roster spots (one each in 2024 and 2025) and $150,000 in General Allocation Money split evenly across the next two seasons. The Galaxy can also receive up to $625k in conditional GAM if Boyd meets certain performance metrics.

Sign up for The Daily Kickoff in your inbox! The Daily Kickoff is more than an article – it can be delivered to your email account as well.

Small Sided: Escaping holiday purgatory

It’s over. You have to wake up now. No more waking up at TIME and going to sleep at OTHER TIME with in-between periods of minimal activity while wearing sweatpants. The real world is hurtling toward us again.

The good news is the oncoming pain of reality signals an MLS season that’s rapidly approaching. Seriously, we’re closer than you think. Preseason starts in a couple of weeks. Teams only have about a month to send players out and bring new players in. This is real and it’s happening now. There’s a lot to come. But before what next happens, we need to catch up on the biggest news we missed over the last week.

Suárez in South Beach

This one had been coming. Rumors were floating for a while and no one had any real reason to doubt them. Once Inter Miami got Lionel Messi, any doubts about who the Herons could bring in and when they could do it got thrown out the window. Now, four stars from one of the best teams of the last decade have reunited in South Beach. Because of course they have.

Luis Suárez is one of the few players in the history of the sport where you can say something as hokey as “he’s a magician on the pitch, a true genius the likes of which we’ll never see again” and not deserve to be immediately wedgied. I’ve never seen a player so consistently make a decision absolutely no one else would while having the ability to turn that decision into something spectacular. You know how everyone’s favorite SNL cast is the one that they watched during their formative years? Well, Suárez’s 2013-14 season with Liverpool is my formative SNL cast. I watched Suárez carry that team on his back at the time I began to truly understand the sport. I’ll contend forever no one has ever or will ever be as good as that, even when there’s objective evidence I’m wrong.

But that season happened a decade ago. Suárez is entering his age-37 season. We’re not talking about the same player. We are talking about a player who can still produce, though. If you, like me, have only heard Suarez’s name come up the last couple of years in discussions about Inter Miami followed by discussions about his issues with knee pain, then you, like me, probably balked a bit at Inter Miami bringing him in. However, Suárez played 2,877 minutes last year for Grêmio in Brazil. In those 2,877 minutes, Suarez scored 17 times and delivered 11 assists.

Look, I think it’s fair to worry about what the effects of travel, schedule congestion and age are going to do to Suárez and a decent chunk of Inter Miami’s key players this year. But when Suárez is on the field, he’ll still be capable of magic at a moment’s notice. The challenge for Tata Martino and the club as a whole is finding a way to ensure their key players will be on the field to produce those moments in the moments that truly matter. If they can make it happen, multiple trophies are on the table based on their firepower in attack alone.

Of course, their firepower in attack might feel awfully alone. It’s hard to be convinced the Herons are going to put up much of a fight defensively. Adding star wingback Julian Gressel in free agency (like they’re rumored to do) won’t exactly change that reality. I’m not complaining about watching a team win 6-3 each week, but I am wondering if I should be slightly anxious about this team’s ability to win consistently over the course of a lengthy and travel-heavy MLS season. Suárez’s inclusion in that picture only makes it more fascinating to try and decipher.

Lloris in LA

I felt a little anxious about the Suárez signing. When the rumors of Hugo Lloris to LAFC came around, I really started sweating. A part of me assumed they’d simply re-sign Maxime Crépeau and call it a day. Lloris, 37 and on the downswing of his career, is not the sure MLS bet Crépeau seems to be, even after his injury.

What made me really nervous for LAFC’s sake, though, was the thought of them spending big money (by MLS cap terms) to bring in Lloris. The train of thought went something like, “Oh man, what if teams are really going to try and copy the Roman Bürki signing and start making well-known keepers TAM and DP guys.” Then Kevin Baxter of the LA Times reported the details of Lloris’ contract. One year, $350k. Oh.

Who knows how LAFC convinced Lloris to take that deal, but it sure seems like a steal. Yeah, Lloris is on the downswing of his career, but there’s plenty of reason a player as talented as him can be highly valuable at $350k. And if it doesn’t work out, the contract can just be over. Simple enough, right? LAFC and John Thorrington have pulled off something pretty shocking here. Again.

Kinda out of Kansas

Gadi Kinda is leaving SKC. Injuries and totally-fine-but-not-outstanding production kept him from ever living up to his DP tag in his four seasons with the team. From when he arrived in 2020 to his departure last week, Kinda started just 48 games.

Other things

Austin FC sign goalkeeper Cleveland: Austin FC have signed free-agent goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland through the 2025 MLS season with an option for 2026. Cleveland, 29, joins Austin after serving as Stefan Frei’s primary backup at Seattle Sounders FC from 2020-23. Since entering MLS in 2017 as a Chicago Fire FC draft pick, he’s kept four shutouts in ​​29 games.

New York City FC sign 15-year-old homegrown forward Yañez: New York City FC have signed homegrown forward Zidane Yañez through the 2028 MLS season with an option for 2029. The 15-year-old is the 13th homegrown signing in NYCFC history.

Minnesota United loan Bristow to Stockport County: Minnesota United FC have loaned defender Ethan Bristow to EFL League Two side Stockport County FC for the 2024 season. The 22-year-old left back, who joined the Loons from Tranmere Rovers FC midway through last season, made 12 all-competition appearances (MLS and Leagues Cup) in 2023 with Minnesota.

The Reading Rainbow
Full Time

Good luck out there. Get the band back together.