MLS 2021 offseason snapshots: Transfer news, latest moves and projected lineups for every club

EDITOR'S NOTE: It’s a busy time in MLS with the offseason in full swing and we’ve got you covered on all 27 teams as they continue preparations for 2021. Here you’ll find team-by-team breakdowns including their transfer dealings so far, what’s next, the latest rumors are and ever-evolving Week One projected XIs. This post is regularly updated.


Incomings and outgoings. Silly season never stops, nor does building for 2021.

Teams have been hard at work curating their squads, but there’s still plenty of time for clubs to make big changes so keep in mind it’s a work in progress.

For many teams please – and it cannot be stressed enough – don't place much stock into the projected XI at this very early stage.


ATL

Atlanta United

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: Atlanta traded away their No. 5 overall selection in the 2021 SuperDraft, but selected center back Josh Bauer in the second round and signed winger Machop Chol to a homegrown deal. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): The biggest news for Atlanta is sorted, with Gabriel Heinze appointed as head coach. The rising Argentine manager was a candidate many hoped to see with the club after Tata Martino stepped away two years ago, but he's here now. Next is sorting further additions that fit his style.

Biggest question/hole: Rather than focus on the roster, the biggest question is how quickly Atlanta can return to the ethos that guided their first few seasons: entertaining, aggressive, front-foot soccer? Having Josef Martinez back healthy after his ACL tear will help with that a lot, too.

Rumors have it: Atlanta are reported to have signed veteran forward Lisandro Lopez on a one-year, minimum contract. He'd add depth behind Martinez and help foster the culture Heinze is looking to create. Also: The club acquired Andrew Gutman's MLS rights in the Re-Entry Draft, but he's still a Celtic player. Keep an eye on that situation. 

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Guzan; Escobar, Robinson, Meza, Bello; Remedi, Hyndman, Moreno; Damm, Martinez, Barco


ATX

Austin FC

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: It was a busy week for Austin, surprisingly taking midfielder Danny Pereira with the SuperDraft's No. 1 pick (as well as Freddy Kleemann and Aedan Stanley in the first round). They then signed free agent winger Kekuta Manneh.

Transfer window analysis (so far): Austin are still in the middle of building the inaugural roster and have added some solid pieces from within the league. Alex Ring, Nick Lima and Matt Besler will be stalwarts and leaders of the team, three consistent and proven products in MLS. They've only begun to dip into the international market with Rodney Redes, Cecilio Dominguez and Jhohan Romana, so expect more on that front moving forward.

Biggest question/hole: TBD, still developing. They have some semblance of a starting XI already, but have plenty of space for more key players. The same goes for the projected XI below, of course. Will they make a big splash with the No. 10 spot? 

Rumors have it: Austin are reportedly interested in signing another player from Club Guarani, this time midfielder Jose Florentin. The club have already signed two players from Guarani (Redes, Romana) and sent Dominguez there on loan.

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Tarbell; Lima, Romana, Besler, Sweat; Ring, Pereira, Fagundez; Redes, Hoesen, Dominguez


CHI

Chicago Fire FC

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: The Fire didn't make a first-round selection at the SuperDraft, though took Jackson Ragen and Christian Pinzon in the second round. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): The last two offseason have been polar opposites. In 2020, the club had a rebrand, then hired a new front office and coaching staff before making a huge number of additions, many of whom arrived long after preseason started. This year? They retained most of that squad and have already made four signings, plus traded Djordje Mihailovic to Montreal. The squad continues to get younger, too. In addition to Duran, the club have added forward Chinonso Offor (age 20), defender Jhon Espinoza (21) and winger Stanislav Ivanov (21). 

The Fire also made a move for next season, adding 17-year-old Colombian youth international forward Jhon Duran. He'll join for 2022 after he turns 18. He's the youngest international signing in league history and was being tracked by the likes of Villarreal, Club Brugge and other European clubs, sources tell MLSsoccer.com  

Biggest question/hole: Can Ignacio Aliseda pick up the creative slack left behind by Mihailovic? Chicago's other two DPs (Robert Beric and Gaston Gimenez) have been strong contributors as was expected for the in-prime players, though Aliseda took a bit longer to settle in. The youngster has talent and will get plenty of chances in 2021.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Kronholm; Espinoza, Pineda, Calvo, Bornstein; Gimenez, Medran; Ivanov, Aliseda, Frankowski; Beric


FCC

FC Cincinnati

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: FC Cincinnati selected forward Calvin Harris with the No. 2 overall pick at the SuperDraft, a forward who starred at Wake Forest. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): Cincy acquired fullback Ronald Matarrita from NYCFC, checking one big box off the to-do list, getting a written-in-pen starter at left back for the foreseeable future after Andrew Gutman departed. He wasn't cheap, but he's been one of the league's best attacking fullbacks for a few seasons and is an in-prime Costa Rican international. Those players aren't cheap.

Biggest question/hole: Cincy are in need of a few key players this offseason, though perhaps none more pressing than a creative presence in the midfield. GM Gerard Nijkamp told media they're "looking for a high-profile DP, a decision-maker" when asked about signing a DP No. 10. They have the roster flexibility to open at least one DP spot. Beyond that, they have a big decision to make on DP striker Jurgen Locadia's future, as his loan expires in the summer.

Rumors have it: FC Cincinnati were negotiating with Flamengo over Brazilian youth international forward Lincoln, but he ultimately joined Japanese club Vissel Kobe. Cincy have also been linked with World Cup winner Lukas Podolski, who is now 35. 

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Tyton; Gyau, van der Werff, Petterson, Matarrita; Mokotjo, Medunjanin, Amaya; Barreal, Locadia, Kubo


COL

Colorado Rapids

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: In perhaps the steal of the SuperDraft, Colorado traded up to acquire the No. 3 overall pick and chose highly-regarded Philip Mayaka. EVP & GM Padraig Smith calls the tenacious midfielder a top young talent. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): The big news was trading for Michael Barrios from FC Dallas, as Colorado added the pacey winger for an international roster spot and 2021 SuperDraft pick swap. Barrios had five goals and 15 assists in 2019, and while he didn't enjoy the same statistical success in 2020, he was tied for fifth in MLS in chances created from open play. He joins a deep winger group alongside Jonathan Lewis, Nicolas Benezet and Braian Galvan, while Younes Namli and Andre Shinyashiki can play there as well.

They also inked Auston Trusty, Lalas Abubakar and Jonathan Lewis to new contracts this winter. All three players were acquired via intra-league trades when they weren't getting a ton of playing time at their respective clubs. All three are part of the Rapids' core.

Biggest question/hole: The Rapids have a strong base and room to add another difference-maker or two. What positions will they be targeting? They believe in Andre Shinyashiki and Diego Rubio at center forward, but they are the only two natural strikers on the roster. Cole Bassett's future is another storyline to watch. The rising US youth international has plenty of suitors in Europe.

Rumors have it: No smoke around the Rapids just yet, though they announced in their end-of-season update they're in negotiations with Club Leon over a deal for goalkeeper William Yarbrough. Will they get a deal done?

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Irwin; Rosenberry, Abubakar, Trusty, Vines; Price, Acosta, Bassett; Barrios, Rubio, Namli


CLB

Columbus Crew SC

Updated: Fri., Jan. 15 @ 3 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: The reigning MLS Cup champions took defender Justin Malou with the SuperDraft's final first-round pick.

Transfer window analysis (so far): The Crew are returning their core and didn’t have a ton of work to do, but had a plan that has already been executed. They wanted to target the free-agent market to improve their quality and depth, then went out and signed Kevin Molino and Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Molino was probably the best free agent available, and the winger slots into their XI opposite Pedro Santos, another outlet for goal contributions in an already strong attack. He can also play as a No. 10 when Lucas Zelarayan needs a rest or is unavailable. Meanwhile, getting BWP as Gyasi Zardes’ backup/insurance is a fine move in its own right. The 35-year-old passed the eye test with LAFC and filled up the box score: He had eight goals and six assists in 1,085 MLS minutes. He’s got something left in the tank. Zardes is expected to spend time with the US national team next summer, so Wright-Phillips will get plenty of minutes. 

Biggest question/hole: There really aren't any! Backup forward would have been the answer, but BWP has arrived, same with another wing option to join Luis Diaz/Pedro Santos/Derrick Etienne with the Molino signing. Perhaps its depth behind the fullbacks, but Waylon Francis was re-signed. The reigning champs are well-stocked all across the pitch with young players like Aidan Morris, Aboubacar Keita and others pushing the starters. Run it back for 2021.

Rumors have it: All quiet on the rumor mill.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Room; Afful, Mensah, Wormgoor, Valenzuela; Artur, Nagbe; Molino, Zelarayan, Santos; Zardes


DAL

FC Dallas

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: The Bryan Reynolds saga continues to unfold, as sources told MLSsoccer.com now AS Roma are in pole position to sign the fullback.

Transfer window analysis (so far): It's been a busy winter for Dallas. While Reynolds' future gained most of the attention, Dallas traded longtime winger Michael Barrios to the Rapids, then signed wingers Freddy Vargas and Jader Obrien, as well as former Kentucky standout Kalil ElMedkhar after acquiring his homegrown rights from the Union. They even got back Brazilian youth international GK Phelipe, as well as defender Bressan, and landed center back Jose Antonio Martinez from Spain. 

Biggest question/hole: If and when Reynolds does leave, they'll need a long-term solution at right back. There are some whispers that Ema Twumasi will be that guy, and Dallas also have Eddie Munjoma, but they'll need to sort that. Paxton Pomykal's health, once again, is a big question as well. Are they good with their options out wide now or will there be more to come?

Rumors have it: All focus has been on Reynolds. Dallas also have sent six players to go train with Bayern Munich for their annual offseason trip to Bavaria.

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Maurer; Hollingshead, Hedges, Martinez, Nelson; Santos, Tessmann, Ricaurte; Obrian, Jara, Vargas


DC

D.C. United

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: At long last, D.C. United have found their next head coach. Argentine manager Hernan Losada has officially been appointed from Belgian club Beerschot. D.C. then picked twice in the SuperDraft's top five picks, adding forward Kimarni Smith and defender Michael DeShields. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): It all starts and ends with the coaching search. Losada gets the gig after a widespread search linking a number of domestic options (Chris Armas, Sounders assistant Gonzalo Pineda and World Cup-winning former USWNT boss Jill Ellis), as well as plenty from abroad (Losada, Alexander Zorniger and more). 

Losada is the youngest active head coach in the league at the moment. He helped guide Beerschot to promotion to the Belgian top flight and promises high-energy, vertical soccer. 

Biggest question/hole: With Losada in charge, the player acquisition side of D.C.'s offseason can push forward in earnest. They still have some strong talent on this roster, headlined by Edison Flores, Paul Arriola and Julian Gressel, and will look to accentuate that core in Losada's vision. Gressel is no stranger to "high-energy, vertical soccer" during his time with Atlanta United under Tata Martino. But what formation does Losada favor? Where do all the pieces fit? 

The squad still needs a permanent solution at right back, at least. Maybe another defensive midfielder. 

Rumors have it: The Mesut Ozil reports were back ... but they did not end with Ozil in MLS. Also: Paul Arriola is a target for Swansea City, sources confirmed to MLSsoccer.com, the same Championship club that just signed Jordan Morris. They have until the end of the month to find a deal before the transfer window closes. 

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Hamid; Canouse, Brillant, Birnbaum, Mora; Moreno, Gressel, Flores; Arriola, Kamara, Asad


HOU

Houston Dynamo FC

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: It was a big week for Houston. The Dynamo acquired center back Tim Parker in a trade with the New York Red Bulls, as well as forward Maxi Urruti from CF Montreal (for Kiki Struna) and midfielder Derrick Jones from Nashville SC. They traded back in the SuperDraft and selected at No. 6, where they got Generation adidas center back Ethan Bartlow. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): This winter was finally the time for Mauro Manotas' run in Houston to come to an end. The Colombian forward had long been rumored with a move abroad after becoming a club-favorite. The Dynamo got a decent return for him and have a number of attacking options already acquired in preparation for life without Manotas and Alberth Elis.

Some familiar MLS faces have new homes in Houston. Parker, Urruti, Jones, Fafa Picault and Joe Corona all head to Houston in intra-MLS moves. Parker is probably the biggest get of the bunch, as defensive reinforcements are greatly welcomed for Tab Ramos' side.

Biggest question/hole: The Dynamo did fine in creating chances and scoring goals in 2020, though struggled defensively. A number of changes are underway with departures on that side of the squad. Expect the focus on defensive additions, even in addition to Parker and Bartlow.

Rumors have it: Not much at the moment. What-- Three additions via trade this week on top of the SuperDraft wasn't enough?!

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Maric; Lundkvist, Parker, Bartlow, Valentin; Vera, Corona, Rodriguez; Quintero, Ramirez, Lassiter


LAFC

LAFC

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: LAFC officially acquired center back Jesus Murillo on a permanent deal, as first reported by MLSsoccer.com. They took attacker Daniel Trejo with their first-round SuperDraft selection. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): LAFC have done a bit of maneuvering, headlined by adding US international attacker Corey Baird and South Korean international right back Kim Moon-hwan. 

Baird was a surprising and intriguing addition, as the explosive forward is entering his prime. He spent three years at RSL, winning Rookie of the Year in 2018, and can play across all spots on the front line. He also adds insurance should one of Diego Rossi or Brian Rodriguez be transferred this winter. 

But getting Jesus David Murillo back might have been most important. The Colombian center back transitioned seamlessly during his first few months in MLS and formed a strong partnership with Eddie Segura. Moon could be a big addition at right back, while there's time for Baird to grow as he enters his prime and fits into their system.

Biggest question/hole: The attack is still stacked, so much so that even without Carlos Vela for most of the season and some rotation at center forward, they were a force. The defense has been fortified with Murillo, Moon and Marco Farfan. Maybe another natural center forward? 

Rumors have it: I'm sure by the time I'm done typing this sentence there'll be another team reportedly interested in Rossi, Rodriguez, Atuesta or Blessing, so, keep refreshing Twitter for those.

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Vermeer; Moon, Murillo, Segura, Palacios; Atuesta, Kaye, Blessing; Vela, Musovski, Rossi


LA

LA Galaxy

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: With Greg Vanney hired as head coach, the Galaxy got left back Josh Drack with their first-round SuperDraft pick and signed a handful of academy products this week.

Transfer window analysis (so far): Prior to appointing Vanney, the Galaxy cleared as much cap/roster flexibility they realistically could. They still had as few as 13 (!) players under contract for 2021 to start the offseason, but have gone about filling some spots. Goalkeepers Jonathan Bond and Jonathan Klinsmann have arrived, while Jorge Villafana adds MLS experience to a backline that struggled to keep goals out. 

Biggest question/hole: Will Cristian Pavon be returning in 2021? That's the big focus. Pavon was among the league's most talented players, but returned to Boca Juniors after his loan ended with no permanent agreement sorted yet. If not, it's hugely important they use that DP spot effectively.

In general, though, it's finally fixing a leaky defense that has plagued the club for more than a few seasons. Villafana and Bond is a good start.

Rumors have it: All eyes are on the Pavon updates... which have dried up a bit of late.

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Bond; Araujo, DePuy, Steres, Villafana; dos Santos, Kljestan, Lletget; Alvarez, Chicharito, Dunbar


MIA

Inter Miami CF

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: The final coaching vacancy in the league is filled, as Phil Neville takes over in Miami. The first order of business for Neville and new sporting director Chris Henderson was the SuperDraft, where they selected Josh Penn and Aime Mabika in the first round.

Transfer window analysis (so far): After one year, Miami have a new technical staff. Henderson is their chief soccer officer and Neville the head coach, taking over for Paul McDonough and Diego Alonso, respectively. They get started a bit later in the offseason, given their final 2020 match was just under three months ago. Expect some news to come now that it's all official. 

As for players, it's been much more about outgoings than incomings for Miami so far, moving on from the likes of Wil Trapp, Andres Reyes, Luis Robles and many others from their disappointing expansion campaign. The club did re-sign Brek Shea, who worked his way back from a long-term injury to be the club's second-leading scorer in 2020. They also traded for Red Bulls' 2020 SuperDraft first-round selection Patrick Seagrist, who adds another body at left back after Ben Sweat departed.

Biggest question/hole: What tactics does Neville favor, how will Henderson shape the roster he inherits? Can Neville get the most out of big Argentine investments Matias Pellegrini and Julian Carranza? Will we see the best of Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi in 2021? 

Rumors have it: The rumors follow this team everywhere. Here's a pro tip: Don't get worked up about it until it becomes official or someone you trust the most reports it. If not, you'll spend all day in a cycle of reading false rumors.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): McCarthy; Nealis, Figal, Gonzalez Pirez, Shea; Ulloa, Matuidi; Morgan, Pizarro, Pellegrini; Higuain


MIN

Minnesota United FC

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: Minnesota were busy during the SuperDraft, drafting Justin McMaster and Nabi Kibunguchy. Minnesota have had success in the draft in recent years, with Mason Toye, Hassani Dotson and Chase Gasper all selected by the club. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): Not much to discuss for Minnesota outside of signing Wil Trapp, who should be a useful addition at the base of midfield alongside Jan Gregus or Dotson (or both, when they want a more defensive midfield trio). Meanwhile, Kevin Molino announced his goodbye to Minnesota, and was promptly scooped up by Crew SC. He had nine goals and four assists in 19 regular-season appearances and another four goals in the playoffs.

Biggest question/hole: Currently it's center forward, with just one forward on the roster (Foster Langsdorf, hence why he's currently in the projected XI below). They hoped to sort a return for Luis Amarilla, but the Paraguayan signed at Ecuadorian side LDU Quito. Now they have a big need up top, and had already planned another addition on top of Amarilla if he returned. They can buy down Gregus' cap hit to open one DP spot and plan to loan out Thomas Chacon, which would open another. Emanuel Reynoso has been a huge success since joining. Can they strike gold again with another DP of his ilk?

Rumors have it: There haven't been much outside of Amarilla. 

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): St. Clair; Metanire, Opara, Dibassy, Gasper; Trapp, Gregus; Finlay, Reynoso, Lod; Langsdorf


MTL

CF Montréal

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: Montreal unveiled their new name and logo earlier this month, then didn't pick until round No. 3 of the SuperDraft. They did acquire center back Kiki Struna from Houston when trading away Maxi Urruti. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): Montreal's trade for Djordje Mihailovic represents their biggest move thus far, acquiring another MLS-experienced youngster for a significant bag of GAM. The club definitely needed more chance creators in attack, particularly after Saphir Taider left. Plus, Mihailovic can play as a No. 10 or an inverted winger, giving Thierry Henry tactical flexibility.

Elsewhere, Struna is a nice pickup to a backline in need of reinforcements. Urruti never seemed to quite fit Henry's tactics and they have a number of options up top now. They have also signed a handful of homegrowns. Will any break into the rotation this year?

Biggest question/hole: What formation and style does Henry want to play? That's the first question that needs sorting. He started preseason last year in a back four, hoping to play on the front foot, but ended up scrapping that for a back five that was most effective on the counter. Was it solely due to personnel and maximizing the group he largely inherited? We'll see.

As for the players at his disposal, Montreal currently have only one DP spot occupied (Victor Wanyama). Two more DPs could really raise the level of the squad. Central defense will need an addition or two, as well.

Rumors have it: Not much in the transfer market lately. 

Projected XI (3-4-2-1, right to left): Diop; Camacho, Struna, Binks; Brault-Guillard, Wanyama, Piette, Mustafa; Mihailovic, Quioto; Toye


NSH

Nashville SC

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: Nashville traded midfielder Derrick Jones to Houston and loaned Miguel Nazarit to Colombian side Santa Fe. In the SuperDraft, they made five selections. Which will make the team?

Transfer window analysis (so far): Nothing major incoming yet, which speaks to how well their inaugural season went, though a handful of late-summer signings were acquired with 2021 in mind as Jhonder Cadiz and Handwalla Bwana head to their first full season with the club.

Biggest question/hole: Scoring more goals has become a trope for a year with this team, though they didn't have a ton of trouble scoring down the stretch. Also, neither Cadiz nor Bwana made a regular-season start after arriving,  so they have more to add to the attack (as well as reportedly another key acquisition). They could use some fullback depth, though.

Rumors have it: Uruguayan youth international attacker Rodrigo Pineiro should be on the way. His soon-to-be-former club Danubio has already announced his departure in December.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Willis; Johnston, Zimmerman, Romney, Lovitz; McCarty, Godoy; Muyl, Mukhtar, Leal; Cadiz


NE

New England Revolution

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: The Revs and left back Alexander Buttner mutually agreed to part ways after just one season. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): New England needed an addition in midfield and got it early this transfer window in 24-year-old former Barcelona center mid Wilfried Kaptoum. That group will be boosted by Luis Caicedo returning to fitness, in addition to 2020 midseason signing Matt Polster. With Tommy McNamara coming back as well, that aspect of the depth chart appears set. Christian Mafla replaces Buttner seamlessly, while A.J. DeLaGarza and Ema Boateng add depth. 

Biggest question/hole: The Revs seemingly have their first-choice centerback pairing set in Henry Kessler and Andrew Farrell, but after contract decisions, they are light in depth. Colin Verfurth is the only other natural center back on the squad. With Cristian Penilla departing, there's room for another left winger to boost an already-strong attack as well.

Rumors have it: Not much lately.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Turner; Bye, Farrell, Kessler, Mafla; Polster, Kaptoum; Gil, Bou, Bunbury; Buksa


NYC

New York City FC

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: Quieter week than most for NYCFC, who weren't too active in the SuperDraft nor elsewhere. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): NYCFC are stockpiling assets, though lost two written-in-pen starters in the process. They sent captain Alex Ring to Austin FC for up to $1.25 million GAM before the Ronald Matarrita trade to Cincy. With one of the best scouting networks in MLS (and in the world, CFG is well-respected and wide-ranging), it's an exciting time for the club. They are set in central midfield even without Ring, with a starting trio of James Sands, Keaton Parks and Maxi Moralez already among the top groups in MLS. They also...

Biggest question/hole: ... have two open DP spots in addition to the vast reserve of GAM. It's a huge offseason for sporting director David Lee and head coach Ronny Deila, as the pair truly get to remake the squad in their vision. They have talent all over the pitch. Where will they invest to hopefully push the team to their first trophy and how do they lessen their reliance on Moralez, who turns 34 in February?

Rumors have it: City Football Group signed hugely talented Uruguayan youth international Santiago Rodriguez, and reports say he's coming to NYCFC on loan. Former winger Gary Mackay-Steven has officially found his next club, signing with Hearts in Scotland.

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Johnson; Tinnerholm, Callens, Chanot, Thorarinsson; Sands, Parks, Moralez; Tajouri-Shradi, Heber, Castellanos


RBNY

New York Red Bulls

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: The Red Bulls picked up Syracuse forward Luther Archimede in the first round of the SuperDraft, but the big news was some shifting on the backline: RBNY signed former Inter Miami center back Andres Reyes and traded Tim Parker to Houston. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): Reyes in and Parker out is the club's lone major shift this winter thus far. Reyes is a Colombian youth international and had some moments, but ultimately not enough for Miami to pick up his purchase option after playing there on loan in 2020. Parker has been in and out of the team a bit of late, so a trade isn't hugely surprising. 

The Red Bulls appointed Gerhard Struber as head coach in the fall, then he made his MLS coaching debut in the team's playoff loss to the Columbus Crew. They also sent Mathias Jorgensen on loan to Danish club AGF, who hold a purchase option for the young forward.

Biggest question/hole: With Struber, the Red Bulls are streamlining their high-pressing ethos. His Barnsley team was near tops in the English Championship for defensive actions up the field and would expect more of the same in New York. They have plenty of flexibility, both by way of roster designations and salary cap, for a number of key additions. It should be a fun winter.

What formation will Struber play most? If it's a 3-5-2 as he did at times in England, then they're going to need another center back. Probably need some more additions up top, too. 

Rumors have it: RBNY are linked with a Stoke City right back and Kaku has been linked with a move away from the Red Bulls once again, most notably to Club Tijuana.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Meara; Duncan, Reyes, Long, Pendant; Davis, Casseres Jr.; Clark, Kaku, Royer; White


ORL

Orlando City SC

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: Orlando signed goalkeeper Brandon Austin on loan from Tottenham. Pedro Gallese could miss time with the Peruvian national team this season. They also made three first-round selections at the SuperDraft, but check out Travis Clark's grade for their draft.

Transfer window analysis (so far): The Lions took a giant step forward in 2020 as one of the Eastern Conference's best clubs, so it was imperative that on-loan players returned on permanent deals for 2021. Antonio Carlos, Alexander Alvarado, Andres Perea and Rodrigo Schlegel all saw their purchase options picked up. It's already been a successful offseason and there's more to come.

Biggest question/hole: Orlando don't have many obvious holes, with a number of strong attackers behind Daryl Dike's emergence, but Dom Dwyer's departure did open up a DP spot. Will the club use that on another attacker? Meanwhile, Kamal Miller departing in the Expansion Draft opens a need for some defensive depth. 

Rumors have it: Not too much around Orlando of late. 

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Gallese; Ruan, Antonio Carlos, Jansson, Moutinho; Rosell, Junior Urso; Mueller, Pereyra, Nani; Dike


PHI

Philadelphia Union

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: A tradition unlike any other, the Union once again traded away all of their SuperDraft selections this year. They're all-in on their academy. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): After winning the club's first-ever trophy, Brenden Aaronson (officially) departed for RB Salzburg and Mark McKenzie wasn't far behind to KRC Genk. The homegrown duo got sold for significant fees, marking tremendous and historic business for the club. They're doing fantastic in that regard, but they have to replace those rising stars (with some combination of internal and external options). They have to keep doing this over and over to take their reputation to another level.

Left back stalwart Kai Wagner signed a contract extension, dousing rumors that he might be in line for a move to England or Germany this winter. He's been among the league's top left backs over the last two seasons. It was a surprising bit of positive news.

Biggest question/hole: Which Homegrown signings are ready to make contributions immediately and which ones are more for the future? It won't be easy replacing Aaronson and McKenzie, two nailed-on starters who were named to Best XI last year. It'd be realistic to expect at least one center back to arrive, an attacking midfielder and a forward to be brought in this winter.

Rumors have it: Not much in the rumor mill just yet.

Projected XI (4-4-2 tight diamond, right to left): Blake; Gaddis, Elliott, Glesnes, Wagner; Martinez; Bedoya, Monteiro; Fontana; Przybylko, Santos


POR

Portland Timbers

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: Portland have officially sealed a permanent deal with Pumas UNAM for Felipe Mora to return and didn't have a first-round SuperDraft pick.

Transfer window analysis (so far): The Timbers got several deals done early this window to help the constant salary cap gymnastics to fit other additions. They generated GAM by trading Farfan (to LAFC), Julio Cascante (to Austin) and an international slot (to NYCFC). They opened cap space by trading Villafana. So far they've signed Argentine Claudio Bravo, a player they believe to be comparable to the top left backs in the league, and re-signed Larrys Mabiala. They're two important moves for the backline.

As the Mora move becomes official, it's a nice piece of business to keep a key contributor. Mora was on loan in 2020, notching seven goals and two assists in 1,204 minutes. With Jaroslaw Niezgoda out until around midseason, Portland will be well covered up top with Mora and Jeremy Ebobisse. 

Biggest question/hole: The club will need further additions on the backline, since they're without any backup fullbacks at the moment. In attack, despite injuries to DPs Sebastian Blanco and Niezgoda, they're well covered for the beginning of the season as the pair rehab. But they'll hope Blanco (turning 33 in March) is the same player post-ACL tear and Valeri (turning 35 in May) continues to produce at the level he's accustomed to.

Rumors have it: Jeremy Ebobisse and Eryk Williamson are said to have European suitors, though not much on either player of late. There had been some puzzling rumors that they were interested in Radamel Falcao, though owner Merritt Paulson spiked those on Twitter. 

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Clark; Bonilla, Mabiala, Zuparic, Bravo; D. Chara, Williamson; Y. Chara, Valeri, Blanco; Ebobisse


RSL

Real Salt Lake

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: RSL picked Bret Halsey with the No. 7 overall SuperDraft selection, adding the Virginia product and Generation adidas signing to their defensive depth. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): With Real Salt Lake searching for new ownership, the front office is in a difficult spot when it comes to day-to-day decisions for next season. Signing Justen Glad to a contract extension was the first official piece of news, while forward Rubio Rubin is a low-risk flier on a 24-year-old former US international. Head coach Freddy Juarez will continue to search for the right combination of attacking pieces and a playoff return. 

Without Corey Baird (traded to LAFC), there's a hole in the attack. Perhaps we'll see the best of young DP Jeizon Ramirez in 2021? Or will Bobby Wood fill that hole?

Biggest question/hole: The attack has plenty of players, but who will step up alongside Albert Rusnak as key difference-makers? Can Ramirez seize that role? Is there a move lined up with the allocation received in the Baird trade? What will the offseason budget look like? There's so much uncertainty around the team at the moment.

Rumors have it: RSL have reportedly lined up a move for former US international Bobby Wood, though it's unclear whether he'll join immediately or in the summer. 

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Putna; Herrera, Glad, Silva, Toia; Everton Luiz, Kreilach; Ramirez, Rusnak, Meram; Rubin


SJ

San Jose Earthquakes

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: The Quakes got their No. 10, signing Chofis Lopez from Chivas, reuniting the midfielder with Matias Almeyda. They then selected forward Thomas Williamson No. 12 overall at the SuperDraft. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): After originally intending to retire after 2020, the goal king is back. Chris Wondolowski officially signed a one-year contract with his beloved Quakes, returning for another ride. Wondo returning is a feel-good story for most in MLS; it's always great to see legends stick around when they still can. He led the team in goals again last year! They also traded Homegrown right back Lima to Austin FC for $500,000 GAM, opening a need at fullback after the versatile Lima spent plenty of time at both right and left back.

Is Chofis the answer at No. 10? That'll go a long way into determining whether or not this winter was a success. 

Biggest question/hole: No. 10 was the big hole, but that's filled. Will they bring in another center forward to alleviate the burden on Wondo? 

Rumors have it: All quiet since Chofis was announced. 

Projected XI (4-4-2, right to left): Marcinkowski; Thompson, Jungwirth, Alanis, Lopez; Espinoza, Judson, Yueill, Fierro; Lopez, Wondolowski


SEA

Seattle Sounders

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: It's official: Jordan Morris has signed for English Championship side Swansea City on loan with an option to purchase. They sit second in the second tier, currently occupying an automatic promotion place. Seattle also sealed a return for Brazilian midfielder Joao Paulo. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): Two big moves for Seattle in-house: re-acquiring Joao Paulo on a permanent transfer and agreeing to a contract extension with Nico Lodeiro as the maestro was entering the final year of his contract. But Morris' departure brings up a number of questions in the attack, as he was among MLS's best wide forwards. 

Biggest question/hole: Down the spine, the Sounders remain strong with Stefan Frei, Yeimar Andrade, Joao Paulo, Cristian Roldan, Nico Lodeiro and Raul Ruidiaz. But they need a number of additions out wide, including right back and both wings.

It's never easy to keep championship teams together in a salary cap league, with all the performance-bonuses paid out amid the success and teams looking to sign your players. That's the case for Seattle, who have had their depth cut down a bit this offseason. 

Rumors have it: Seattle are reportedly close to signing Washington native Kelyn Rowe, giving them depth in midfield. 

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Frei; A. Roldan, Andrade, Arreaga, Smith; Joao Paulo, C. Roldan; Hopeau, Lodeiro, Dobbelaere; Ruidiaz


SKC

Sporting KC

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: Sporting signed a trio of homegrowns this week, then drafted Matt Constant late in the SuperDraft's second round. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): SKC's big (only) addition this winter has been French midfielder Remi Walter, a 25-year-old who can play in the No. 6 and No. 8 roles. He has extensive experience in the French top flight, though was a free agent.

Club legend Matt Besler departed after his contract expired, while the future of Felipe Gutierrez, Gerso Fernandes and others are up in the air. They hope to have an answer on Gutierrez soon, but talks with Gerso have ended after the winger rejected their offer. 

Biggest question/hole: How can the club replace Besler's presence in the locker room and on the backline? They conceded three goals in each of their two playoff games. There's also the future of homegrown midfielder Gianluca Busio. The US youth international has plenty of suitors abroad, while SKC rejected a bid from Fiorentina last winter. Will the right offer and opportunity come along?

Rumors have it: SKC have reportedly made an offer for Molde center back Stian Gregersen.

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Melia; Lindsey, Puncec, Smith, Martins; Ilie, Busio, Kinda; Russell, Pulido, Shelton


TOR

Toronto FC

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: Toronto's biggest decision of the offseason has been made: Chris Armas is officially the club's next head coach. This week, they took Maryland product Matt Di Rosa with the No. 25 pick in the SuperDraft. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): On the player side, all Toronto have announced were contract decisions, which included opening a DP spot by declining Pablo Piatti's option. Ali Curtis and Bill Manning have expressed that Piatti could return on a non-DP deal, which would be the best of both worlds for TFC if they can swing it. Curtis updated media on Jan. 14 that those conversations remain ongoing. 

Either way, opening another DP spot is big for the ambitious club.

Biggest question/hole: Toronto return the vast majority of their core from last year, sans Piatti. Curtis and Manning said the DP spot is likely earmarked for another key player in attack, so expect a big addition in that area of the field. They currently have six defenders under contract and zero natural left backs, so that's another piece to watch.

How will Armas put his stamp on this squad? He intends to focus on intensity and transition, plus some high pressing, but didn't promise to go all-in on that. 

Rumors have it: Not much on the DP search, but expect more to come out with Armas in charge now. They've also been linked with French defender Loick Landre.

Projected XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Westberg; Laryea, Gonzalez, Mavinga, Auro; Bradley, Delgado; Akinola, Pozuelo, Osorio; Altidore


VAN

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Updated: Fri., Jan. 22 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Here's the latest: The Whitecaps are closing in on signing Colombian youth international winger Deiber Caicedo, sources told MLSsoccer.com. The deal isn't quite done, but the rising winger would be an exciting addition to the club. In the SuperDraft, they took forward David Egbo and defender Javain Brown in the first round. 

Transfer window analysis (so far): Vancouver retained a number of players from their 2020 squad after an offseason of rebuilding. The club is looking for greater continuity and believes that with natural progression, and a few key additions, 2021 will be a better year. As such, all they've done thus far is trade goalkeeper Evan Bush to Columbus Crew SC.

Biggest question/hole: Stop me where you've read this one before: DP No. 10. Vancouver have been consistent with this desire essentially since the day Inbeom Hwang was transferred to Rubin Kazan. They have been consistent with this message in a handful of press conferences since. Rest assured a DP No. 10 will arrive.

Rumors have it: Vancouver are reportedly interested in Benfica attacking midfielder Chiquinho, a player who excelled in Portugal with Moreirense FC before earning a move to Benfica. In all likelihood, he'd be a DP No. 10 if the reports are true and the deal gets done.

Projected XI (4-3-3, right to left): Crepeau; Nerwinski, Godoy, Veselinovic, Adnan; Baldisimo, Bikel, Owusu; Dajome, Cavallini, Bair

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