Major League Soccer

MLS free agency: The top players available in 2023

Chris Smith
There is some serious talent available via free agency.
There is some serious talent available via free agency. / Harold Feng | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images
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The MLS Players Association (MLSPA) released the list of free agents for 2023 on Wednesday, with a host of big names featuring.

More players than ever before are now available for free agency after MLS rules were relaxed - players must now be 24 years old and have at least five years of service in the league under their belts.


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Below is a list of standout players up for free agency who don't have a club option in their contracts:

1. Gyasi Zardes

Zardes is a proven MLS goalscorer.
Zardes is a proven MLS goalscorer. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Current club: Colorado Rapids

Gyasi Zardes only joined the Rapids in April but, already, another move could be in the offing.

The USMNT striker has managed just three goals in 12 appearances so far for Colorado, who paid $300k in General Allocation Money (GAM) for his services.

The key here is that the Rapids could pay another $1.1m to the Columbus Crew in add-ons, with much of that total tied up in whether or not he signs a new deal in Colorado.

It all depends on if he finds his best form between now and the end of the season. If he doesn't, the Rapids may choose to cut their losses.

2. Ola Kamara

Current club: D.C. United

Ola Kamara tied Golden Boot winner Taty Castellanos for goals last season, scoring 19 times through the regular-season and only losing out on assists.

Even then, rumors circulated that D.C. United were looking to upgrade over the winter.

That didn't happen, but chances are Wayne Rooney will look for another option at No.9, leaving Kamara - a proven MLS goalscorer - open in the market.

3. Bill Hamid

Current club: D.C. United

Staying at Audi Field, Bill Hamid's association with D.C. United runs all the way back to 2007 through two permanent spells and a loan from FC Midtjylland.

During that time, he's notched up hundreds of appearances, a US Open Cup title, and the 2014 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award.

Hamid is currently sidelined due to a ruptured ligament in his hand, but should only be out for a couple of months. Still only 31, he has a lot to offer.

4. Franco Escobar

Current club: LAFC

Franco Escobar slowly fell out of favor with Atlanta United despite his key role in their 2018 MLS Cup win and following a loan to Newell's Old Boys last year, ended up with LAFC.

But the Argentine has played just nine games so far this season and faces the prospect of finding a new club again in 2023.

Escobar can play as a center-back, full-back, or wing-back when required, so he should have plenty of offers.

5. Ryan Hollingshead

Current club: LAFC

While Escobar has struggled, Ryan Hollingshead has played 17 times for LAFC since joining from FC Dallas, even scoring four goals.

Hollingshead is still only 31 and can play on either flank as a full-back or as a center-back in a five-man defense.

It's hard to see the Black and Gold letting him go yet, but he's going to be available as it stands.

6. Alexander Callens

Callens was vital to NYCFC's MLS Cup win.
Callens was vital to NYCFC's MLS Cup win. / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Current club: NYCFC

Comfortably one of the most attractive prospects on offer, Alexander Callens was a rock in defense for NYCFC's MLS Cup-winning side last year.

He has long been and remains one of the strongest center-backs in MLS and a regular for the Peru national team - narrowly missing out on World Cup qualification.

Should NYCFC decide against re-signing the 30-year-old, he'll have no shortage of interest from MLS and South America.

7. Sean Johnson

Current club: NYCFC

While Callens is the rock, Sean Johnson is both the last line of defense and team captain.

Such is the goalkeeper's importance to the Cityzens, he's another that you just cannot see leaving yet. But he'd have a ton of offers should no contract come forth.

Johnson impressed recently during a USMNT recall and will likely just be focused on trying to get into Gregg Berhalter's World Cup team.

8. Anton Tinnerholm

Current club: NYCFC

Usually, Anton Tinnerholm would be held in just as high regard as Callens and Johnson, if not higher.

A year ago, he was the best full-back in MLS, no doubt. Now? Well, that remains to be seen.

It all depends on how he recovers and finds his form after that horrible ACL injury, but even if he doesn't get back to 100%, plenty of MLS clubs could use his quality.

9. Aaron Long

Current club: New York Red Bulls

Another whose focus will be on staying in the USMNT picture, Aaron Long mastered his recovery from an ACL injury and is once again among the best center-backs in MLS.

Long's ship to Europe has likely sailed, but he can still achieve plenty of success in Major League Soccer, with or without the Red Bulls.

10. Alejandro Bedoya

Current club: Philadelphia Union

The oldest entry to the list, Alejandro Bedoya might be 35, but he's still tearing it up.

Bedoya continues to marshall the Philadelphia Union midfield with immense energy, not to mention unquestioned quality.

Many successful MLS teams have used a league veteran like Bedoya to bring the very best out of the rest of their team. Think Atlanta United with Michael Parkhurst and Jeff Larentowicz.

11. Eric Remedi

Remedi has been a regular for the Quakes.
Remedi has been a regular for the Quakes. / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Current club: San Jose Earthquakes

Eric Remedi has over 100 regular-season appearances under his belt and has been a reliable starter since joining the Quakes from Atlanta United 18 months ago.

That said, he was linked with a return to Argentina before moving to California.

Still only 27, Remedi will likely have offers from MLS should he leave San Jose, but it'll be down to how homesick he really is.

12. Daniel Salloi

Current club: Sporting Kansas City

Daniel Salloi was sensational for Sporting Kansas City last year, hitting 16 goals and eight primary assists in 32 regular-season appearances. This season? He's managed just four goals so far as SKC have struggled.

That's been the story of his time at Children's Mercy Park, going from MVP contender one year to anonymous the next.

But make no mistake, if Salloi's contract runs out, the Hungary international will have clubs lining up from MLS and Europe.

13. Jonathan Osorio

Current club: Toronto FC

Given his quality, Jonathan Osorio could quite easily have crossed the pond on multiple occasions but has stayed loyal to Toronto FC.

The midfielder has Canada's first World Cup since 1986 to look forward to and focus on this winter, while he'll want to prove himself alongside incoming Italians Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi.

But Osorio is now 30. Whether he wants a change of scenery in MLS or to try himself at some level in Europe, the time would be now. An interesting few months await.

14. Alex Bono

Current club: Toronto FC

Alex Bono isn't the most glamorous or celebrated goalkeeper in MLS. But time and again, he's come in and got the job done for Toronto FC when their various No.1s - like Quentin Westberg - have been injured.

Bono is eighth in the league for saves this season and would be a decent option for a team needing a solid goalkeeper, or someone who knows what it means to be a back-up.

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