MLS transfer roundup: Charlotte FC & Houston Dynamo strengthen in defense

Tuiloma adds vital quality and depth to the CLTFC backline.
Tuiloma adds vital quality and depth to the CLTFC backline. / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2023 MLS season is just over a week away, meaning clubs are scrambling to find some last-minute additions and added strength in key areas.

Here's a roundup of all the latest transfer news you might have missed:


1. Charlotte FC acquire New Zealand international Bill Tuiloma from Portland

Through no fault of their own, Charlotte FC found themselves short in the defensive department heading into the new season, so quick action was needed.

That action has now been taken with the acquisition of New Zealand international defender Bill Tuiloma from the Portland Timbers.

CLTFC have paid $800k in General Allocation Money (GAM) for Tuiloma, who will cover at both center-back and full-back positions.

“We are excited to welcome Bill to Charlotte FC as we keep adding strong pieces to a competitive roster for 2023 and beyond,” sporting director Zoran Krneta said in a club press release.

“He is a defender who adds valuable experience to the team with over 100 appearances across five full seasons in MLS, as well as significant time with the New Zealand national team. Bill is a player that is used to winning in Major League Soccer and has been an important member on a perennial playoff contender."


2. Houston Dynamo sign Brazilian defender Micael

The Houston Dynamo have announced they've added Brazilian defender Micael to their senior roster on a deal through the 2024 MLS season with two further years on option.

Micael was originally acquired by Dynamo 2 from Brazilian top-flight side Atletico Mineiro last year, making the move up after impressing at MLS NEXT Pro level.

The 22-year-old is the 10th player to arrive this offseason as new head coach Ben Olsen looks to guide the Dynamo back into the MLS Cup Playoffs.

"We are excited to sign Micael to a first team contract after a stellar campaign with Dynamo 2 last year,” general manager Pat Onstad said in a statement.

"This new contract will create more opportunities for him to contribute to the first team’s back line in the 2023 season and beyond.”


3. Trio of clubs sign players to homegrown contracts

Sticking with the Dynamo, they've signed 22-year-old full-back Mujeeb Murana to a homegrown contract through the 2023 season, with two further option years.

Murana makes the step up after playing 23 times in MLS NEXT Pro last season.


Elsewhere:

  • The Philadelphia Union have signed 23-year-old goalkeeper Holden Trent to a homegrown deal through 2023 with three years on option. Trent has already seen 30 minutes of action in friendlies against Austin FC and St. Louis CITY SC this preseason.
  • Inter Miami have added MLS NEXT Pro player Shanyder Borgelin to their senior roster on a two-year contract with options on 2025 and 2026. The 21-year-old striker scored a team-high 14 goals in MLS NEXT Pro last season having originally emerged from the Philadelphia Union academy.