MLS transfer roundup: LA Galaxy strengthen defense, Aubameyang linked
By Chris Smith
Teams throughout MLS are busy strengthening their rosters ahead of the 2023 MLS season, with players coming and going and big names linked.
Here's the latest news you may have missed:
1. LA Galaxy re-sign Eriq Zavaleta
The LA Galaxy have strengthened their defensive options with the re-signing of center-back of Eriq Zavaleta.
Zavaleta has penned a new deal through the 2024 MLS season having played six times for the Galaxy across all competitions in 2022.
The 30-year-old's previous deal expired at the end of last season but he'll continue on as a valuable depth piece alongside the likes of Séga Coulibaly, Martín Cáceres, and Chris Mavinga.
Prior to his time with the Galaxy, Zavaleta enjoyed spells with the Seattle Sounders, Chivas USA, and Toronto FC.
2. Carlos Harvey leaves LA Galaxy for USL Championship
While the Galaxy have tied down Zavaleta, they've allowed Carlos Harvey to leave in search of more first-team opportunities.
The 23-year-old midfielder played just 10 times across three seasons with the Galaxy between 2020 and 2022, with the bulk of his minutes coming in the USL Championship with LA Galaxy II.
Harvey will continue on at that level, joining Phoenix Rising in a deal that sees the Galaxy retain a sell-on percentage.
“We’d like to thank Carlos for his time and contributions with the Galaxy and we wish him the best as he continues his career with Phoenix,” Galaxy head coach and sporting director Greg Vanney said in a club press release.
3. Aubameyang to MLS?
Though nowadays it's more of a breeding ground for young talent, there's definitely still a place in Major League Soccer for the odd European veteran to bring elite standards and experience.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the latest name to be linked, with Fabrizio Romano confirming multiple MLS clubs are 'interested'.
However, at present, there's nothing in advanced stages, with Aubameyang preferring to stay in Europe.
That said, there's time to change that and with the salaries available to Designated Players in MLS, there's no doubting a number of teams within the league would have a shot at changing Aubameyang's mind.
4. Columbus Crew promote center-back Philip Quinton to MLS contract
23-year-old center-back Philip Quinton has been given an MLS contract with the Columbus Crew, signing through 2023 with options on three further years.
Quinton was selected by the Crew during the first round of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, playing 19 times for Crew 2 en route to their MLS NEXT Pro Cup triumph.
Following in the footsteps of Jacen Russell-Rowe and Mo Farsi, Quinton is the third Crew 2 player to join the senior team.
"We want to congratulate Phil on earning an opportunity with the first team," Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a club press release.
"We were impressed by Phil’s defensive performances with Crew 2, and his preparation, hard work and efforts have not gone unnoticed as he came into the 2023 preseason ready to fight for a position.
"Phil is another example of a player who spent time with Crew 2 prior to making the jump to the first team, and we are proud to have established this pathway for players like him to take this next step in their professional careers."