MLS transfer roundup: NE Revs re-sign Boateng & Chicago Fire acquire veteran striker
By Chris Smith
The 2023 MLS season is finally upon us, but that doesn't mean teams are quite done in the transfer market.
There's still time for gaps to be filled and positions to be strengthened and the revolving door at clubs remains extremely busy.
Here are the deals you might have missed from the last couple of days:
1. New England Revolution re-sign Emmanuel Boateng
The New England Revolution have re-signed midfielder Emmanuel Boateng on a one-year deal through the 2023 MLS season, with an option on 2024.
Boateng has spent the last two years with the Revs, notching four goals and six assists in 42 appearances across all competitions, but was a free agent after his previews contract expired.
“We are pleased to have Ema re-sign with the Revolution,” sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena said in a club press release. “Ema has been a great contributor to our team both on and off the field, and I’m excited to have him return to our club.”
Boateng - who has previously represented LA Galaxy, D.C. United, and Columbus Crew in MLS - was part of the Revs side that won the 2021 Supporters' Shield with a record points total. The 29-year-old will occupy a supplemental spot on New England's roster.
2. Kei Kamara joins Chicago Fire from CF Montreal
The Chicago Fire have acquired Major League Soccer's third-highest goalscorer of all time, capturing Kei Kamara in a trade with CF Montreal.
The 38-year-old has 139 goals in regular-season play to date during a career that has now seen him represent 10 different MLS clubs.
Just last season, Kamara hit nine goals in 32 appearances to help Montreal finish second in the Eastern Conference. However, the veteran striker has made no secret of his desire to leave the club over the last couple of months and, now, he finally has his move.
“We are excited to welcome Kei Kamara to the Fire,” Chicago sporting director Georg Heitz said in a release. “Kei has shown throughout his career that he can consistently produce goals in MLS, including this past season with CF Montreal.
“Not only will he help to make us more dangerous in the attacking third, but he will bring experience and leadership to the squad. Kei will be an important addition to the team as we continue to build the squad for the 2023 season.”
Kamara will add depth at the No.9 spot for the Fire, who look set to rely heavily upon Kacper Przybylko following the sale of Colombian youngster Jhon Duran to Aston Villa.
3. Toronto FC sign homegrown defender
Toronto FC have signed academy product Kobe Franklin to a homegrown contract through the 2024 MLS season, with club options on 2025 and 2026.
The 19-year-old right-back becomes the 32nd academy player in TFC history to be promoted to the senior team.
“Kobe is a hard working and determined young player who has come through our academy system, and we are excited for him to take the next step in his career,” head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley said in a press release.
“He has spent the past two preseasons with the first team, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with Kobe at the first team level.”
4. SJ Earthquakes sign SuperDraft pick to first-team contract
The San Jose Earthquakes have signed 2023 MLS SuperDraft pick Daniel Munie to a one-year first-team contract with options on a further three years.
Munie - a 23-year-old defender - was picked 10th overall in the SuperDraft out of Indiana University and has spent preseason in training with the Quakes.
“We’re excited to sign Daniel to a first-team contract,” said San Jose general manager Chris Leitch said in a release. “We strongly felt he was among the best central defenders in this draft class, and we were impressed by his performance throughout preseason.”
5. Minnesota United & Alan Benitez mutually terminate contract
Minnesota United and Alan Benitez have mutually agreed to a termination of contract.
The 29-year-old Paraguayan right-back only joined the Loons midway through 2022 as cover for the injured Romain Metanire and Hassani Dotson, going on to make 12 appearances.
Since then, MNUFC have added extra depth in Benitez's position in the form of DJ Taylor and Zarek Valentin.
The departure of Benitez opens up an international slot on Minnesota United's roster.
6. Charlotte FC sign three SuperDraft picks
Charlotte FC have signed Patrick Agyemang, Nick Scardina, and Andrew Privett to professional contracts through 2023, with options through 2026.
The trio were picked No.12, No.40, and No.69 overall in the most recent MLS SuperDraft, joining No.1 pick Hamady Diop and midfielder Brandon Cambridge as collegiate players on the 2022 expansion club's roster.
“We’re excited to sign this trio to their first professional contracts as they have all earned the opportunity to begin their professional careers here at Charlotte FC through their play during preseason,” sporting director Zoran Krneta said in a release.
“Patrick, Nick and Andrew have demonstrated excellent work ethic on and off the field, and we’re looking forward to seeing them continue their development under the leadership of our technical staff.”