Clubs around Major League Soccer continue to make moves ahead of the league’s secondary transfer window deadline on August 2.
All kinds of transactions have taken place across MLS in the last week, with Nashville adding to their already potent attack and Toronto FC and San Jose Earthquakes making moves. A couple of players have also extended their time at their respective clubs.
Here’s all the latest in the MLS transfer world…
Nashville SC finally have their hands on a striker in the form of Sam Surridge. The 24-year-old joins after previously makeing 50 appearances for Premier League side Nottingham Forest, scoring 11 goals in the process.
Nashville reportedly paid roughly $6.5m to land Surridge, and he joins as a Designated Player alongside Walker Zimmerman and Hany Mukhtar on a contract through 2026 with an option for the following year.
“Sam is an athletic striker who is clinical around the goal,” Nashville general manager Mike Jacobs said. “He fits our club DNA and has proven his ability to influence winning with his integral role in Nottingham Forest gaining promotion to the Premier League in 2022. We are excited about this next chapter of his career here in Nashville.”
Roughly three weeks after joining CF Montreal from LAFC, Kwadwo ‘Mahala’ Opoku has signed a new contract with his new club.
The 22-year-old has committed his future to the Canadian side, signing for them through the 2026 season with an option for the 2027 campaign.
Opoku has 17 goal involvements in 62 career MLS appearances, and looks to be apart of the future in Montreal under first-year head coach Hernan Losada.
Ayo Akinola joins Western Conference side San Jose Earthquakes for the remainder of the 2023 MLS season, with the California based club having an a purchase option at the end of the year. In return, Toronto FC will get a 2023 international roster slot.
“Ayo is a dynamic attacker with the strength, pace and finishing ability to impact any match,” San Jose general manager Chris Leitch said.
“Ayo has already made a mark in Major League Soccer, becoming the third youngest player in MLS to score a hat trick in 2020. We are excited to welcome a player of Ayo’s caliber to San Jose while adding to the Quakes front line depth.”
“I am really excited and happy to be joining the Earthquakes,” Akinola said. “San Jose’s coaching staff and GM have made me feel wanted, and it makes me want to go out there and compete for their winning culture.”
Juan Castilla has left Houston Dynamo to join Colombian side Deportivo Cali on a permanent deal. Castilla didn’t get many opportunities with the Dynamo first team, making just two appearances in MLS from 2021-2023.
The 18-year-old now returns to his hometown in Cali, Colombia, and should get plenty of opportunities with his new club.
“We are proud of Juan’s development over the past eight years at Houston Dynamo FC and his role as a representative of the city of Houston at the professional and international levels,” Dynamo general manager Pat Onstad said.
“Juan created a path to be followed by any aspiring player in our city who dreams of becoming a professional soccer player and representing their country on the biggest stages. We wish Juan and his family the best in the next chapter of his career with Deportivo Cali.”
Milos Degenek returns to Serbian outfit Red Star Belgrade, departing the Columbus Crew after making 41 appearances since originally joining in 2022.
Degenek has already played for Red Star Belgrade on two separate occasions, after joining initially on loan before transferring permanently.
“Milos has been a solid professional over the past 18 months and for him, this was an opportunity to move closer to family, which was something he desired” Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said. “We appreciate Milos’ contributions to the Black & Gold, and we wish him the best in his return to Serbia.”
Cristian Espinoza’s fine 2023 form (11 goals, seven assists) has been rewarded with a new contract that sees his stay at San Jose Earthquakes through the 2025 season, with an option for the 2026 season.
“Cristian has been very productive every season with us and is regarded as one of the top players in the league, as evidenced by him earning a spot on the All-Star team this year,” Earthquakes general manager Chris Leitch said.
“He has an elite ability to create chances for his teammates and his goal production has increased every season. Cristian is also an incredible leader for this team both on the field and in our community. We are excited to have Cristian continue his career in San Jose.”
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