Orlando City made three significant acquisitions this summer, but were not the only ones making moves in MLS.
Here’s a breakdown of some key transfers that went down this summer as teams prepare for the final stretch of the season:
New-Look Orlando City
On July 25th, about two weeks after the summer window opened, Orlando City announced a trade for Dom Dwyer from Sporting Kansas City. Dwyer has played and started two matches for Orlando City since joining the Club. His speed, work rate, and technical ability make him a threat any time he touches the field. With players like Cyle Larin, Kaka, and Carlos Rivas already in the squad, Dwyer is keen to join Lions attack and push for a playoff spot this year.
Peruvian international and designated player Yoshimar Yotun was the second Orlando City acquisition during this summer’s transfer window. Yotun made his first start for the team last Saturday against the New York Red Bulls and gave a glimpse into what he brings as a player. His energy in the midfield along with his ability to play multiple positions gives Orlando City a new dynamic going forward.
Dillon Powers was the most recent player to join Orlando City SC. Acquired via trade on the final day of the summer transfer window, Powers will also bolster the Lions midfield. He described himself as an “in-between” midfielder who likes to attack, create plays, and help the team win in any way possible.
The 2018 season will welcome Los Angeles FC as the newest expansion team to join Major League Soccer. The construction of Banc of California Stadium along with the announcement of Bob Bradley becoming the club’s first manager has created a lot of buzz around the MLS newcomers; and Carlos Vela being named the club’s first Designated Player has only broadened the hype around LAFC for 2018. These are exciting times for Major League Soccer, as the League continues its expansion ventures to grow into one of the world’s most relevant soccer leagues.
LAFC weren’t the only California-based club to make noise during the MLS summer window. The LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes also made some noteworthy moves in the transfer market:
The Galaxy acquired Jonathan Dos Santos, who is a top midfielder for the Mexican national team and the brother of current Galaxy forward Giovani Dos Santos. Jonathan has spent the majority of his club career in Spain’s La Liga -- playing multiple seasons at FC Barcelona and Villarreal.
Francois Affolter and Vako Qazaishvili each joined the San Jose Earthquakes from European clubs this summer. Affolter is an experienced Swiss center back who joins the Quakes from BSC Young Boys -- where he was teammates with Orlando City SC defender Scott Sutter.
Reinforcements In Seattle
The reigning MLS Cup Champions added more depth to their roster this summer with the acquisition of Kelvin Leerdam and Victor Rodriguez. Leerdam is a forward-thinking right back who has already started four matches for the Sounders. The Dutch international’s attack-minded tendencies have been validated by his six shots and one goal scored already for Seattle. The Sounders now have attacking full backs on either flank with Leerdam and Joevin Jones.
Victor Rodriguez joins Sounders FC from Spanish side Sporting Gijon where he played one full season. The Barcelona, Spain native is capable of playing on either wing or in a central attacking midfield position. Rodriguez spent four seasons in La Liga before making the move to MLS toward the end of the transfer window.
Young Talent Lands In D.C.
Speedy winger Paul Arriola joined D.C. United as a designated player from Liga MX’s Club Tijuana. At age 22, Arriola has been a consistent first team selection for head coach Bruce Arena in USA’s World Cup Qualifying matches. He also played a significant role in the USMNT’s Gold Cup winning run this July.
A new era is on the horizon in D.C. The club plans to open its brand new stadium next season, and Arriola will be a large part of the young core that is forming in our nation’s capital.