Real Salt Lake’s midfield just received a major boost ahead of the 2024 MLS season.
Matt Crooks has joined the Western Conference club from English second-division side Middlesbrough, the club announced Monday. The 30-year-old signed a three-year contract with RSL through the 2026 season.
“Everyone on the technical staff and in the front office are quite excited to welcome Matt Crooks to Salt Lake,” interim chief soccer officer and sporting director Kurt Schmid said in a release. “Matt is a player that should fit in very well on and off the field. He brings size and veteran leadership. He has good feet and his awareness on both sides of the ball really stands out.
Crooks has mainly featured in the lower divisions of England, totaling 341 appearances, 65 goals, and 26 assists. He has featured heavily for Middlesbrough and Rotherham United to date.
RSL opens their 2024 league schedule on Feb. 21 against Inter Miami.
Here is a closer look at all of the latest MLS News:
Rapids transfer Braian Galvan to Banfield
Braian Galvan’s time with the Colorado Rapids is officially over.
Galvan has been sold to Argentinian side Banfield, both clubs announced over the weekend. The 23-year-old Argentine spent four seasons in Colorado, logging four goals and four assists in 53 appearances.
“We’d like to thank Braian for all that he has done for the club on and off the pitch. We wish him all the best in the upcoming season,” Rapids president Pádraig Smith said in a release.
Galvan’s departure opens up an attacking spot in Chris Armas’ squad for 2024.
Fire, Jairo Torres mutually terminate contract
The Chicago Fire have a new Designated Player spot open ahead of the new league campaign.
Jairo Torres has departed the Eastern Conference club after both parties mutually agreed to part ways. The 23-year-old originally joined Chicago in February 2022, but failed to live up to expectations.
He registered two assists in 36 appearances following his move from Liga MX side Atlas.
“After many discussions with Jairo and the coaching staff, we all agreed that this was the best decision for the player and the club at this time,” sporting director Georg Heitz said in a release.
“I’d like to thank Jairo for his contributions to the Chicago Fire and wish him all the best for the future.”
Orlando City signs Luiz Muzzi, Ricardo Moreira to new contracts
Orlando City have retained two of their leading front office representatives for the next two seasons.
Club EVP of soccer operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi and technical director and VP of soccer operations Ricardo Moreira both signed two-year contracts through 2025. The Lions enjoyed a positive 2023 year which featured 18 league wins, 63 points earned, and 14 clean sheets defensively.
Orlando City also lifted the U.S. Open Cup in 2022 and booked their return to the CONCACAF Champions Cup for this year.
“Luiz and Ricardo have been instrumental to all that has been accomplished over Orlando City’s recent history, and we are very excited to have them both back for the foreseeable future to lead our City, OCB and Academy soccer operations,” club owner and chairman Mark Wilf said in a release.
“The pair have been valued partners throughout these first years of our ownership, and we are thankful to retain them both to continue building Orlando City’s successes on the field. We are looking forward to the next chapter of their tenures here at the club and are excited for our fans to be a part of the new heights we will set, together, over this time.”
The Lions will face Canadian side Calvary FC in Champions Cup action.
- Portland Timbers forward Marvin Loria has underwent successful knee surgery, the club announced. Loria is expected to miss four-to-five months of action.