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MLS Ticker: Charlotte FC adds Rios, D.C. United trades Moreno, and more


Charlotte FC added attacking help in the form of Daniel Rios ahead of its season-opening match in MLS.

Rios joined the club in a trade with Nashville SC on Friday, giving Miguel Angel Ramirez another promising forward option. In exchange, Nashville SC will receive $350,000 in General Allocation Money in 2022 and could receive an additional $150,000 in 2023 GAM in certain incentives are met.

Nashville SC will also receive 10% of any future transfer fee outside of MLS.

“Daniel is a legacy at our club as our first player signed and will be remembered fondly for that,” Nashville general manager Mike Jacobs said in a release. “He is a part of the club’s history, and we wish him and his family the very best in this new opportunity in Charlotte.”

Rios signed as Nashville SC’s first player and played in 30 matches for the club, scoring five goals. The 27-year-old joins a Charlotte FC attack which features Karol Swiderski, Yordy Reyna, and U-22 initiative signing Vinicius Mello.

Charlotte FC opens its 2022 schedule on Saturday at D.C. United.

Here is a closer look at the recent MLS news:

Red Bulls head of sport Thelwell leaves for Everton

The New York Red Bulls will be on the hunt for a new Head of Sport.

Kevin Thelwell has left the Eastern Conference club on Friday, making the move to English Premier League side Everton as the Toffees’ director of football. Thelwell originally joined the Red Bulls in February 2020 after being the sporting director at EPL side Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.

“On behalf of the organization, we would like to thank Kevin for his contributions and efforts to the club over the last two years,” RBNY general manager Marc de Grandpré said in a release. “We wish Kevin all the best, both personally and professionally, in his new endeavor.”

Under Thelwell’s tenure, manager Gerhard Struber was hired in October 2020 after leading English Championship side Barnsley. The Red Bulls were eliminated in the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs in the first round by the Philadelphia Union.

“My family and I have loved every minute of working in the U.S. and in particular for the New York Red Bulls,” Thelwell said in a release. “It has been an incredible period that I will cherish and feel that I am a much better head of sport for the experience. I feel I leave the shirt in a much stronger place than when I joined.”

The Red Bulls kick off their 2022 season at San Jose on Saturday.

FC Cincinnati adds Moreno in trade with D.C. United

FC Cincinnati added midfield help on Friday as Junior Moreno was acquired by the Eastern Conference club ahead of its 2022 season opener.

Moreno was added in a trade with D.C. United, after previously being linked with an exit from Audi Field. D.C. United will receive $250,000 in 2022 GAM, plus an additional $175,000 in GAM if certain performance-based incentives are met.

The 28-year-old Venezuelan international has signed with Cincinnati for the 2022 MLS season with an option for 2023. Moreno played for D.C. United over the past four seasons, registering one goal, nine assists, and 97 appearances.

He’s also earned 36 caps for the Venezuelan national team. Moreno joins Haris Medunjanin in the heart of FC Cincy’s midfield.

“I’d like to welcome Júnior Moreno to FC Cincinnati,” Orange & Blue general manager Chris Albright said in a release. “His experience, both in MLS and internationally, will be a valuable addition to our group.”

Atlanta United exercises offseason buyout on Jurgen Damm

Jurgen Damm is no longer an Atlanta United player.

The Five Stripes exercised their one offseason buyout of a guaranteed contract on Damm on Friday. The 29-year-old no longer occupies a spot on Atlanta United’s roster or counts against their 2022 salary budget.

Damm joined the Five Stripes in July 2020 and finished his club career with eight assists in 24 regular season appearances. He also featured in two Concacaf Champions League matches for the Eastern Conference club, scoring against Costa Rica’s LD Alajuelense.

The winger has earned 12 caps for the Mexican national team.

Atlanta United opens its 2022 schedule on Sunday at home against Sporting Kansas City.

Quick Kicks:

  • FC Cincinnati acquired Homegrown Priority of midfielder Harrison Robledo in a trade with New York City FC. Robledo signed a Homegrown contract through the 2023 season, with options through 2025. In exchange, NYCFC received $50,000 in 2022 General Allocation Money (GAM) and could receive an additional $25,000 in performance-based incentives.
  • The Portland Timbers re-signed veteran defender Bill Tuiloma to a four-year contract extension. Tuiloma, 26, has made 77 appearances for the Timbers, scoring four goals and registering three assists. He has earned 27 caps for the New Zealand national team.
  • The Chicago Fire signed 2021 first round draft pick Kendall Burks to a one-year contract on Friday. Burks’ deal also includes options for 2023 and 2024. He played collegiately at California State University, Bakersfield and the University of Washington during his career.
  •  The Portland Timbers signed 2021 second round draft pick Diego Gutierrez for the 2022 season. Gutierrez, the No. 70 overall pick, played at the University of Nebraska before also playing for Creighton University in his final two collegiate seasons. He scored 16 goals in 30 appearances for Creighton.

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