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MLS Ticker: Savarino rejoins RSL as DP, Austin FC’s Dominguez reinstated, and more


After two-and-a-half years away from Major League Soccer, Jefferson Savarino has made his return to North America.

Real Salt Lake re-acquired Savarino on Wednesday, signing him to a four-year Designated Player contract, the club announced. The 25-year-old previously played with RSL from 2017-19 before being transferred to Brazilian giants Atletico Mineiro. He is expected to rejoin RSL later this month.

“Bringing Jefferson back to Salt Lake has been an exciting process in recent months – obviously we have great memories of him here representing our badge, our colors, our community, and certainly sparking our attack,” said Real Salt Lake General Manager Elliot Fall. “During his Brazilian experience over the last couple years, Jefferson has matured as a player and as a person. We expect him to provide even more danger as a playmaking and finishing option for RSL, and look forward to him combining with so many dangerous pieces on the roster. His familiarity on the national team level with Sergio Cordova is also a bonus for both players, and our Club could not be more elated to welcome Jefferson and his family back to Utah.”

Savarino scored 22 goals and added 21 assists in 87 league appearances for RSL during his first spell with the Western Conference club. During his time with Atletico Mineiro, Savarino won six domestic trophies in Brazil, including the 2021 Serie A title and the 2022 Supercopa do Brasil.

He’s earned 27 caps for the Venezuelan national team to date, scoring one goal.

Here is a closer look at all of the recent MLS News:

MLS reinstates Austin FC midfielder Cecelio Dominguez

Cecelio Dominguez is back available for Austin FC after Major League Soccer reinstated the midfielder on Wednesday.

MLS completed their investigation into possible off-field misconduct by Dominguez, which forced the league to suspend Dominguez in April. Austin FC initiated a League and a law enforcement investigation into a report of a domestic dispute between Dominguez and his partner. With the police and league investigation concluded, Domínguez is now eligible to return to team activities subject to his participation in League-mandated counseling.

Dominguez, 27, joined Austin FC in 2021, logging seven goals and four assists in 34 appearances last season. The Argentine playmaker scored two goals in four appearances in 2022 prior to his league suspension.

Austin FC sits second in the Western Conference with 20 points earned through nine matches.

Galaxy adds Gasper in trade with Minnesota United

The L.A. Galaxy bolstered its left back options on Wednesday, adding Chase Gasper in a trade with Minnesota United.

In exchange for Gasper, the Loons will receive $450,000 in 2023 General Allocation Money (GAM) and could receive an additional $300,000 in GAM if Gasper reaches certain performance-based metrics. The Galaxy will retain $220,000 of Gasper’s 2022 budget charge, while Minnesota will pay the remainder of his 2022 budget charge.

Gasper, 26, joins the Galaxy after tallying two goals and two assists in 77 games played from 2019-22. He recently returned to the Loons squad after previously entering the MLS Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program earlier this year.

“We’re excited to welcome Chase to the LA Galaxy,” said Galaxy Head Coach Greg Vanney. “Chase is an experienced and highly regarded left back in our league. He adds character, quality and a competitive spirit to our group.”

A former first round draft pick, Gasper has earned one cap for the USMNT to date.

Chris Mueller joins Chicago Fire on free transfer

Chris Mueller left Major League Soccer with high expectations to excel in the Scottish Premiership, but after only four months abroad will be making his move back to the United States.

Mueller has joined the Chicago Fire on a free transfer from Scottish side Hibernian, ending a four-month spell in Scotland. The former Orlando City player signed a pre-contract with Hibs in July 2021 and officially made the switch in January 2022.

In order to sign Mueller, Orlando City will receive $500,000 in General Allocation Money ($250,000 in 2022 GAM and $250,000 in 2023 GAM), the Fire’s natural first round selection in the 2023 MLS Draft and the MLS discovery rights to an unnamed player. Orlando will also retain a percentage of any future transfer fee for Mueller and could receive an additional $150,000 in GAM if he achieves certain performance-based metrics with the Fire.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Chris back to his hometown,” said Chicago Fire FC Sporting Director Georg Heitz. “Chris is a player who we are very familiar with and his addition, along with the recent arrival of Jairo Torres, will immediately provide more quality and attacking options to the squad.”

Mueller scored one goal in 15 combined appearances for Hibernian. The former University of Wisconsin product played four years for Orlando City, scoring 21 goals and registering 24 assists in league play.

The Chicago Fire added attacking help this past offseason in the form of Xherdan Shaqiri and Kacper Przybylko. Mueller would provide added help to Ezra Hendrickson’s attack, which has only scored six goals through nine matches played.

Charlotte FC acquires Andre Shinyashiki in trade with Rapids

Charlotte FC added a young attacking piece to its growing attack on Tuesday, acquiring Andre Shinyashiki in a trade with the Colorado Rapids.

In exchange for Shinyashiki, the Rapids received $225,000 in 2022 General Allocation Money (GAM) and could receive a conditional $175,000 GAM if certain performance incentives are met.  The Rapids will also retain 50% of any potential trade fee Charlotte FC receives for Shinyashiki’s rights.

The 24-year-old previously was named 2019 MLS Rookie of the Year after scoring seven goals and adding three assists in his debut season. A former Denver University product, Shinyashiki totaled 16 goals and six assists in 86 league appearances for the Rapids.

He joined a Charlotte FC attack which features Karol Swiderski, Ben Bender, and Kamil Jozwiak.

Thomas Roberts returns to FC Dallas following mutual loan termination

Thomas Roberts is back with FC Dallas following an early return from his loan spell abroad.

Roberts had his loan spell mutually terminated on Wednesday from Austrian Bundesliga side SK Austria Klagenfurt, both clubs announced. The 20-year-old homegrown midfielder totaled 11 overall appearances for Klagenfurt, with eight of those 11 appearances coming in league play.

Roberts has made three MLS appearances to date for FC Dallas, mainly featuring for North Texas SC during its time in the USL. He scored three goals in 21 USL appearances in 2019-20.

“I’m ready to play,” Roberts said in a club interview. “For the past two years, I’ve just been kind of grinding. I feel like I should have probably played earlier but, you know, it is what it is. I just have to keep working but I really want to make my way into this team and start playing a little bit here and there and then see what I can do.”

Whitecaps sign defender Luis Martins

Luis Martins is back in MLS after signing with his second Western Conference club on Wednesday.

Martins joined the Vancouver Whitecaps, signing for the remaining of the 2022 MLS season, the club announced. His contract also includes options for 2023 and 2024. The Portuguese left back played previously with Sporting KC from 2019-21, registering one goal and six assists in 55 appearances.

“Luís arrives in Vancouver with plenty of MLS experience and has played in some of Europe’s top competitions,” said Whitecaps FC sporting director Axel Schuster. “We were looking for options to add to our wingback/fullback group and Luís fit the profile as he has a great work rate and covers a lot of ground. We are very happy to welcome Luís and his family to Vancouver.”

The 29-year-old joins Cristian Gutierrez as the only other left back on the Whitecaps roster.

Quick Kicks:

  • Orlando City added midfielder Jake Mulraney from Atlanta United in exchange for a total of $200,000 in GAM over 2022 and 2023. The Five Stripes could also receive an additional $75,000 in GAM should Mulraney reach certain performance-based metrics.
  • Real Salt Lake signed defender Chris Kablan on loan for part of the 2022 MLS season. Kablan, 27, joins from Belgian second-tier side Waasland-Beveren, where he totaled 16 appearances for the club in 2021.
  • Charlotte FC signed Kerwin Vargas as the club’s second-ever U-22 Initiative signing. Vargas, 20, joins from Portuguese club C.D. Feirense., where he scored seven goals in 28 appearances.
  • Damion Lowe, Felipe Hernandez, Maarten Paes, and Diego Rubio were all fined by MLS Disciplinary Committee for separate actions during the Week 9 schedule.

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