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MLS Ticker: D.C. United signs Benteke, Miazga joins FC Cincinnati, and more


Wayne Rooney and D.C. United made one of the final big splashes of transfer news near the MLS transfer deadline, which came Thursday.

D.C. United announced the signing of Christian Benteke, an ex-Liverpool and Crystal Palace striker and Belgian international. Benteke will be a Designated Player and his contract is reportedly two-and-a-half years.

“Christian is a top player who has played at the highest level for a long time,” Wayne Rooney, D.C. United Head Coach, said. “His experience and ability to score goals and help the team will be invaluable. It’s exciting for the team and myself to get him in and playing. He will make a huge difference.”

Benteke, 35, made 162 Premier League appearances over six years with Crystal Palace, including 25 appearances and four goals in the 2020-21 season. Earlier in his career, Benteke impressed with Aston Villa, earning a move to Liverpool in 2015-16. Benteke made 42 appearances and scored 10 goals in a Liverpool shirt.

Benteke adds another big name to the ranks at D.C. United, and also bolsters the squad’s attacking options. Taxi Fountas has proven to be a productive scorer despite D.C. United’s struggles, with 11 goals in the 2022 season.

Matt Miazga signs with FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati announced the addition of centerback Matt Miazga from Chelsea, a move which brings Miazga back to MLS six years after impressing with the New York Red Bulls. Cincy acquired Miazga with its No. 1 allocation order spot, and Miazga will be a TAM player under contract through 2025.

“Matt is a dominant defender that has a wealth of experience internationally and across numerous leagues in Europe,” general manager Chris Albright said in a release. “But his knowledge of what it takes to compete and win in MLS, along with his high character and mentality, are what drew us to this opportunity.”

Miazga made 169 appearances in Europe over the past five seasons, on loan from Chelsea to Vitesse, Nantes, Reading, Anderlecht and most recently Alaves in the Spanish top flight.

Red Bulls add Kyle Duncan on loan

The New York Red Bulls bolstered their back line by bringing back a familiar face in Kyle Duncan, who joins on loan from Belgian side KV Oostende. Duncan, 24, made 72 appearances over the past four years as a Homegrown player for the Red Bulls.

Duncan was a starting player for the Red Bulls in the 2021 and 2022 seasons, before his play earned a move to Oostende in November 2021. Duncan made seven league appearances with Oostende in the 2021-22 season. He also made his senior U.S. men’s national team debut on Dec. 9, 2020.

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi joins Revs in trade

Another attacker left Los Angeles FC in a trade this week, with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi joining the Revolution in a trade. The Revs sent $400,000 in GAM to LAFC in exchange, with LAFC receiving an extra $200,000 if Tajouri-Shradi is re-signed for 2024.

Tajouri-Shradi, 28, is experienced in MLS, with 90 appearances across stints with New York City FC and LAFC.

The Revolution add depth at center forward and right wing with the signing. Tajouri-Shradi scored two goals in six appearances with LAFC this season. He played a substitute role with LAFC earlier in the season, but his minutes dropped off in recent months.

Quick Kicks:

  • Richie Laryea is returning to Toronto FC, striking a loan deal from Nottingham Forest. Laryea joins on a year-long loan after making a permanent move to Nottingham Forest last January. The Canadian made five appearances with Nottingham Forest.
  • Minnesota United added a DP attacker in Mender Garcia from Colombian side Once Caldas, on a one-and-a-half-year contract. Garcia, 24, joins Minnesota United after spending five years with Once Caldas.
  • LAFC added another attacking threat, signing Denis Bouanga from French club Saint Etienne. Bouanga, a 27-year-old Gabon international, had 26 goals and 13 assists in 96 appearances over three Ligue 1 seasons for Saint Etienne.
  • The Revolution added goalkeeper Clement Diop in a trade with Inter Miami. The Revs sent $125,000 in GAM to Miami in the deal.
  • The San Jose Earthquakes signed defender Carlos Akapo from La Liga side Cadiz CF. Akapo, 29, is a fullback who has spent most of his career in Spain.
  • The Chicago Fire traded forward Chinonso Offer to CF Montreal for $325,000 in GAM. Offor, 22, joined the Fire in 2020 after playing in Latvia. The Nigerian made seven appearances in 2022 for the Fire.


  1. MLS starting to become an ever appealing league to players all over the world. Just wait 2026 is going to be a huge watershed moment for American soccer. MLS will greatly be enhanced after 2026. And hopefully the USMNT makes a deep run.

  2. It’s insane how much talent MLS keeps on adding, and that talent is going to spike bigly with this new TV deal.

    We’re about to go blowing past Liga MX. The step after that is to separate the teams with huge ambitions – LAFC, Galaxy, NYCFC, Seattle, Atlanta, Toronto, etc – from the likes of San Jose, Colorado, and New England that do not seem to want to spend or invest because it’s past time we stopped allowing the lack of ambition of the cellar dwellers to cap the ceiling of the league. I’m game to any number of suggestions on how to do that.

    Again, the first thing I’d start with is by allowing small-market (and unambitious) teams to sell their DP slots for cold hard cash they then could apply to their own salary caps. The small-market teams get better, deeper rosters, subsidized in part by the Big Dogs…and the Big Dogs could then field 5-6 world-class players apiece. The level raises all around that way.

    • I like the creative thinking Q, but the last thing MLS needs is more complex roster mechanisms. People are still trying to figure out how Miami got compensation for “discovery rights” to Bale who had won the Champions League 4 times before Miami even played their first match.


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