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Around the Leagues: Offseason in Full Swing with a Flurry of Transfers and Signings

January 4, 2022 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Sacramento Republic FC News Release


With the offseason in full swing, USL Clubs have been hard at work the last few months analyzing their clubs strengths and weaknesses and making moves to improve their squads. With the New Year here, it's full speed ahead to the start of the regular season come springtime. In MLS, a pair of big time announcements took the headlines, setting a new precedent for outgoing American players.

USL Championship

Republic FC welcomed a bevy of new faces before the holidays, adding defenders Lee Desmond and Danny Reynolds, as well as midfielder Zeiko Lewis from Charleston to improve the attack. Sacramento also added goalkeeper Danny Vitiello from Pittsburgh, former Academy standout Gio Aguilar and Guadeloupe native Luther Archimede from New York Red Bulls.

Among the most notable moves in USL so far, New Mexico bolstered their attacking unit with 2021 All-League honoree Neco Brett, who netted 18 scores in 2021. Alongside Chris Wehan up top, the move should help in a big way after the 2021 season saw them finish in the middle of the pack in conversion rate. The club also welcomed veteran defender Alexis Souahy, who spent the past four seasons in Louisville.

In Oklahoma, FC Tulsa was able to retain the services of KemboKibato, who spent the 2021 season on loan from Rio Grande Valley FC. Kibato was one of Tulsa's most reliable last year, missing just three matches, netting two scores, and completing 87% of his passes. Central Division winner Louisville City made a splash at Goalkeeper, welcoming Kyle Morton to Kentucky following a stint in MLS with Houston Dynamo. Morton is no stranger to USL, having spent time with Memphis 901 FC this past summer in addition to previous stints with St. Louis FC and Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

Colorado Springs, who had one of the league's most potent offenses in 2021, doubled down on their attacking corps with a number of free agent acquisitions. They added forward Kharlton Belmar, providing 2021 Championship MVP Hadji Barry a wingman up top. They lured midfielder Issa Rayan away from the Pacific Northwest, re-uniting the midfielder with the manager for whom he made his professional debut.

Check out more USL moves at uslchampionship.com/transactions.

A Record-Breaker for FC Dallas

Perhaps the most notable move here in the United States- from any league - came bearing the name of striker Ricardo Pepi. On Monday, the 18-year old FC Dallas product made his way to Germany, joining Bundesliga side FC Augsberg for a record-setting fee of $20 million USD. The number is the highest fee ever for a homegrown MLS Product, and the second highest for any outgoing MLS player behind Miguel Almirón's 2019 move from Atlanta United to Newcastle.

More from MLS

Shortly after the European window opened, Orlando City SC and USMNT striker Daryl Dike officially changed shirts, hopping across the Atlantic to join West Bromich Albion of the EFL Championship. He signed with the English side for a fee of $9.5 million USD over four and a half years.

New York Red Bulls reached a transfer agreement with sister Bundesliga side Red Bull Salzberg, retaining the services of goalkeeper Carlos Coronel and signing him to a three-year contract. Coronel was one of MLS's top keepers in 2021, sharing the league lead in clean sheets (13).


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