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The Pitch: Highlights of the 2024 Primary Transfer Window

April 23, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release

Courtois' Columbus Homecoming: First-year CF Montréal head coach Laurent Courtois returns home this weekend to face former colleague Wilfried Nancy, who was formerly Montréal's head coach between 2021-2022, the Columbus Crew, where Courtois had previously coached since 2019.and the side he lifted 2023 MLS Cup with.

The 2024 Primary Transfer Window closes tonight (Tuesday, April 23) at 11:59 CT and teams across Major League Soccer are already reaping the benefits of players added during this key acquisition period on the league's calendar.

Among those players who arrived in MLS during the early transfer window include:

Luis Suárez (Inter Miami CF): Suárez (six goals, four assists) has been a force for Miami and is one of only three MLS players with 10 goal contributions through Matchday 10, joining teammate Lionel Messi (13) and Real Salt Lake's Cristian Arango (14).

Joseph Paintsil (LA Galaxy): Paintsil has been otherworldly for a Galaxy squad that sits atop the Western Conference with 18 points (5-1-3) through nine games. Behind that strong start has been the speedy Ghanaian forward, who has four goals and four assists while helping the club rank second in MLS in scoring (21 goals).

Emil Forsberg (New York Red Bulls): The New York Red Bulls have received standout performances from several players thus far in 2024, with the play of club captain Forsberg has being the catalyst for the team's attack. The Swedish midfielder has two goals and two assists in seven matches and leads the team with 14 key passes, while helping guide the Red Bulls to 16 points (4-1-4) and a second-place seat in the East.

Djordje Mihailovic and Zack Steffen (Colorado Rapids): The duo of Mihailovic and Steffen have helped a Rapids squad get off to a strong start (15 points, 4-2-3) in 2024 after finishing at the bottom of the Western Conference table in 2023. (See below for more on the Rapids' recent unbeaten run). The Secondary Transfer Window opens on Thursday, July 18 and runs through Wednesday, August 14. A major opportunity for clubs to reinforce their squads, the Secondary Transfer Window has seen the likes of Lionel Messi (MIA), Sergio Busquets (MIA), Cucho Hernández (CLB), Dénis Bouanga (LAFC), Riqui Puig (LA Galaxy), and Lorenzo Insigne (TOR) enter the league across the last two seasons.

Kirk Cousins gets Atlanta United's crowd on their feet as he hammers the Golden Spike during their pre-game ritual.

Usher visited his hometown of Chattanooga, Tenn. to receive the key to the city and a Chattanooga FC jersey from mayor Tim Kelly. Joaquin Escoto hired as Executive Vice President for San Diego FC and Right to Dream Academy, overseeing a fully funded, free academy and school for ages 12 to 18. Mayor Eric Adams spoke at New York City FC's rally for their Willets Point soccer stadium transformation.

Ignacio 'Nacho' Piatti, MLS and CF Montréal legend, joins MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

Starting this Saturday, April 27, Piatti will join the MLS 360, MLS La Previa and MLS El Resumen studio shows as an analyst, alongside talents such as Giovanni Savarese, Antonella González, Toni Cherchi and Miguel Gallardo.

As a CF Montréal player, Piatti made more than 130 MLS appearances, scoring 71 goals and contributing 38 assists in six seasons. The Argentine was also selected three times to the MLS All-Star team (2016, 2017, 2018) and the MLS Best XI in 2016 and 2018. In addition, he was named the club's Most Valuable Player on four consecutive occasions (2015-2018) and leading scorer in three seasons (2016, 2017, 2018).

Don't miss all the Spanish-language programming with the MLS 360 show, where you can enjoy all the action, real-time analysis and goals from every game, this Saturday, April 27, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET on MLS Season Pass via the Apple TV app.

Undefeated in their last four matches (2-0-2), New York City FC's dynamic South American players have led the charge, scoring each of the last five goals for the club. New York City has helped develop South American talents in Lazio's Valentín 'Taty' Castellanos, Girona's Yangel Herrera, and Spartak Moscow's Jesús Medina, and that pipeline is flourishing again in 2024.

The man pulling the strings has been Uruguayan midfielder Santiago Rodríguez, who has four goals and an assist this season, stepping up in his fourth year with the club. Joining Rodríguez in the goal-scoring has been U22 Initiative signings Agustín Ojeda (19) and Julían Fernández (20), each starting to settle into their first full seasons in MLS.

Ojeda has started the last two matches and looked dynamic on the wing racing at defenders. Fernández is also dazzling after he came to the club from Velez Sarsfield in August of last year. With a new trio of South Americans inspiring the present form in the Big Apple, New York City look dangerous once again in the Eastern Conference.

Last week, Columbus Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy and Houston Dynamo FC head coach Ben Olsen signed contract extensions with their clubs after winning MLS Cup presented by Audi and the U.S. Open Cup, respectively, in 2023 and carrying that form in 2024.

In his first season with the Crew, Nancy tied single-season records for points won (57) and goals scored (67) en route to claiming the club's third MLS Cup title. The Crew has also advanced to the Concacaf Champions Cup semifinal for the first time in club history this season.

Olsen led Houston back to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2017, where the club reached the Western Conference Final, and his side lifted its first trophy since 2018 and qualified for the Concacaf Champions Cup with an Open Cup victory over Inter Miami CF.

First-year Colorado Rapids head coach Chris Armas' mission to flip 2023's last-place Rapids side into a Western Conference playoff contender has started strongly, with key contributions coming from major offseason acquisitions and players from the development pipeline.

U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Djordje Mihailovic has been a strong signing so far, demonstrating his ability to take over games as he powered the Rapids to a 3-2 win over LAFC on Matchday 8. Likewise, newcomer Rafael Navarro has scored in big games, including a 2-2 draw at Lionel Messi's Inter Miami CF and a 2-1 win over regional rivals Real Salt Lake. Zack Steffen is also finding his national team-caliber form again after keeping his first clean sheet for the Rapids against the San Jose Earthquakes on Matchday 9.

Armas, a former U.S. Men's National Team midfielder, has also helped homegrown duo Cole Bassett and Oliver Larraz grow into their partnership at the base of the Rapids' midfield. Bassett continues to be a young leader for this team and is on the peripheral for the U.S. Men's roster at the 2024 Summer Olympics while Larraz looks to carry his MLS NEXT Pro Best XI form in 2023 to his first full season as a starter in MLS.

In defense, Moïse Bombito, a 2023 draft pick, has been steady for the Rapids in his sophomore season and demonstrated impressive recovery speed this season as he continues to push for inclusion in Canada's roster for this summer's Copa América.

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