Whitecaps sign Berhalter, Sounders agree to contract extensions

The 2022 MLS season is just weeks away and things are busy in the transfer market.

With the European window closed, local talent departures should start to slow again for a few more months. But the activity in MLS has only just begun.

The imminent transfer of Xherdan Shaqiri from Lyon to the Chicago Fire and the announced transfer of Douglas Costa from Juventus to LA Galaxy will certainly be in the headlines. Jozy Altidore looks set to join the New England revolution, and it’s sure to get everyone talking. But they are not over yet and only represent the tip of the iceberg.

Friday was another busy day of deals and contract negotiations across the league, here’s what you might have missed…

FC Dallas spent $2 million in General Allocation Money (GAM) to acquire USMNT winger Paul Arriola from DC United last month – a GAM record amount. All that remained was to agree their own contract with him.

It was all done and dusted off on Friday as Arriola signed a deal at Frisco until 2025, with a club option for 2026.

With 35 straight goals in 89 MLS regular season games and the versatility to play anywhere on the right flank, Arriola is definitely the kind of guy Dallas will want to keep for years to come.

Bill Hamid remains DC United’s undisputed No.1 but the Black and Red have yet to ensure he is backed.

They ticked that box on Friday with the re-signing of 28-year-old Jon Kempin, who has 32 regular season games under his belt with DCU, Sporting Kansas City, the LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew.

“We are pleased to have re-signed Jon for the upcoming season,” general manager Lucy Rushton said in a press release. “He has embraced the culture of the club and was an important member of our team last season. We look forward to his hard work and commitment to the team in 2022.”

While his father is busy overseeing the USMNT’s bid for World Cup qualification, Sebastian Berhalter has completed his transfer from the Columbus Crew to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The ‘Caps paid $50,000 in GAM upfront for the 20-year-old midfielder, with up to $50,000 more to be paid if certain performance markers are hit. The crew will also receive a percentage of any fees if Berhalter is sold outside of MLS.

“Sebastian is a young player we have identified in the league who adds depth to our defensive midfield position as he brings great intensity in the press, a strong work ethic and high ratings in defensive contributions” , Whitecaps sporting director Axel Schuster said in a press release. Release.

“He will be added to our supplementary list as we will continue to keep the door open for a more experienced player in this position.”

Given their existing level of talent, it’s perhaps more important that the Sounders focus on locking down what they have rather than finding new recruits in the immediate future.

On Friday, three of their most important articles put pen to paper on new contracts. Lethal striker Raul Ruidiaz has signed until 2024, key midfielder and 2021 MVP runner-up Joao Paulo stays until 2023 with another optional year, and centre-back Xavier Arreaga has re-signed for 2023 with options for another two seasons.

“Raúl, João Paulo and Xavier have proven to be important elements of the success of the club, and we are delighted to have signed each of them for a contract extension,” said general manager and president of football Garth. Lagerwey in a statement.

“With 28 players under contract, we believe we are in an excellent position ahead of the next Concacaf Champions League action and MLS regular season.”

Slovakia striker Albert Rusnak is by far the biggest incoming deal the Sounders have had so far. With some showpieces whose future is assured, perhaps they will now focus more on bolstering Brian Schmetzer’s roster.

Dynamo have been busier than most rebuilding this offseason under new general manager Pat Onstad. On Friday, they turned their attention to youngsters with the acquisition of 16-year-old midfielder Brooklyn Raines after securing his territory rights from Real Salt Lake.

Raines – a young United States international – joins Houston on a multi-year deal, with $50,000 GAM sent to RSL.

“We want Houston Dynamo FC to be a destination for the best young talent in the country and signing Brooklyn Raines is a step in the right direction,” Onstad said.

“Brooklyn has attracted interest from around the world and we are proud that it has chosen to continue its development in Houston. He is a player with great potential and we look forward to him progressing through our player development journey.