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MLS transfer tracker & grades: Eduard Atuesta is back with LAFC, RSL sign Matt Crooks & more

We're tracking and grading every key MLS incoming move.

32 min read
Design: Peyton Gallaher

Welcome to Backheeled's MLS offseason transfer tracker! This list will update as the offseason continues, with grades for each and every notable incoming move.

2/13/24: Charlotte FC sign defensive midfielder Djibril Diani

Deal type: Signing

Grade: B

Explanation: The 26-year-old French midfielder, who arrives from Ligue 2, will be an option for Dean Smith at the base of midfield or as a left-sided center back. Diani’s size and range set him apart.

2/13/24: Nashville SC sign center back Brent Kallman

Deal type: Signing

Grade: C-

Explanation: Kallman will be a center back option deep down on Gary Smith’s depth chart. Don’t expect him to play a big role in 2024.

2/12/24: Real Salt Lake sign midfielder Matt Crooks from Middlesbrough

Deal type: Signing

Grade: A

Explanation: Crooks, 30, should slide into an attacking midfield role for Real Salt Lake in 2024. With Damir Kreilach and Jefferson Savarino both gone, the English lower-league veteran should help add some goals back into the team. In his 1,500 Championship minutes with Middlesbrough this year, Crooks finished in the 86th percentile in non-penalty expected goals plus expected assisted goals per 90 minutes among his positional peers. This move has promise.

2/8/24: LAFC sign Eduard Atuesta from Palmeiras

Deal type: Loan

Grade: A

Explanation: Atuesta is back, folks. The Colombian was excellent at the base of LAFC’s midfield before moving to Palmeiras in Brazil’s top-flight. The 26-year-old struggled for minutes with Palmeiras, but thrived as a single-pivot and ball progresser under Bob Bradley. He’ll ease the minutes burden on Ilie Sanchez and could see some time as a No. 8, too.

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