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Sources: LAFC send Colorado up to $1.5 million GAM for USMNT midfielder Kellyn Acosta

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LAFC have reached an agreement to acquire US men’s national team midfielder Kellyn Acosta from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for up to $1.5 million in General Allocation Money (GAM), sources tell MLSsoccer.com.

The deal includes $1.1 million GAM up front with a further $400k in performance-based incentives. Colorado will retain a sell-on percentage in Acosta that kicks in above what LAFC invested to acquire him, should he be transferred abroad or traded within MLS.

The deal is among the most expensive intra-league trades in MLS history.

Colorado and the 26-year-old Acosta’s camp engaged in discussions over a contract extension for some time, with numerous offers on the table, though the two parties never reached an agreement. Acosta has ambitions to play in Europe as well. His current contract included club options for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, meaning he could become a free agent in January 2024 if he doesn’t sign a new deal.

Acosta has made 79 regular-season appearances with the Rapids since arriving in a trade with FC Dallas in 2018, the club where he signed a homegrown contract. He already has 196 MLS appearances in his career. Acosta was part of the Rapids side that topped the Western Conference in 2021 and qualified for the Concacaf Champions League.

The midfielder also returned to the USMNT during his spell in Colorado after falling out of favor. Acosta has 45 caps with the national team, including 21 games in 2021, the same amount he played for Colorado last year. He was part of both the Nations League and Gold Cup-winning squads and has been a regular during Concacaf World Cup qualifying.

LAFC and Colorado were recently trade partners for another blockbuster deal involving an international-level midfielder, with the Rapids acquiring Mark-Anthony Kaye from LAFC last summer in exchange for $1m GAM plus incentives and an international roster slot. The Rapids also received a first-round pick at the 2022 SuperDraft, which became the No. 10 selection that they traded to Nashville SC for $125k GAM plus $50k incentives.

Acosta joins LAFC to help lead a new era, with Steve Cherundolo taking over as head coach following the departure of Bob Bradley to Toronto FC. He’ll slot into the first-choice starting XI, alongside other central options like Jose Cifuentes, Latif Blessing and Ilie Sanchez (recently signed as free agent).

MLS Best XI and former LAFC stalwart midfielder Eduard Atuesta departed for Palmeiras this winter, while former core pieces like Kaye, Diego Rossi and Tristan Blackmon have also all departed since the summer.

Acosta is the Black & Gold’s biggest addition so far this winter, while Franco Escobar and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi have already arrived via trades this offseason as well. LAFC still intend to sign a Designated Player this winter after missing out on Uruguay international Jonathan Rodriguez, who left Liga MX’s Cruz Azul for Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr this week.

Even in Acosta’s departure, Colorado still have Canada regular Kaye and Jack Price as holdover starters in central midfield, as well as Brazilian U22 Initiative signing Max Alves and last year’s No. 3 selection in the SuperDraft Philip Mayaka.

Rising USMNT talent Cole Bassett is still technically on the roster, but as MLSsoccer.com has previously reported, he is likely to depart this winter amid a flurry of interested European clubs. He is closing in on a potential loan to Dutch club Feyenoord, as has been reported Friday. The Rapids also selected former FC Dallas DP midfielder Bryan Acosta in the Re-Entry Draft, though have not made an announcement on if they came to an agreement for a contract or not.

The largest allocation money for a player deal, by terms of guaranteed money up front, was when the Philadelphia Union acquired David Accam from Chicago Fire FC for $1.2m xAM in 2018. Dom Dwyer was traded to Orlando City SC from Sporting Kansas City in 2017 for $900k xAM up front plus $700k in incentives, with $1.6m remaining the biggest potential package. Though there’s been no reporting on how much – if any – of the incentives hit.

Other seven-figure deals include when Justin Meram was sent from Columbus Crew to Orlando the same year for $1.05m xAM. Darlington Nagbe was traded to Columbus from Atlanta United for $1.05m xAM plus incentives and an international roster spot in 2020. Walker Zimmerman was acquired by Nashville SC from LAFC ahead of the 2020 season for $900k GAM + $350k GAM incentives and an international roster spot.

In more recent times, CF Montréal acquired Djordje Mihailovic for up to $1m GAM in 2021 then Alistair Johnston for $1m GAM this offseason. Fellow USMNT midfielder Sebastian Lletget was traded from the LA Galaxy to New England Revolution for $500k GAM up front with further $800k in incentives this winter as well.





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Midfielder Celeste Boureille departs Thorns FC

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Celeste Boureille has informed Thorns FC of her impending move to a European-based club, the club confirmed today, with an announcement regarding her next destination expected in the near future

Boureille, 27, was out of contract with the Thorns after the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League season and had announced her departure from the team on Monday via social media.

She joined the Thorns as an undrafted free agent before the 2016 season and went on to make 66 regular-season appearances with the club over her six seasons. She was part of NWSL Shield winning teams in 2016 and 2021 and was member of the Thorns’ NWSL Championship team in 2017.

“My time as a Thorn has been an amazingly rewarding experience and I have loved every second of it,” Boureille said on Twitter. “Thank you to the entire Portland organization for giving me this unforgettable opportunity since day one as a Pro.”





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Charlotte FC eye more DPs beyond “special player” Karol Świderski

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Krneta assured that more additions are on the way, too, particularly of the DP variety (as many as two more). Ecuador international midfielder Jordy Alcívar is currently a Young DP, though that classification could change come roster compliance day.

“We’re looking for more,” Krneta said. “There will be more DPs, we have options and this is why we build the club and the roster in a way that we can cherry-pick, if you like, at the end of the roster-building who we want. … These very good players, it’s not easy to get these players over the line. There’s always an issue or two. But hopefully soon we’ll add one or two more players.”

As key signings are finalized, Świderski is relishing the opportunity – and natural pressure – that awaits him in Charlotte.

“America, this was my dream also,” Świderski said. “I’m so happy to be here.”





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Atlanta United Adds Sixth Preseason Opponent 

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ATLANTA – Atlanta United today announced the club has added a sixth preseason match against Tepatitlán FC to be played Sunday, Feb. 13 while the team is in Mexico. It will be the second match Atlanta plays that day after taking on Chivas Guadalajara. Both matches will be played at Chivas’ Verde Valle training facility and are closed to the public.

The club also announced it will stream each of its remaining preseason matches live on ATLUTD.com/live, including all three matches in Mexico. Atlanta is scheduled to open its 2022 MLS Regular Season on Sunday, Feb. 27 against Sporting Kansas City at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (3 p.m., FS1/FOX Deportes). Tickets for the Home Opener are now available.

After playing Georgia Storm on Jan. 25, the club will continue its preseason with its second match against Georgia Revolution on Jan. 30 (12:00 p.m.) at the Turner Soccer Complex on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. The match, presented by Piedmont Healthcare, sold out to Season Ticket Members earlier on Wednesday and the club also announced that a portion of the ticket proceeds will be donated to the Piedmont Healthcare Foundation.

Atlanta will then travel to Guadalajara and train daily at Club Atlas Colomos in Zapopan, Mexico. It’s first match at Colomos will be against Celaya FC and will be open to media. Atlanta will then play two matches Feb. 13, playing Tepatitlán FC after its match against Chivas. Tepatitlán FC is currently in Mexico’s second division and will join Celaya as the second Liga de Expansión MX opponent for Atlanta this preseason. Tepatitlán won the league’ Clausura – winning the Guardianes 2021 by defeating Atlético Morelia in the tournament final. A week later it won the 2020-21 season by defeating Apertura champions Tampico Madero in penalties.

After returning from Mexico, Atlanta will play its final preseason match at Birmingham Legion FC on Feb. 20 at Protective Stadium. Ticket information for the match will be announced in the coming weeks.





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