What we’re hearing about Miami, Philly and more at the start of MLS free agency: Bogert and Tenorio

The 2023 MLS season officially ended on Saturday with the Columbus Crew lifting the MLS Cup, and now all 29 teams are in offseason mode. That means silly season is upon us. Free agency officially opened at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Here’s the latest we’re hearing about MLS.

Julian Gressel’s favorite Inter Miami

Inter Miami is interested in free agent/midfielder Julien Gressel and is considered the favorite to land the two-time MLS Cup winner, sources familiar with the situation say. The athlete.

Miami is led by former Atlanta United coach Tata Martino, who was Grissel’s first manager in the MLS.

The New England Revolution also wants Gressel and is in the mix. Sources are currently describing it as a race between Miami and New England, but with free agency just opening, things could change.

Gressel, who turns 30 this week, spent the latter half of 2023 with the Columbus Crew, winning his second MLS Cup. He won his first title at Atalanta under Martino in 2018. He is considered among the best players in MLS and can also play at right-back or central midfield, providing useful versatility for any club, but especially for Miami and New England. Qualified for the CONCACAF Champions Cup and could benefit from additional depth.

Miami continues to build its roster around Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. They added rising internationals Tomas Aviles, Facundo Farias and Diego Gomez last summer, and the club is finalizing a deal to sign Luis Suarez this winter.

The German-born Gressel played six international matches for the US national team after becoming a citizen last year.

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The duo of Philly Wagner and Bedoya hit free agency

After the Philadelphia Union changed course and reopened discussions with club legend Ally Bedoya and left-back Kai Wagner over potential returns, nothing has been agreed yet as the duo officially hit free agency.

Sources say the club remains open to talks with both players, but no agreements have been reached.

Bedoya, 36, has been an integral part of Philly’s transformation to the top tier of MLS clubs since his arrival in 2016. He started 25 regular season games and all three of their playoff appearances this year, and remains a key player for coach Jim Curtin.

Wagner, 26, has been an important part of the Union’s success in recent years, having made the All-Star squad in 2021 and 2022. He was a 2022 MLS Team of the Year selection, as well as a finalist for MLS Defender of the Year. While he set a new league record for assists by a defender. Wagner played 170 games with Philly.

The union had a contract offer for Wagner as of last week and said that offer would have a deadline. If Sensi senses an imminent offer from abroad for left wing-back Alvaro Barreal, he will be among the clubs considering taking Wagner in free agency, but the timing complicates any potential bid.

Cincy acquires Kyler from Austin

FC Cincinnati has acquired the MLS rights to center back Kip Keller from Austin FC in exchange for a third-round SuperDraft pick, sources familiar with the deal said.

Sources add that Cincy has agreed to a first-team contract with Keller as well.

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Keller, 23, was selected fifth overall in the 2022 SuperDraft by Austin. FC Cincinnati had the second overall pick and strongly considered Keller, but selected goaltender Roman Celentano instead. Now they have both.

The centre-back made 17 first-team appearances over two seasons with Austin and a further 16 appearances for the club’s second team. Before that, he starred at Saint Louis University.

LA Galaxy are pursuing the Japanese international right-back

The Los Angeles Galaxy are in negotiations to sign Japanese right-back Miki Yamane from Kawasaki Frontale, sources familiar with the talks said.

Nothing has been agreed or finalized yet.

Yamane, who turns 30 this month, has 21 caps for Japan and was part of the squad for the 2022 World Cup. He has spent his entire career in Japan so far, making nearly 200 top-flight appearances. He was a key player in the AFC Champions League. He has won two league titles with Kawasaki.

Yamane will likely join fellow international Maya Yoshida in Los Angeles.

Japanese port of DomeSoccer The talks were first reported.

Gadi Kinda is unlikely to return to SKC

Sporting KC-appointed player and Israeli international midfielder Gadi Kinda is unlikely to return to the club this winter, sources familiar with the talks said.

Talks are currently inactive, as he is expected to return to Europe to be closer to family. Kenda’s contract expired after four seasons with the club.

The 29-year-old attacking midfielder has been productive when healthy, but has been limited to just 20 appearances (eight starts) over the last 68 regular season games in two seasons for SKC. He missed all of 2022 with a knee injury.

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Kinda scored 16 goals and 17 assists in 80 games with SKC.

Kinda’s departure will open up a DP spot for SKC. The club re-signed striker Alan Pulido to a new contract this autumn, maintaining the club’s record signing with SKC long-term. His contract was also scheduled to expire this winter.

Liga MX clubs are interested in Areola

Several Liga MX clubs have Paul Areola on their target list for a potential winter move, but FC Dallas has yet to receive any offers, sources familiar with the situation said.

Arriola, 28, has dual citizenship and resides in the United States and Mexico. He began his career at FC Tijuana, making his debut in 2013. He made 80 appearances for the Xolos before signing with DC United in 2017. He was traded to FC Dallas ahead of the 2022 season for a league record fee of US$2 million .

Club América tried to sign Areola that winter as well.

Areola had the best season of his career in 2022 with 10 goals and six assists for Dallas, but struggled with injury in 2023. He is under contract through 2025 with a club option for 2026.

(Photo: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

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