MLS Rundown: The Belgians Are Taking Over



Sporting Kansas City are to sign French playmaker Yohan Croizet from Belgian team KV Mechelen.

The 26-year-old attacking midfielder only joined Mechelen last year for a club record fee but has not been able to string together a consistent run of performances. He began his professional career with Metz in his native France before moving to Belgium, where he has represented Virton, OH Leuven and Mechelen.

Belgians are no stranger to the MLS with several players arriving from Hercule Poirot’s homeland including Sasha Kljestan, Frederic Brillant, Victor Vazquez and Maxime Chanot.


Houston Dynamo had Alberth Elis on a loan deal last season from Liga MX side Monterrey and have now activated an option in the deal which sees them obtain his player rights on a permanent basis.

Elis had a successful debut season for the Dynamo as scored 10 goals and provided four assists for teammates. The Honduran international made a big impression on his initial postseason appearance, he scored the game-winning goal against Sporting Kansas City during the Knockout Round of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs in overtime. His performances for both the Dynamo and Honduras earned him a nomination for the CONCACAF Best XI.


The Earthquakes have announced that they have signed 15-year-old defender Jacob Akanyirige to a Homegrown Player contract.

“Jacob has shown an incredible amount of potential at such a young age,” commented Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli in a club statement. “We challenged him to play above his age this year and were impressed by his maturity and technical abilities. We are confident he will continue to develop with regular first team training exposure.”

Akanyirige becomes the youngest-ever signing by San Jose, and the third-youngest player currently in MLS (Gianluca Busio – Sporting Kansas City, George Bello – Atlanta United). He is also the eighth-youngest player to sign a pro contract in league history. Impressively he has been competing for the U-19s in 2017-18, despite being age-eligible for the U-17s.


New England Revolution have been busy re-signing three veteran players to contracts for the 2018 campaign.

The brilliantly named Teal Bunbury, 27, returns for a fifth season with the Revolution and his ninth MLS season overall. He appeared in 28 games in 2017, making 13 starts, scoring seven goals, and delivering one assist. He was voted the Revolution’s 2017 Players’ Player of the Year.

25-year-old Andrew Farrell is back to New England for a sixth season. The first overall selection of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Farrell appeared in 30 games, all starts, and recorded a career-high three assists in 2017.

Brad Knighton, 32, is set for an eighth season with the Revolution and his eleventh in MLS. The veteran goalkeeper made six starts, registered 20 saves and one clean sheet in 2017. Knighton started in each of the club’s three US Open Cup matches.


Goalkeeper Brian Rowe has departed LA Galaxy for Vancouver Whitecaps in a trade deal. In exchange, the Galaxy will receive Vancouver’s natural second round pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.

“Brian is an experienced ‘keeper who has played in some very big games with the Galaxy,” said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson in a statement released by the club. “Brian has the right temperament, he’s consistent, and he’ll make the big saves. Our goalkeeper coach Stewart Kerr has experience working with Brian and cannot say enough about his fantastic locker room presence. He’s a great teammate and will provide healthy competition for Stefan Marinovic.”

Any Other Business…

New Zealand international Myer Bevan has signed for Vancouver Whitecaps for an initial one-year with a club option for an additional three… Atlanta United have acquired Venezuelan U-20 international left back Jose Hernandez from Caracas FC, he played in the FIFA U-20 World Cup final versus England… New England Revolution have also signed forward Brian Wright to a new one-year deal… former New England Revolution defender Darrius Barnes has announced his retirement via Instagram… Brothers Jorge and Jose Mas along with Masayoshi Son have been added to the ownership group of Miami’s prospective MLS expansion team.