NYCFC Adds Homegrown Player as Columbus Crew Acquires Talent from Liga MX

The 2024 Major League Soccer season is rapidly approaching, and teams are making moves in the transfer market. In the Eastern Conference, the Columbus Crew has added Liga MX talent, NYCFC has secured their 13th ever homegrown signing, and Inter Miami has announced a league-changing addition with Luis Suarez joining the team. The upcoming campaign promises plenty of action with all the transfers taking place.

Fresh off their 2023 MLS Cup victory, the Columbus Crew has signed Colombian midfielder Marino Hinestroza as a U22 Initiative player. Hinestroza joins from Liga MX side Pachuca and is contracted through the 2026 MLS season with an option for 2027. Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko expressed excitement about the signing, stating, “Marino performed at a high level for Pachuca this past year, and we are excited to help further advance this young player’s development within our club.” Hinestroza is expected to be a versatile addition to the team’s midfield and attack.

The Crew is preparing to participate in various upcoming tournaments, including the MLS regular season, Concacaf Champions Cup, Leagues Cup, and Campeones Cup, making Hinestroza’s addition crucial to their aspirations moving forward.

In another transfer move, Austin FC has signed goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland through the 2025 MLS season, with the option for an additional year in 2026. Cleveland previously served as a backup for Seattle Sounders FC and was selected by Chicago Fire FC during the Super draft pick in 2017. Austin FC sporting director Rodolfo Borrell expressed his satisfaction with the signing, stating, “We’re happy to add someone of Stefan’s caliber to the talented group of goalkeepers on our roster.”

Meanwhile, New York City FC has signed homegrown talent Zidane Yañez through the 2028 season, with the option for an additional year in 2029. Yañez joined the team’s academy in 2021 and has risen through the ranks to secure a professional contract with the club. Sporting director David Lee expressed his delight at Yañez’s signing, highlighting his excellent attributes as a forward and clinical goal-scoring ability.

Yañez has also gained exposure internationally, representing Chile and Puerto Rico’s Under 16 national teams and being called into a US U16 training camp this year, showcasing his potential to make an impact across different levels of competition.

With all these major transfer moves, the 2024 MLS season is shaping up to be an exciting and action-packed period for soccer fans. The additions of Hinestroza, Cleveland, and Yañez to their respective teams are sure to make an impact as the league progresses.


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