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MLS 2023 Season: New Faces in New Places

New Campaign Begins on February 25

Major League Soccer has become an attractive market. Last season, players such as Giacomo Vrioni, Gareth Bale, Lorenzo Insigne, Hector Herrera and Giorgio Chiellini were part of a new wave of superstars that landed in the American league.

The 2023 season will also have a lot of new faces in different places, including a 24-year-old midfielder that spent the last five years in Denmark and a goalkeeper that even played in the UEFA Champions League. Let’s check the top five signings and transfers for the upcoming campaign.

Josef Martinez #7 of Atlanta United
Josef Martinez #7 of Atlanta United - Steph Chambers/Getty Images/afp

Let’s check the latest MLS picks, stats, injury reports, and MLS predictions. We’ve got plenty of MLS expert picks for you to consider.

1. Martinez

Gonzalo Higuain decided to retire after the 2022 season, leaving Inter Miami CF without an experienced striker to lead the attacking unit. However, the front office did some astonishing work and managed to sign Josef Martinez, who played for Atlanta United from 2017-23.

In 2018, Martinez won the Golden Boot and was named MVP. Overall, he ended up scoring 111 goals in 158 appearances for the Five Stripes. That’s amazing considering he missed the 2020 season due to injury. Last season, he failed to score more than 10 goals for the first time since joining the league, meaning he’s thirsty for revenge.

2. Long

You know what people say: offense wins games but defense wins championships. That’s why Los Angeles FC, also known as the reigning champions, decided to bring in Aaron Long, who’s considered one of the best center-backs in recent years.

Long used to play for the New York Red Bulls. Last season, only the Philadelphia Union conceded fewer goals than the Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference. Long even got the call to represent the U.S. in the 2022 World Cup. There’s no doubt that he’s going to learn a lot from the likes of Chiellini. Needless to say, LAFC come in as the betting online favorites to win the title. They’re offering a +450 price.

3. Herrera

 Aaron Herrera #22 of Real Salt Lake
Aaron Herrera #22 of Real Salt Lake – David Berding/Getty Images/AFP

With Alistair Johnson gone, CF Montreal needed a new defender. Well, they wasted no time and signed Aaron Herrera, who played for Real Salt Lake from 2018 to 2022. Herrera can play right back or center back, making him a very valuable asset.

Last season, Herrera started 25 games for RSL. He finished with three assists. He’s only 25, meaning this could end up being a great transfer in the long term. As if that wasn’t enough, the price was right.

4. Evander

Two seasons ago, the Portland Timbers almost won the MLS Cup. Last season, they didn’t qualify for the postseason. They finished eighth in the Western Conference.

With Diego Valeri finished due to retirement and Sebastian Blanco having trouble keeping up the pace, they needed a spark, and they found it in Denmark. A Brazilian playmaker named Evander, who played the last five years for FC Midtjylland. During that span, he scored 42 goals and added 32 assists. He contributed to winning one Superliga title and two domestic cups.

In other words, he’s a certified winner. With Evander on board, the Timbers can be considered a tempting MLS betting underdog. They’re offering a +4000 price to win the title.

5. Burki

Finally, we’ve Roman Burki, a veteran goalkeeper who played for Borussia Dortmund, one of Germany’s powerhouses, from 2015-22. He’s 32, meaning he still has plenty of gas left in the tank. Burki, who won the DFB Pokal twice, is expected to be St. Louis City SC captain, the league’s newest member. He also was called up to represent Switzerland in two World Cups (2014, 2018) and one European Championship (2016).

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