MLS Ticker: D.C. United adds Klich, Dynamo sign Escobar, and more
Mateusz Klich has been on the radar of D.C. United for some time now and the Polish international officially made his move to MLS on Thursday. Klich joined D.C. United as a Designated Player, signing a two-year contract with the Eastern Conference club. Klich’s contract will also include an option year for 2025. “Mateusz is a first-rate midfielder who will add top-level experience to our roster,” D.C. United Head Coach Wayne Rooney said. “I’ve been watching him since he helped lead Leeds to promotion to the Premier League and his vision, range of passing, and scoring ability will be a huge asset for us this season.” The 32-year-old spent the past four seasons with Leeds United, helping the Lilywhites earn promotion back to the English Premier League in 2020, and fight off relegation in 2021 and 2022. During his time with Leeds United, the Polish midfielder scored 24 goals and recorded 21 assists in 195 matches across all competitions. Klich made his competitive debut in 2008 for Cracovia in the Polish first division, eventually totaling 56 appearances for the club. He also played for Wolfsburg, PEC Zwolle, Kaiserslautern, and FC Twente before joining Leeds United in 2017. Klich has also earned 41 caps with the Polish national team to date. Here is a closer look at all of the recent MLS News: Dynamo sign fullback Franco Escobar The Houston Dynamo bolstered its defensive options on Thursday with free agent fullback Franco Escobar signing with the Western Conference club. Escobar signed a two-year contract with the Dynamo, which includes an option year for 2025. The two-time MLS Cup winner stays in the Western Conference after helping Los Angeles FC lift the league title in 2022. He finished with 19 appearances in his lone season with LAFC, scoring once and assisting once. Escobar has won five titles in Major League Soccer since he joined the league in 2018. He won MLS Cup, the U.S. Open Cup, and Campeones Cup as a member of Atlanta United before winning MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield with LAFC last season. “Franco is a winner in our league. Since coming to MLS in 2018, he has won every major domestic trophy available, including two MLS Cups, a Supporters’ Shield, Campeones Cup, and the U.S. Open Cup,” Dynamo general manager Pat Onstad said. “He will strengthen our backline and provide valuable experience to our locker room. We are thrilled that Franco chose Houston in the next step in his career.” He is the fifth acquisition by the Dynamo this offseason. Toronto FC adds veteran forward Diomande Adama Diomande is back in MLS after joining Toronto FC via waivers on Thursday. Diomande, 32, signed a two-year contract with Bob Bradley’s squad, which includes an option year for 2025. The Norwegian striker joined Los Angeles FC during their expansion season in 2018 and proceeded to score 24 goals and add 11 assists in 52 appearances for the club. “I had the opportunity to work with Dio at Stabæk and at LAFC, and I am excited to welcome him to Toronto FC,” Bradley said in a release. “He is a proven striker with vast experience playing in MLS and Europe. His smart runs, athletic presence, and skill to finish in the box will immediately impact our attack.” Diomande played in China and Qatar after leaving LAFC before most recently playing for Norwegian club Odd this season. He has earned 11 caps with the Norwegian national team to date. Diomande joins Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Bernardeschi, and Jesus Jimenez in the TFC attacking fold this season. Sporting KC adds defensive help in Tim Leibold signing Peter Vermes has a new defender to call on in 2023 with Tim Leibold making the move to Sporting Kansas City. The 29-year-old signed a three-year MLS contact through the 2025 season. Leibold most recently played for German 2. Bundesliga side Hamburg, totaling 79 appearances and five goals for the club over four years. Leibold also featured for FC Nuremberg, SGV Freiburg, and Stuttgart II in his European career, totaling over 250 appearances in the top four divisions of Germany. He is the second offseason signing for SKC this season, joining Nemanja Radoja. Quick Kicks: Real Salt Lake signed winger Maikel Chang to a contract extension through the 2023 MLS season. The 31-year-old Cuban international enters his fourth campaign with RSL,totaling five goals and 14 assists across 83 total appearances. The Chicago Fire signed defender Jonathan Dean from USL Championship club Birmingham Legion. Dean is under contract with the Fire through the 2023 MLS season after registering four goals and 16 assists in 85 matches across all competitions in the USL. Minnesota United signed 2023 MLS Draft pick Ryen Jiba to a one-year contract through the 2023 MLS season with options for 2024-26, the club announced Thursday. Jiba, the No. 19 overall pick by the Loons, spent last year with USL League One side Union Omaha, featuring in 28 matches for the club.