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NYCFC 2023 Transfer Tracker: Announcements, rumors, sketchy tweets

Your hub for all breaking transfer news

Welcome to the Hudson River Blue Transfer Tracker, your hub for all breaking New York City FC transfer news. The Transfer Tracker will be updated when new information becomes available, so be sure to check back here to learn who’s in and who’s on their way out. Note: All confirmed transactions will be designated as such, and all rumors will be linked to sources.


NYCFC sign 15-year-old Jonny Shore to First Team contract

Confirmed, March 16, 2023

The Homegrown joined the NYCFC Academy in 2017 at the age of 10, made two appearances for NYCFC II last season.

• Santiago Rodríguez returns to NYCFC, signs Designated Player contract through 2027

Confirmed, March 3, 2023

New York City FC have finalized another new-but-not-new signing, officially announcing Santiago Rodríguez has rejoined the club on a Designated Player contract. According to the club, he’s available for selection immediately. You can read more here.

• James Sands returns to NYCFC, signs new four-year contract

Confirmed, March 1, 2023

James Sands is officially back with New York City FC, cutting short his loan to Rangers FC to return to his first professional club on a new four-year contract through the 2027 season. The club made the much-speculated-about move official with a video reveal that doubled as a helpful confirmation of Sands’s new kit number for the 2023 season. You can read more here.

• Report: Santiago Rodríguez signs long-term contract with NYCFC, will leave Montevideo City Torque

Rumor, February 10, 2023

Did Santiago Rodríguez sign a long-term contract with New York City FC that will keep the midfielder in New York City? According to respected journalist César Luis Merlo, the 23-year-old reached a deal with the club last week that will see him return to NYCFC after his loan from Montevideo City Torque lapsed at the end of December. You can read more here.

• PSV Eindhove’s Richie Ledezma to NYCFC?

Rumor, February 10, 2023

1970s heartthrob Tom Bogert was the first to tweet the report that NYCFC are looking to sign the 22-year-old Richie Ledezma from PSV. The rumor was later confirmed by Jeff Carlisle,’s chief soccer correspondent. Ledezma is a highly-regarded No 10 who has made one appearance for the UMNT, but who has made limited appearances since suffering an ACL tear in 2020.

• Braian Cufré joins from RCD Mallorca

Confirmed February 3, 2023

NYCFC have added Braian Cufré, a left-footed left-back from Argentina who will join from la Liga side RCD Mallorca. The 26-year-old should compete for playing time with Malte Amundsen, the regular starter at left-back, and Kevin O’Toole. You can read more here.

• An early return for James Sands from Rangers FC?

Rumor, February 2, 2023

James Sands sure looks like he’s on the way out of Rangers FC: Lack of recent game time, comments from his new manager, and a big Deadline Day signing by the Scottish club all seem to point to Sands not being long for Glasgow. It could mean an early return to the Bronx (and Queens, and maybe Harrison) for the Guy from Rye. You can read more here.

• Goalkeeper Matt Freese joins from Philadelphia Union

Confirmed January 27, 2023

NYCFC announced that Matt Freese officially joined today for $350,00 in guaranteed GAM over two years, plus another $400,000 in GAM if incentives are met. The 24-year-old eternal backup to goalkeeper Andre Blake is expected to compete for the number one spot at his new club. You can read more here.

• César Luis Merlo: Mallorca left-back Braian Cufré to NYCFC?

Rumor, January 26, 2023

Journalist Cesar Luis Merlo tweeted that the move of RCD Mallorca left-back Braian Cufré to NYCFC is “complete,” will be a loan with an option to buy. This follows up on an earlier tweet posted by journalist Jamie Ojeda.

• Goalkeeper Matt Freese to NYCFC from the Philadelphia Union?

Rumor, January 23, 2023

Tom Selleck body double Tom Bogert tweeted that NYCFC is “finalizing” a deal to sign 24-year-old goalkeeper Mat Freese from Philadelphia Union, where the Homegrown is “stuck behind Andre Blake, a three-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.” As we all know, you can bank on Bogert’s tweets: He’s as reliable as they come.

• Máximo Perrone to NYCFC?

Rumor, January 22, 2023

Fabrizio Romano tweeted yesterday that Manchester City signed Máximo Perrone, a highly-regarded 20-year-old midfielder from Argentina that some compare to Frenkie De Jong, through 2028. Now the rumor mill is linking him to NYCFC, and a loan that will allow him to see regular minutes – feels light on specifics but hope springs eternal. Transfermarkt currently values Perrone at €8.5 million

• Justin Haak re-signs through 2025, option for 2026

Confirmed January 11, 2023

Homegrown midfielder Justin Haak signed a new contract that will keep him with the club through the 2025 season with an option for 2026. A native of Bushwick, Brooklyn, Haak is NYCFC’s third-ever Homegrown: He joined NYCFC’s inaugural Academy team in 2015, and signed his first professional contract with the club in 2019.

• NYCFC claim Gabe Segal off waivers

Confirmed, January 10, 2023

NYCFC claimed 21-year-old forward Gabe Segal off waivers. The attacker joins from FC Köln II in Regionalliga West, a semiprofessional league in Germany, where he scored one goal in 12 appearances. Segal is expected to play with NYCFC II. 

• NYCFC sign Slovenian youth international Mitja Ilenič

Confirmed January 4, 2023

NYCFC sign 18-year-old Mitja Ilenič, a right-back who played for NK Domžale in the Slovenian PrvaLiga. Ilenič has made seven appearances for Slovenia’s national youth teams, most recently featuring for the Slovenia U21 squad. NYCFC reportedly paid a €1 million fee. You can read more here.

• Winger Matías Pellegrini off waivers…again

Confirmed December 22, 2022

After declining Pellegrini’s option in November, NYCFC negotiated a new contract with the 22-year-old, signing a player for free who reportedly commanded a $9 million fee in 2019. You can read more here.

• NYCFC sign defender Jose “Tony” Alfaro

Confirmed December 22, 2022

The veteran MLS defender Jose “Tony” Alfaro was signed to a one-year contract with an option for 2024. The 29-year-old, who will add depth to the central defense, appeared in 18 games for DC United last season. You can read more here.

• NYCFC select Malcolm Johnston, Braudílio Rodrigues, Matthew Myers in 2023 MLS Superdraft

Confirmed December 21, 2022

New York City FC used their first-round pick in the 2023 MLS Superdraft to select midfielder Malcolm Johnston, the younger brother of Canadian international Alistair Johnston. NYCFC also selected Braudílio Rodrigues, a forward at Franklin Pierce University who scored 22 goals and notched 20 assists in 26 games, and forward Matthew Myers of Rutgers University, who scored 13 goals and notched six assists in 18 games. You can read more here.

• Slovenian youth international Mitja Ilenič to NYCFC?

Rumor, December 16, 2022

Slovenian sports publication reports that 18-year-old right-back Mitja Ilenič is on his way to NYCFC. The Slovenian youth international is valued at €400,000 by Transfermarkt.

• Maxi Moralez option exercised through 2023

Confirmed November 15, 2022

Maxi Moralez will remain with NYCFC through the end of the 2023 season. The midfielder will turn 36 in February, but he remains one of the most important players on the squad and continues to put in timeless performances.

• Kevin O’Toole option exercised through 2023

Confirmed November 15, 2022

Kevin O’Toole began the season playing for NYCFC II, and finished it as a regular in the Starting XI for the Senior Team. The 23-year-old had a breakout performance against against Liga MX champions Atlas FC in the Campeones Cup. You can read more here.

• Nicolas Benalcazar and Jonathan Jimenez options exercised through 2023

Confirmed November 15, 2022

Neither the 21-year-old defender Nicolas Benalcazar nor the 21-year-old forward Jonathan Jimenez made any appearances with the Senior Team in 2022, but both were regular starters for NYCFC II. You can read more here.

• Tayvon Gray signed through 2025

Confirmed November 15, 2022

Tayvon Gray was signed through 2025 with an option for 2026. The 20-year-old Homegrown defender was largely a depth piece in 2021, but after starting right-back Anton Tinnerholm suffered an Achilles injury just before the postseason, Gray started in all of NYCFC’s playoff games in their successful campaign to win the MLS Cup. Gray featured in 27 games in the 2022 season, logging 1878 minutes and making 22 starts. 

• Nick Cushing named head coach of NYCFC

Confirmed November 10, 2022

After taking over on an interim basis following former head coach Ronny Deila’s departure in June, 2022, Nick Cushing was named to the permanent position after the end of the MLS season. The 38-year-old joined NYCFC as an assistant coach in 2020; before that, he was the head coach of Manchester City Women, whom he led to a Super League title in 2016. 


• Chris Gloster departs after contract buyout

Confirmed February 17, 2023

The other shoe finally dropped on what seemed like an inevitable exit for left back Chris Gloster, as NYCFC’s official website tersely announced that the club used its one offseason buyout to remove Gloster from the roster.

• Sean Johnson joins Toronto FC

Confirmed January 27, 2023

Goalkeeper Sean Johnson officially joined Toronto FCconfirming earlier rumors. The goalkeeper leaves after six stellar seasons at NYCFC, helped transform an expansion team with a shaky defense into an MLS Cup-winning club. Read more here.

• Sean Johnson to Toronto FC?

Rumor, January 25, 2023

The weeks and weeks of reports and tweets and rumors linking former NYCFC captan-oh-my-captain Sean Johnson to Toronto FC are moving solidly into the “confirmed” zone: Tom “Pornstachio” Bogert tweeted earlier today that “Sean Johnson will join Toronto FC,” which makes it an all-but-done deal. Feeling a little numb at this point tbh.

• Alex Callens joins Girona FC

Confirmed January 23, 2023

The bad news is here: The best defender in NYCFC history and arguably the best player on the squad in 2022 joined la Liga side Girona FC for a reported two-and-one-half-year deal. The 30-year-old center-back was out of contract with New York City, and couldn’t come to terms with the club.

• Alex Callens to Girona FC?

Rumor, January 18, 2023

According to an article by Alex Luna published in Mundo Deportivo, the largest and oldest sports publication in Spain, the center back “has reached an agreement with Girona” to join the club. He is expected to fly to Spain this week to complete a physical and finalize the deal.

• Santiago Rodríguez recalled to Montevideo City Torque

Confirmed January 9, 2023

The official Twitter account of Montevideo City Torque tweeted a photo of Santiago Rodríguez suited up and ready for training back in Montevideo, Uruguay. Rodríguez’s loan to NYCFC expired on December 31, 2022. UPDATED 1/13/2023: Rodríguez said goodbye to NYCFC and their fans via Instagram.

• Alex Callens to Boca Juniors, Atlanta United?

Rumor, January 7, 2023

Jounalist Nick Negrini tweeted that Alex Callens is talking with Boca Juniors in Argentina’s Primera División and with Atlanta United in MLS. Callens is out of contract as of December 31, 2022. UPDATE: On January 10, 2023, Telemundo reporter Diego Montalvan tweeted that “Callens spoke to TVPeru about his future” and reportedly said “I’m a competitive person and my desire is to continue playing abroad. I’m training at Videna, keeping myself in good shape for when something comes. Who wouldn’t want to play in Boca, but for now all I can do is wait”.

• Sean Johnson to Toronto FC?

Rumor, January 6, 2023

Magnum PI look-alike Tom Bogert tweeted that Toronto FC is courting Sean Johnson, and the 33-year-old is entraining their offer while still in talks with NYCFC. Johnson is out is contract with NYCFC as of December 31, 2022.

• Santiago Rodríguez to Bahia? Montevideo City Torque? NYCFC?

Rumor, January 2, 2023

The oracular César Luis Merlo tweeted the current state of midfield maestro Santiago Rodíguez, who may or may not be back in the Bronx (and Queens) this year. Santi, who was on loan to NYCFC but who is out of contract as of December 31, 2022, is being courted by Bahia (but nothing is signed), and has been recalled to Montevideo City Torque (to report for training tomorrow), but could remain at NYCFC (if they buy his contract). Watch this space.

• Héber to Seattle Sounders

Confirmed December 29, 2022

NYCFC’s former backup striker is heading to the Pacific Northwest for $400,000 in GAM, plus another $150,000 in GAM if certain performance incentives are met. The announcementconfirms an earlier rumor tweeted by MLS oracle Tom Bogert.

• Maxi Moralez to Racing Club de Avellaneda

Confirmed December 23, 2022

Despite NYCFC exercising Maxi Moralez’s option in November, the playmaker left New York City for Racing in his native Argentina.

• Nicolás Acevedo loaned to Esporte Clube Bahia

Confirmed December 20, 2022

NYCFC announced that 23-year-old Nicolás Acevedo has been loaned to Esporte Clube Bahiathrough 2023, confirming an earlier rumor tweeted by Buenos Aires-based journalist César Luis Merlo on December 10. While Luis Merlo tweeted that there is an option to buy, the announcement issued by NYCFC didn’t mention any options.

• Maxi Moralez to Racing Club de Avellaneda in Argentina?

Rumor, December 14, 2022

César Luis Merlo is at it again, this time tweeting that NYCFC playmaker Maxi Moralez is set to return to Racing Club in Argentina, where he made his professional debut. Just last month, NYCFC exercised an option to keep Moralez through the 2023 season (see below), but Luis Merlo tweeted that the deal is close to being finalized. 

• Vuk Latinovich, Matías Pellegrini, and Gedion Zelalem options declined

Confirmed November 15, 2022
Central defender Vuk Latinovich, left winger Matías Pellegrini, and midfielder Gedion Zelalem will not return to NYCFC in 2023. You can read more about it here.
UPDATE: Pellegrini claimed off waivers, signs new contract with NYCFC. You can read more about it here.

• Anton Tinnerholm to Malmö FF

Confirmed November 14, 2022
NYCFC confirmed that right-back Anton Tinnerholm will return to his native Sweden to play for his former club Malmö FF. Earlier, the fan favorite told a Swedish publication of his desire to be closer to his family and to raise his young children in Sweden. Since joining NYCFC in 2018 he established himself as one of the best right-backs in MLS.