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MLS transfer roundup: Jose Cifuentes leaves LAFC; Whitecaps sign Richie Laryea on loan from Nottingham Forest

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Teams around Major League Soccer were working around the clock to complete trades and signings as the league’s secondary transfer window closed shut on August 2.

After plenty of rumors floating about, Jose Cifuentes finally got his transfer to Scottish Premier League side while Richie Laryea returned to MLS and Canada to sign for Vancouver Whitecaps on loan from Nottingham Forest. Michael Barrios departed Colorado Rapids to join LA Galaxy in their bid to make a late run for a playoff spot.

Here’s everything you may have missed from the MLS transfer world on deadline day…

Cifuentes makes the switch to the SPL

Cifuentes makes the switch to the SPL / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Cifuentes has left LAFC to sign for Scottish Premier League side Rangers FC after roughly three-and-a-half years at the club. Cifuentes played a vital part in LAFC’s success in the 2022 MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield, making over 100 appearances for the club.

“Cifu has been an integral part of LAFC’s success over the last three years,” general manager and co-president John Thorrington said.

“He has developed into a top midfielder in our league, and we are excited for him to continue the next steps in his career at Rangers.”

Richie Laryea

Laryea is headed to Vancouver / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Just after his season-long loan at Toronto FC expired in June, Richie Laryea is back in MLS and Canada, joining Vancouver Whitecaps on loan from Premier League side Nottingham Forest.

Laryea featured for TFC from 2019 to 2022 before signing for Forest permanently, and then was signed on loan by Toronto last August.

“Richie is a winner, competitor, leader and has proven to be one of the best fullbacks in our league,” Vancouver sporting director Axel Schuster said.

“Since the end of 2021, he has played in every single national team game, including all three World Cup games. We are very pleased to welcome Richie, Melanie and their son Elijah, to our family.”

Matthew Hoppe

Matthew Hoppe returns home to MLS / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

San Jose Earthquakes have signed forward Matthew Hoppe on a one-year loan from English Championship side Middlesborough. Hoppe, who’s only 22-years-old, has European experience with the likes of Schalke 04 in Germany and Mallorca in Spain.

“Matthew is an exciting, young player who has already gotten a lot of experience in a number of different leagues,” San Jose general manager Chris Leitch said.

“He has also played at the international level and was a big part of the US Gold Cup victory in 2021. With his ability to play multiple positions, he is going to be an important addition to our attacking core.”

Antony Alves Santos

Antony with FC Arouca in Portugal / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Portland Timbers have signed Brazilian forward Antony Alves Santos – commonly known as Antony (no, not the Manchester United player) – from Portuguese club FC Arouca. The winger joins on a deal through the 2026 season with an option for 2027 and will take up one of Portland‘s U22 Initiative/international roster spots.

“We are delighted to announce the addition of a talented young attacking player in Antony. We feel his attributes will give our team a different component going forward,” Timbers general manager Ned Grabavoy said.

“Antony is a player with potential and room for growth, and we are optimistic that he can make a positive impact with our club.”

Michael Barrios

Michael Barrios remains in the west with LA Galaxy / Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Michael Barrios and his eye-catching haircuts are heading out further west to join LA Galaxy in a trade with Colorado Rapids. The Gs receive Barrios, while the Rapids will get a 2024 MLS SuperDraft pick and up to $50k in 2024 General Allocation Money in return.

“Michael is a dynamic attacker who has the capacity and quality to play wide or through the middle,” Galaxy sporting director and head coach Greg Vanney said.

“His experience and success in the league will be an important addition to our team for the stretch run. We welcome him and look forward to integrating him into the group.”

“We’re grateful to Mikey for his many contributions to the club during his time with us,” Colorado president Padraig Smith said.

“He played a key role in our club-record rise to the top of the West in 2021 and was a model representative of our club off the pitch. We wish him nothing but the best as he embarks on this next stage of his career.”

Jorge Cabezas Hurtado

Jorge Cabeza is headed to the Big Apple / Guillermo Legaria Schweizer/GettyImages

Jorge Cabeza Hurtado has joined New York Red Bulls on loan for the remainder of the 2023 season from English Championship side Watford FC. The 19-year-old represented Colombia at the U20 World Cup earlier this summer.

“Jorge is an exciting young player that we are happy to add to our roster for the rest of the season,” Red Bulls head of sport Jochen Schneider said.

“We believe Jorge has the potential to help our roster this season and we are looking forward to him getting on the pitch at Red Bull Arena soon.”

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