9 New MLS Faces to Watch For in 2024

The 2024 Major League Soccer season is underway, and while all eyes will be on Lionel Messi, there are a handful of new faces that will also require some of your attention.

The 2024 MLS season is now entering week four, and Inter Miami and Lionel Messi are stealing the headlines as they should on the field. Off the field, the league has a public relations nightmare with the referee strike and its decision to leave the U.S. Open Cup, having only eight teams participate in 2024.

Still, MLS has kicked off to healthy attendance numbers and a good solid level of play. In addition, we’ve seen some new face make an immediate impact across the league. With that in mind, we thought we’d highlight nine MLS newcomers that are worth keeping an eye on.

What might come as a shock is the lack of American talent. Many Americans are veterans in MLS, and some like Diego Luna and Brian Gutiérrez have already been in the league for over two years. American players are no longer the go-to new addition for many clubs, who instead have chosen to import their top players.

Here are 10 that may shake things up in 2024.

Federico Redondo

The Inter Miami defensive midfielder will be key in bringing in youth, energy, and stylish soccer to an aging front line. Federico Redondo can play set-up man as well as attend to defensive duties, but the question for him is how long can he keep up protecting an aging Sergio Busquets?

Emil Forsberg

Emil Forsberg might be 32, but he has the playmaking talents of a player who has aged like a fine wine. Forsberg has already shown his talent and could be a major contributor to the Red Bulls, who are still searching for that elusive first MLS Cup.

Agustín Ojeda

The young Argentine winger fits into the archetype for the ideal MLS player these days. A South American talent with youth national team experience that has a European future written all over him. If Agustín Ojeda can live up to his billing, he could be a major key to NYCFC’s success.

Joseph Paintsil

Joseph Paintsil already showed his skill in LA Galaxy’s opening match against Inter Miami. Previous stints in Turkey and Belgium have surely prepared the $9 million signing for what’s to come in MLS, and he has given the Galaxy a major spark.

Petar Musa

The Croatian striker comes from Benfica after a rather poor spell, but he has a scoring pedigree that could lift FC Dallas. At only 26, Petar Musa has plenty of time to turn things around with his new club.

Pedro de la Vega

The Argentine playmaker will be pivotal for the Seattle Sounders in the role left behind by Nicolás Lodeiro. Sadly, Pedro De la Vega is out with an injury for the next few weeks, but if he can come back healthy, the Sounders have their new playmaker.

Matías Cóccaro

The Uruguayan striker made a name for himself at Huracan in Argentina after a rather mediocre CV up to that point. Matías Cóccaro could be a key piece in making Montreal a legitimate playoff threat in 2024, if he can prove that he’s not a one-hit wonder.

Liel Abada

The former Celtic winger was pivotal for the Scottish club, and now with Charlotte FC, Liel Abada brings over 50 goals in his young career and five titles with Celtic. He could very well be the answer to finally awaken Enzo Copetti’s scoring touch.

Hugo Bacharach

Midfielder Hugo Bacharach from Spain was a part of the Villarreal academy before heading over to the States to play collegiately for the Indiana Hoosiers. After a standout career, he was selected with the No. 9 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft. And while draft picks don’t typically have an instant impact with their new clubs, Bacharach’s previous experience could make him a sneaky producer for Minnesota United in the mid-late stages of this season.

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