The MLS season is over and the rumor mill has started to churn for New York City FC, who face their first offseason as a non-playoff team since 2015. We already know some of the roster changes in store for 2024, but how active will NYCFC be on the transfer market? Who else from the 2023 team, if anyone, will depart? With all that in mind, we welcome you the 2023 offseason edition of the Hudson River Blue Transfer Tracker, your one-stop-shop for all NYCFC player news and rumors.
This page will be updated often, so check back often.
• NYCFC, Union in “discussions” over Andrés Perea’s future
November 24, 2023
Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin has confirmed that NYCFC are in talks with his club over the future of Andrés Perea.
In his pre-match press conference ahead of his team’s Eastern Conference semifinal meeting with FC Cincinnati, Curtin was asked about Perea’s status. He confirmed both that the central midfielder has not re-joined the Union, and that there are discussions ongoing between Philadelphia and New York City over Perea. José Roberto Nuñez shared video of Curtin’s comments which you can watch below:
Perea’s loan with NYCFC was announced as running through “the end of the 2023 season,” yet despite NYCFC playing their last competitive match way back on October 21, Perea remained with the club and played all 90 minutes of the Noche d’Or
cash grab friendly in Miami on November 10.
Curtin was complimentary of Perea’s performances with NYCFC while on loan and left the door open for Perea to still be a part of the 2024 NYCFC squad.
The Union coach said of Perea, in part, “He did a great job with New York City, and was a good fit there, where maybe they value more of having the ball. Obviously we have some evaluation to go on now in the offseason. Still discussions going on with New York City about what the next steps are, we’re still evaluating that.”
Perea made 10 MLS regular season appearances with NYCFC after joining and scored one goal while generally looking like a natural fit for NYCFC’s possession-based style of play. He proved to be a valuable addition to the midfield, as he helped fill in when injuries struck both James Sands and Keaton Parks post-Leagues Cup. With Maxi Moralez out while trying to recover from a torn ACL and Richy Ledezma’s unsuccessful loan to NYCFC ending, central midfield is an area of need—will it be a familiar face in Perea who gets re-signed to help fill the void?
• Orlando City, Grêmio join NYCFC in Matías Arezo chase
November 17, 2023
NYCFC face a lot of competition if they’re trying to sign prolific young Uruguayan striker Matías Arezo. Arezo was first rumored to be a NYCFC transfer target back in late October. Now, a new report from South American soccer journalist Uriel Iugt says fellow MLS side Orlando City SC and Brazilian club Grêmio are also interested in signing Arezo.
So to recap briefly, Arezo spent 2023 away from his parent club, Granada CF of Spain’s La Liga, loaned out to Club Athletic Peñarol in his native Uruguay. He scored 20 goals with Peñarol, but his loan ends in December and he’ll then return to being a Granada player.
Peñarol have reportedly expressed interest in extending Arezo’s time with the Montevideo-based club, but NYCFC, Orlando City, and Grêmio are all also said to be circling. Neither NYCFC nor Orlando City currently have open Designated Player spots to fit Arezo into, so that might limit the bidding powers of the two MLS clubs—unless that much-rumored addition of a fourth Designated Player slot comes to fruition this offseason. Arezo also would qualify as a U22 initiative signing given his age, so it will be interesting to see where this in-demand young attacker ends up.
• Gabe Segal rejoins NYCFC after early end to loan
November 8, 2023
Status: Confirmed, Official
Gabe Segal left NYCFC in September to join Hapoel Tel Aviv in the Israeli Premier League, but the young striker’s loan has been terminated early by mutual consent. Segal was initially set to be a player for the Tel Aviv club until June 30, 2024, but Israel’s top soccer league has been suspended since the deadly Hamas attacks of October 7th, so Segal has returned to the United States and is officially back with the New York City squad. This isn’t the first bit of NYCFC offseason news for Segal, who also had his 2024 contract option exercised by the team when it announced its wave of end-of-season roster decisions. The question remains, though: Will the clutch 2023 goal-scorer be a part of Nick Cushing’s plans for the 2024 MLS season, or will he head out on another loan in order to get more game time?
• Keaton Parks linked with AZ Alkmaar
November 1, 2023
Keaton Parks was healthy and effective for most of 2023, bouncing back from two straight seasons derailed by leg blood clot surgeries to make 35 appearances as a key cog in the NYCFC midfield. Parks also is said to be entering the final year of his contract, announced a switch of agents this summer, and now is reportedly drawing interest from Europe.
An anonymous source claiming the Eredivisie club AZ Alkmaar is a “potential transfer destination” for Parks isn’t the most substantial of reports, but there is a certain logic to Parks popping up in the rumor circuit.
He’s got new representation and has an uncertain professional future to sort out as his contract winds down, so might this be the first of multiple Keaton Parks rumors this winter? There’s also always the potential he is negotiating a new deal with NYCFC, but the midfielder’s situation looks slightly unsettled as the offseason begins.
• Uruguayan striker Matías Arezo heading to NYCFC?
October 31, 2023
Is City Football Group about to tap back into the talent pool in Uruguay? According to a report from Alejandro Figueredo of 970 Universal in Uruguay, striker Matías Arezo is “on track…to come to play in New York City.”
The Montevideo-born Arezo just tore it up while playing on loan in his hometown, scoring 20 goals in 30 appearances while on loan with Club Atlético Peñarol in Uruguay’s Primera División.
Arezo turns 21 in a few weeks and spent the year on loan at Peñarol from his parent club, Granada CF of Spain’s LaLiga. Granada signed him from River Plate Montevideo in January 2022 for a reported $5 million, and on a contract said to run through June 2026. That means NYCFC would have to strike a transfer or loan agreement with Granada to bring in the young attacker who, if signed, would join up with compatriot Santiago Rodríguez and join Mounsef Bakrar at center forward as NYCFC attempt to up their goalscoring threat come 2024.
October 30, 2023
Status: Official, Confirmed
NYCFC exercised its contract options for five players who will return in 2024, declined options on seven players from the 2023 squad who won’t be back next season, and also said goodbye to assistant coach Kléberson.
Another MLS Cup winner is gone as Alfredo Morales had his option declined. So did Matías Pellegrini, who earned $1,120,833 last season while with New York City on waivers. Braian Cufré’s loan ended without his option to buy being exercised, while budget-friendly young players like Kevin O’Toole, Andres Jasson, and Gabe Segal had their low-cost options picked up for 2024. Both 2023 goalkeepers, Matt Freese and Luis Barraza, also had their options exercised and look set to return.
You can read more about the NYCFC roster decisions and the team’s salary structure here.
• Paraguayan attacker Fernando Cardozo in advanced talks?
October 27, 2023
Attacking players remain a need for a New York City team that scored a miserable 35 goals in league play in 2023, and a report from Paraguay links the club with Fernando Cardozo, a 22-year-old forward with Club Olimpia.
Cardozo is a regular starter on the right side of Club Olimpia’s setup, and a move might not exactly be imminent, as the rumored NYCFC target continues to start and play 90 minutes for his club. He picked up an assist in Olimpia’s most recent match on November 3, and now has eight goals and eight assists in 48 appearances across all competitions in 2023.
Matías Pellegrini played a number of minutes on the right for NYCFC last season but had his option declined—Cardozo could hypothetically slide into that role, if the reportedly advanced negotiations between NYCFC and Olimpia end up coming to fruition.