Atlanta United FC has agreed to terms with Brazilian Serie A side Flamengo to transfer the 26-year-old Brazilian professional footballer and midfielder.
Sources tell ESPN that Araujo would move to the Brazilian giants for a fee of $10m.
Araujo will remain with Atlanta through June 24. Brazil’s summer transfer window opens on July 3.
Araujo will depart Atlanta having been something of a disappointment. He arrived in the summer of 2021 with high hopes after spending parts of five seasons with Ligue 1 side Lille after Atlanta spent a reported $11.8m to acquire the Brazilian.
Araujo scored 13 goals in 60 league and cup appearances for Atlanta, but his xG during that period was 16.34. Araujo also had difficulty finding the target on shots, especially in 2022 when he took 98 shots but only 33.7 percent of those were on goal — well below his peers who took at least 80 shots that season.
From a team standpoint, Atlanta didn’t fare much better, with the Five Stripes failing to reach the postseason in 2022.
The move will free up a Designated Player spot for Atlanta, though it remains to be seen how quickly the club will move to fill that spot on the roster.
In the meantime, the likes of Brooks Lennon, Derrick Etienne Jr., and Caleb Wiley will look to fill in. Wiley is currently with the U.S. U20 team as it prepares for the 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup.
Atlanta is in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, with 21 points from 13 matches ahead of Saturday’s match against Chicago Fire FC.
The 31-year-old Mexican soccer player and Mexico international midfielder has been acquired by the Houston Dynamo from Atletico Madridon a Designated Player deal, according to ESPN sources.
Herrera will join up with Houston on a free transfer when his contract with Atletico expires in the summer.
The move amounts to the second massive acquisition of general manager Pat Onstad‘s tenure. Earlier this year, thanks to the deep pockets of new owner Ted Segal, Onstad signed Libertad forward Sebastian Ferreira.
In Herrera, Houston has now acquired a well-known El Tri player in a city with deep ties to Mexico, one that should generate a significant uptick in interest for the club.
Herrera’s on-field contribution should be immense as well, providing experience and composure on the ball to a young Houston side.
Herrera broke into the professional ranks in 2010 with Liga MX side Pachuca and went on to make 55 league and cup appearances, scoring two goals. He was soon Europe-bound, signing with Portuguese giants Porto in 2013 for a fee of almost $9 million. He went on to become a mainstay for the Dragons, making 245 league and cup appearances, scoring 35 goals while helping Porto to the 2017-18 Primeira Liga title.
After six seasons with Porto, Herrera moved to LaLiga with Atletico, where he made 71 league and cup appearances, scoring one goal. His contributions helped Atleti claim the 2020-21 LaLiga crown.
At international level, Herrera has been a constant presence for Mexico, making 96 appearances and scoring 10 goals. He was part of the side that won an Olympic gold medal at the 2012 games in London, and took part in the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.
TUDNwas the first to report that a deal between the Dynamo and Herrera and been agreed.
The New York Red Bulls have completed the transfer of the 25-year-old Brazilian professional footballer, who was playing for Legia Warsaw as an attacking midfielder.
Luquinhas has signed a three-year contract, plus a club option year that will make him a Designated Player. He will be eligible to play once he has received his P1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
Luquinhas has spent the last two-and-a-half seasons with Legia, scoring 12 goals in 110 league and cup appearances while leading the club to two league titles in 2019-20 and 2020-21.
Prior to moving to Poland, Luquinhas spent the entirety of his professional career in Portugal, first with lower tier side Vilafranquense, and later Benficaand Aves.
A native of Ceilandia, Brazil, Luquinhas is expected to play as an inverted winger in manager Gerhard Struber‘s system.
The Columbus Crewhave signed the 29-year-old Argentine attacking midfielder to a new three-year contract that will keep him with the team through at least 2024.
The Designated Player deal also contains a club option for 2025.
Zelarayan spent the last two seasons with the Crew, leading Columbus to the 2020 MLS Cup title — a match in which he was named MVP — and winning that season’s Newcomer of the Year award.
In 53 appearances across all competitions, he scored 21 goals and added 19 assists.
“Over the past two seasons Lucas has proven himself to be one of the top game-changers in MLS and we are excited to sign him to a new contract,” Crew general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “Lucas has proven that he can perform under pressure, and he shines time and time again when the spotlight is brightest. We look forward to seeing what else Lucas and the team can achieve together in 2022 and beyond.”
A native of Cordoba, Argentina, Zelarayan rose through the ranks of Belgrano‘s academy all the way to the first team, making his debut as a 19-year-old in 2012. He went on to make 81 league and cup appearances, scoring 10 goals.
In 2016, Zelarayan moved to Liga MX side Tigres UANL. He went on to make 140 league and cup appearances, scoring 23 goals, and leading Tigres to three Liga MX crowns and three Campeon de Campeones titles.
At the international level, Zelarayan qualified for Armenian citizenship through his father, and has earned four caps for the Armenianational team, making his debut in October of 2021 against Iceland in a UEFA group-stage match for FIFA World Cup qualification.
The 26-year-old Paraguayan professional footballer has signed with Austin FC as the MLS expansion side’s first Designated Player.
Dominguez moves to Austin from Argentine giants Independiente, where he spent last season after moving over from Club America.
Dominguez will remain on loan for the remainder of the 2020 season before joining his new team in January of 2021.
“Cecilio is the type of player we wanted for our first Designated Player signing. He’s a young but experienced, attacking international who joins us from one of the biggest clubs in South America,” said Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff. “His dynamic forward play will translate well to MLS.
“He is an attacking player well known to Liga MX fans, with a broad skillset, good movement off the ball and the ability to come inside and create scoring opportunities by himself. He can score with both feet and his head, and he is a true team player. His club experience in Mexico, Paraguay, and Argentina, alongside his national team history with Paraguay, adds a significant threat to our forward line. He’s a player fans will be pleased to see when we start play in 2021.”
Dominguez, who is the club’s second signing, scored eight goals and provided six assists in 42 games for Independiente, and scored 21 goals in 74 matches for America prior to that.
Austin FC sporting director Claudio Reyna said he had no shortage of suitors for his services.
“He chose Austin FC as opposed to staying in Argentina with the likes of Boca Juniors showing serious interest,” said Reyna.
“Both ways it shows the belief we have in him and likewise him in our staff and the way we’re absolutely going to get him back to his highest level. He just turned 26 and has so much to look forward to. It’s the challenge we talk about with every player … there’s no doubt that he’s going to find his form and be a really impactful player for us.”
Dominguez, who has also had stints at Paraguayan clubs Nacional and Cerro Porteno, has appeared 17 times for his country but has yet to score.
MLS expansion side Austin FC has signed the 20-year-old Paraguayan forward as its first player, for a transfer fee that sources tell ESPN is $2.75 million.
Redes is on the books of Paraguayan side Guarani, and will remain with them before joining up with Austin ahead of its debut season in 2021.
“It is an honor to join Austin FC as the first player signing in club history, and I am excited for the opportunity to advance my career in Major League Soccer,” said Redes. “I look forward to representing Austin in competition and in the community. I’ve been watching Major League Soccer closely, and I am very excited to begin working with coach [Josh] Wolff to further develop my skills in a global league that has helped other Paraguayan players reach new heights.”
Born in La Colmena, Paraguay, Redes has scored 12 goals in 82 league and cup appearances since making his professional debut with Guarani back in 2018.
Redes has spent time as a forward as well as a wide attacking player, and was off to an auspicious start in 2020, scoring three goals during the qualifying rounds of the 2020 Copa Libertadores to help Guarani reach the group stage of the tournament.
He had also scored twice in six league appearances before the sport in South America was shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The words I use to best describe Rodney are versatility and impactfulness,” Austin FC Head coach Josh Wolff said. “Rodney is a young player with qualities that can strongly influence any match as a result of his positional flexibility, eye for goal, and clear finishing quality.
“I am very pleased that we have secured a rising talent who demonstrates goal scoring ability in both the Copa Libertadores as well as his domestic league, and I believe that our supporters will appreciate his hunger and willingness to make Austin FC successful.”
Redes is the first player to be signed by Austin sporting director Claudio Reyna, and he’ll likely be signed to a young Designated Player contract.
Given that Redes will be 21 by the time he suits up for Austin, his hit to the salary budget will be $200,000 based on this year’s MLS roster rules.
“Rodney is a dynamic, attacking player, and we are proud to welcome him as the first signing in the history of Austin FC,” Reyna said.
“Rodney is precisely the sort of player we intend to attract to Austin FC. At a very young age, he has already registered strong performances and collected valuable big-game experience in major competitions. I am pleased that we capitalized on this brief July transfer window to sign Rodney, and our staff looks forward to working closely with him.”
Wolff added: “[Redes is] a player that I think fits really well with what Claudio and I envisage this team being about. For him to be our first signing is a good indication of what we want to be on the field and off the field. He’s a young, hungry, dynamic player and I think the more I watched him and the more I’ve interacted with him the more you realize he’s a very focused young man.
“When he plays, he plays with real commitment, real passion and his Technical qualities are very clear. He’s got very powerful running, he’s a low profile guy, good change of speed with and without the ball and most importantly he’s very goal-orientated.”