L.A. Galaxy head coach will not have the services of Mexican international forward Chicharito for the next few weeks.
Chicharito has been ruled out between two-to-five weeks, the veteran forward announced via Twitch. He was expected to miss the Galaxy’s opening night showdown with in-state rivals Los Angeles FC, before the match was postponed due to pending weather.
The 34-year-old missed the Galaxy’s final two matches of preseason camp and will now miss the upcoming matches against FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City. The Galaxy will also face the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers during March’s four-match schedule.
Chicharito has finished as the Galaxy’s top goalscorer in each of the past two seasons, totaling 35 goals and five assists in 53 matches. Serbian international Dejan Joveljic is expected to be the natural replacement for Chicharito heading into the upcoming slate of matches.
Here is a closer look at all of the recent MLS News:
Riqui Puig becomes Galaxy’s latest Designated Player
The L.A. Galaxy now have their third and final Designated Player.
Spanish midfielder Riqui Puig moved into a DP role, the Western Conference club announced Wednesday. The 23-year-old arrived in MLS last August from Barcelona on a free transfer and delivered a promising few months in Galaxy colors.
Puig tallied three goals and five assists in 10 regular season appearances, helping the Galaxy reach the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Galaxy only lost one of the 10 matches that Puig started in during the regular season.
“We are excited to announce Riqui Puig as our newest Designated Player,” LA head coach and sporting director Greg Vanney said in a release. “Riqui is an exceptional talent that has the capacity to impact games in many different ways. He is a tireless competitor with a combination of awareness and precision at high speed that is truly unique. We look forward to his continued contributions to the club for years to come.”
Puig initially signed a three-and-a-half-year contract through the end of the 2025 MLS season.
Austin FC defender Cascante sidelined indefinitely
Austin FC will be without one of their top centerback choices through the early stages of the MLS season.
Julio Cascante has been ruled out indefinitely due to a left adductor strain, the Western Conference club announced Wednesday. A former defender with the Portland Timbers from 2018-20, Cascante will be re-evaluated in eight weeks after suffering the injury on Opening Day against St. Louis CITY SC.
The 29-year-old started 58 matches across his first two seasons with Austin FC, totaling five goals and six assists.
Leo Vaisanen, Kipp Keller, and Amro Tarek will all be fighting to start in Cascante’s absence as Austin FC quickly prepares for its Concacaf Champions League debut.
CF Montreal signs 2023 third round pick Ousman Jabang
CF Montreal padded its MLS roster on Wednesday with Ousman Jabang signing a first team contract through the 2023 season.
The 21-year-old was CF Montreal’s third round draft pick in the 2023 MLS Draft. Jabang’s contract also includes three option years from 2024-26.
“Ousman showed great things during the preseason which allowed him to earn a contract,” Montréal chief sporting officer Olivier Renard said in a release. “We are confident that he still has a lot of room for improvement in the future. We officially welcome him to the group.”
Jabbing excelled at Mercer University, scoring six goals and contributing 12 assists in 36 appearances. He trained with CF Montreal’s first team throughout training camp and now has his first MLS contract to show for it.
CF Montreal fell 2-0 on Opening Day at Inter Miami and will visit Austin FC in Week Two.
- The Chicago Fire signed 19-year-old Greek striker Georgios Koutsias to a U22 roster spot on Tuesday. Koutsias signed a contract through the 2026 campaign, which includes an option for 2027. Koutsias joins the Fire following a loan spell at Greek side Volos NPS, where he scored five goals in 23 matches.
- Toronto FC has mutually agreed to part ways with 24-year-old defender Kaden Chung. Chung joined the Canadian club ahead of the 2022 MLS season, appearing in eight regular season matches and registering one assist.