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Brotherly Game Daily Links: Union get preseason underway, Curtin impressed

Gareth Bale retires, Wagner and Mbazio return for preseason despite transfer rumors, and more in today’s links

Philadelphia Union News

Union begin 2023 ahead of schedule as preseason kicks off
The 2023 edition of the Philadelphia Union took to the pitch for the first time on Monday morning and Head Coach Jim Curtin couldn’t help but smile after taking in the 90 minute practice at the Union Training Complex in Chester, PA.

Kai Wagner and Olivier Mbaizo take the field on the Union’s first day of preseason practice
Last year’s starting left back and right back were expected to move on this winter, and they still might. But for now, they’re still here.

MLS News

Gareth Bale announces retirement from professional football
It brings an end to a career that saw Bale excel for Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid and LAFC, while also establishing himself as one of the greatest players in Welsh football history.

Chicago Fire sign French defender Arnaud Souquet from Montpellier
Souquet has spent the last three-and-a-half seasons in Ligue 1 with Montpellier following a move from Belgian side Gent, making 103 appearances across all competitions, scoring four goals and providing six assists.

LAFC sign goalkeeper Eldin Jakupović
LAFC have two goalkeepers under contract in addition to Jakupović, in Maxime Crepeau and John McCarthy. Crepeau, the No. 1, is recovering from a broken leg and is expected to miss weeks, perhaps months of the 2023 season, while McCarthy has had short runs previously as a starter but has primarily served as a backup himself in MLS.

Dynamo loan Matias Vera to Argentinos Juniors
Vera made 108 appearances for the Dynamo across four seasons and scored three goals and had two assists. Vera led the Dynamo in minutes in his first season, in 2019, and won the team MVP and Newcomer of the Year.

Sebas Méndez leaves LAFC for São Paulo FC
After joining LAFC in a trade from Orlando City in July, Mendez made 11 appearances for the black-and-gold, 10 off the bench, as a depth midfielder.

Whitecaps sign defender Mathias Taborda with TAM
A native of Fray Bentos, Laborda can operate as a centre-back or a right-back. He made 83 appearances for Nacional since making his senior debut in 2019.

Atlanta United re-signs midfielder Amar Sejdic
Sejdic came to the club in July 2021 as part of a trade with CF Montréal that saw CFM receive $100,000 worth of GAM and potentially an extra $50,000 based on presumed performance metrics. He appeared in 23 matches in 2022, starting 18 of those while contributing 2 assists.