Major League Soccer: Insigne, Shakiri, Douglas Costa, and others to watch in the MLS 2022 season

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The 2022 Major League Soccer season is already underway, with some newcomers joining the league to make it more interesting.

Major League Soccer: Insigne, Shakiri, Douglas Costa, and others set to boost the MLS 2022 season

As usual, we’ve identified some key signings who are likely to have a huge impact in the MLS 2022 season, and some of these talents are familiar to you from their respective European clubs.

Here are these players;

Lorenzo Insigne – Toronto FC

Lorenzo Insigne Cavaliere OMRI is an Italian professional footballer who currently plays as a forward for Serie A club Napoli and the Italy national team. He has agreed to join Major League Soccer club Toronto FC on July 1, 2022, after signing a pre-contract.

Major League Soccer: Insigne, Shakiri, Douglas Costa, and others set to boost the MLS 2022 season

On January 8, 2022, Toronto FC announced that Italian international winger Lorenzo Insigne has signed a four-year pre-contract with the team, which will commence on July 1, 2022. Upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate, he will be added to the squad as a Designated Player (ITC).

Insigne, 30, will join Toronto FC after spending the majority of his career with Serie A side Napoli, where he scored 114 goals and added 95 assists in 416 games across all competitions (Serie A, Coppa Italia, Super Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League).

Insigne won three titles with Napoli in 11 seasons, including the Super Cup (2014/2015) and the Coppa Italia (2013/2014 and 2019/2020). Insigne was named Serie A MVP of the month in March 2021 after scoring three goals and adding one assist in four games. Since 2019, he has become the club captain.

Insigne, who was born in Naples, began his professional career in 2009 with Napoli, his local club, and made his Serie A debut on January 24, 2010, at the age of 19, in a 2-0 win over Livorno. He spent the rest of the season on loan with Cavese in Italy’s Serie C, making 10 games.

Major League Soccer: Insigne, Shakiri, Douglas Costa, and others set to boost the MLS 2022 season

Insigne was loaned to Foggia (Serie C) for the 2011-12 season, where he made 33 appearances and scored his first professional goal on August 14, 2011. Insigne spent the 2011-12 season on loan at Pescara (Serie B), where he made 37 appearances and scored 19 goals before returning to Napoli.

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With the Italian National Team, Insigne has gained 53 caps and scored 10 goals (Azzurri). He and Italy won the European Championship in 2021 after a 3-2 penalty shootout victory over England. In September 2012, he was called up for the first time to play for Italy in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification matches.

On September 11, 2012, he made his Azzurri debut as a substitute against Malta, and on August 14, 2013, he scored his first goal in a friendly match against Argentina. He also played for his country’s U-20 and U-21 teams when he was younger.

Douglas Costa – LA Galaxy

Douglas Costa de Souza is a Brazilian professional footballer who currently plays as a winger for the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer. He is on loan from Serie A club Juventus via Série B club Grêmio. His dribbling talents, speed, acceleration, and crossing ability are all well-known.

Major League Soccer: Insigne, Shakiri, Douglas Costa, and others set to boost the MLS 2022 season

Douglas Costa, a former Bayern Munich midfielder, has joined the LA Galaxy as their third designated player.

The Galaxy confirmed the long-awaited signing of the fast veteran on a six-month loan from Grêmio in Brazil on Thursday. Costa, 31, is currently on loan from Juventus to Grêmio, although he is set to sign a new contract with the Galaxy later this year.

Costa scored eight goals and added 13 assists in 50 games for Bayern Munich between 2015 and 2017. He won two Bundesliga titles and scored four goals in the UEFA Champions League.

Costa then had a six-goal, seven-assist season on loan with Juventus in 2017-18. He signed a permanent contract with the Italian giants in 2018, but has been on loan to Bayern Munich and Grêmio since October 2020.

Costa has also made 31 appearances for Brazil’s national team, scoring three goals.

Major League Soccer: Insigne, Shakiri, Douglas Costa, and others set to boost the MLS 2022 season

With a mid- to late-career move to the Galaxy, one of Major League Soccer’s most visible organizations, he becomes the latest international star to follow in the footsteps of David Beckham. Costa joins Javier “Chicharito” Hernández of Mexico and Kévin Cabral of France as the Galaxy’s current designated players, who are paid at a higher rate than their colleagues.

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Xherdan Shaqiri – Chicago Fire FC

On Monday, MLS’s new superstar, Xherdan Shaqiri, was launched in his new city by Fire FC, speaking to the media for the first time since his $7.5 million transfer from Lyon became official over two weeks ago.

Major League Soccer: Insigne, Shakiri, Douglas Costa, and others set to boost the MLS 2022 season

The 30-year-old Swiss international is the crown gem of Chicago’s resurgence, which they hope will be accelerated by his electrifying attacking ability. Shaqiri also provides additional motivation for Fire fans across the country, as well as those from outside, to pay attention to and seek out the team.

Shaqiri moved from Liverpool to Lyon in the summer, but his stay in France did not go as planned. In 11 Ligue 1 appearances (nine starts), he had two goals and three assists, and both parties were looking for a way out. Heitz, who was the sporting director of FC Basel when Shaqiri broke through and became a star, had a relationship with Shaqiri.

Before joining Bayern Munich, Shaqiri won three league titles with Basel. He won the Champions League and three Bundesliga crowns in Germany, then went on to become a star at Stoke City before joining Liverpool, where he won the Premier League and the Champions League.

The “Cube of Power” claims that his relationship with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is still solid, claiming that Klopp sent him a congratulatory text after the move to Chicago was finalized.

Thiago Almada – Atlanta United

Thiago Ezequiel Almada is an Argentine professional footballer who currently plays for Atlanta United in Major League Soccer as an attacking midfielder and winger.

Major League Soccer: Insigne, Shakiri, Douglas Costa, and others set to boost the MLS 2022 season

Atlanta United announced Wednesday that they had completed the signing of Argentine playmaker Thiago Almada from Velez Sarsfield.

Almada had been connected with the Five Stripes for some time, with Velez even confirming the trade on social media back in December.

The deal was ultimately confirmed on Wednesday, with Almada signing a term that will last until 2025.

Gonzalo Pineda, the head coach of Atlanta United, was pleased to add a player that will help his team’s offensive in the 2022 season.

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Almada joins MLS after a century of service with Velez, where he scored 24 goals and assisted on another 11. He has played for Argentina at various youth levels and has 12 caps to his name.

Facundo Torres – Orlando City

Facundo Daniel Torres Pérez is a Uruguayan professional footballer who currently plays for Orlando City of the Major League Soccer and the Uruguay national team. Torres previously won the Uruguayan Primera División title with Pearol in 2021.

According to Mike Gramajo of The Orlando Sentinel, Orlando City SC finalized a club-record move for Penarol and Uruguay forward Facundo Torres.

Torres, a 21-year-old striker who has also played as a right winger, with 16 goals and 15 assists in 71 games for Pearol in all competitions.

Torres has played 10 games for Uruguay in Copa América 2021 qualifications and Conmebol World Cup qualifiers. He has competed for Uruguay at various levels since he was a child.

Torres is a product of Pearol’s youth system, which also produced Diego Rossi, a former LAFC player, and Brian Rodriguez, a current LAFC forward. Rodrigo Pieiro, a forward for Nashville SC, also spent time with the Manyas.

Torres would be Orlando’s second Uruguayan top-flight acquisition this winter, following midfielder Cesar Araujo from Montevideo Wanderers FC. Following the losses of regular starters Nani, Dike, and Chris Mueller, the Lions are in the midst of overhauling their offense.

Alan Velasco – FC Dallas

Alan Agustin Velasco is an Argentine footballer who currently plays as a winger for FC Dallas in Major League Soccer.

Velasco, who is only 19 years old, has spent his whole professional career at Independiente. He began his career with Independiente’s second team before making his professional debut with the top team in August of 2019.

Velasco has mostly played as a left winger in his short career, but he has also played as an attacking midfielder, right winger, and center-forward.

He has also represented Argentina at the under-17 level, when he was a member of the team that won the U-17 South American tournament.

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