Crew President and GM Tim Bezbatchenko is wasting no time getting started putting the pieces in place for 2024. In the hours leading up to the MLS Cup parade and rally, the Crew announced the signing of three players.
Keeping the 29-year-old defender in the fold with a long-term contract is a no-brainer. Moreira played well enough this year to garner votes for inclusion in MLS Best XI. His performance in a key matchup in the MLS Cup final went a long way in helping the Crew to a 2-1 win over LAFC when he shut down and frustrated scoring ace Denis Bouanga. Since being acquired from Toulouse FC in August of 2021, Moreira has started 71 of 73 games. He has a goal and 16 assists in his two-plus seasons with the Crew.
While he was brought in to be a starter in the middle of the back line, his acquisition created depth for the Crew because it allowed Wilfried Nancy to use Sean Zawadzki in a myriad of ways. Camacho may not have been spectacular after coming over from Montreal, but he was solid, reliable, and consistent. Although Zawadzki did an excellent job for a guy who was not familiar with the position, if the Crew was going to make a run at a championship, they needed someone like Camacho.
The signing of the team’s backup goalkeeper will hardly be a blip on the radar screen when it comes to MLS transactions, but don’t think this doesn’t have meaning. Although the one-time starter (188 MLS starts) is very much at the tail end of his career, he serves as a valuable leader and mentor to the other goalkeepers throughout the Crew organization. The graduate of Lake Catholic High School in Mentor may have played in just five games this season (3 U.S. Open Cup, 2 Leagues Cup), but his value to the Crew is not measured in appearances or stats.
I’m quite sure these three are just the beginning of a flurry of signings. Stay tuned, folks.