Colombia international midfielder Eduard Atuesta has returned to Major League Soccer to join LAFC on loan for the 2024 season.
The move comes after midfielder Kellyn Acosta departed the club as a free agent following their 2-1 MLS Cup defeat to Columbus Crew in December. The LAFC front office needed to strengthen the middle of the park with the hole that Acosta leaves, and Atuesta looks set to fill that void (again).
Atuesta’s arrival marks his second time in in the league with LAFC, first joining in February 2018 from Colombian side Independiente Medellin. In his first stint, he managed nine goals and 23 assists in 111 appearances across all competitions while lifting the 2019 Supporters’ Shield.
“We are thrilled to welcome Eduard back to LAFC, a player our supporters love, and a top midfielder in our league,” LAFC co-president and general manager John Thorrington said in a release.
“We are well aware of the value Eduard brings to LAFC on the pitch, and we are confident that his quality and added experience will contribute to our success moving forward.”
The Black and Gold also have a purchase option in the deal for Atuesta following the conclusion of the 2024 campaign.
The 26-year-old departs the Brazilian Serie A after suiting up 60 times for Palmeiras, bagging two goals and dishing out two assists. His time with Alviverde was nothing short of successful, as he lifted five trophies in total, notably winning the Paulista A1 in 2022 & 2023 and the Serie A title in 2022.
Atuesta played just seven games in 2023 after suffering a crucial ligament tear in February, missing 53 games in total for Palmeiras.
Atuesta becomes LAFC’s third signing of the winter transfer window, following in Hugo Lloris and Omar Campos’ footsteps as they hope to return to MLS Cup final for a third straight season.
The Black and Gold return to action for their first game of the 2024 MLS season on February 24, when they face off against Western Conference foes Seattle Sounders at BMO Stadium.