Aziel Jackson, Brandonn Bueno first MLS NEXT Pro roster movers ahead of 2023

St Louis CITY SC begins its quest in Major League Soccer in 2023 with Bradley Carnell’s squad featuring one of MLS NEXT Pro’s top talents from the inaugural campaign. 

Aziel Jackson was acquired by the 2023 expansion side on Monday in the opening of the MLS Offseason Trade Window. In exchange for his services, Minnesota United received $150,000 in General Allocation Money for the 21-year-old. 

Jackson is coming off a stellar campaign for MNUFC2, where he earned MLS NEXT Pro Best XI honors for the Western Conference club. A former homegrown signing by the Loons' first team, Jackson led MNUFC2 with 10 goals and seven assists as the club fought valiantly in the West playoff race.

He also stood out in MLS NEXT Pro in scoring chances (70), a statistic he held from July 31 to the final week of the regular season. Jackson also notched the league’s 800th goal of the season during MNUFC2’s match against Timbers2 on Sept. 11.

“Aziel is a promising young talent that we are happy to add to our team,” St Louis CITY SC sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel said in a statement. “At just 21 years old, he is still developing but is showing promising progression already following this past season at the MLS NEXT Pro level. We saw first hand how that league is developing good, young talent and for Aziel to be named to the Best XI acknowledges what his potential can be.”

Jackson was just one of two midfielders added by St Louis CITY SC on Monday, with Austin FC Jared Stroud joining the expansion side via trade.

Revolution II signs Brandonn Bueno to pro contract 

Following its Malcolm Fry signing on October 28, New England Revolution II made another roster move of the MLS NEXT Pro offseason on Monday, signing academy product Brandonn Bueno ahead of the 2023 season.

A Framingham, Mass. native, Bueno becomes the eighth player to join Revs II’s roster from the club’s academy since 2020. Bueno, 18, was part of the Revolution’s U-19 MLS NEXT Cup Championship-winning squad last year, scoring two goals in 19 regular-season appearances.

He also logged 100 minutes with Revs II in 2022, making his professional debut in a July 31 match with TFC II. Bueno follows in the footsteps of current Revs II standouts Esmir Bajraktarevic, Noel Buck, and Colby Quinones to make the jump to MLS NEXT Pro.

Revs II finished seventh in the Eastern Conference in 2022.