Tablante, Subah headline familiar faces in new places

Tablante Subah

The 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season is right around the corner with several of the league’s familiar names making the move to somewhere new.

Moises Tablante, Roberto Hategan, and Nico Benalcazar are just a handful of 2023’s standout players that will be representing new colors for the upcoming campaign. Tablante and Benalcazar remained in the Eastern Conference with FC Cincinnati 2 while Hategan stayed in the West with Sporting KC II.

Several others have made new moves of their own, with hopes of springboarding themselves into first team plans.

Here is a closer look at the familiar faces in new places this season:

Moises Tablante - FC Cincinnati 2

FC Cincinnati 2 struggled to find the back of the net on a consistent basis in 2023, but Moises Tablante should help with fixing that in 2024. 

Tablante, 22, was one of Orlando City B’s top playmakers and goalscorers over the past two seasons. He registered 10 goals and eight assists over 45 MLS NEXT Pro appearances, logging over 3,200 minutes of playing time for OCB. 

Tablante can offer plenty to FCC2 and should have just as large of a role that he did with OCB.

Nico Benalcazar - FC Cincinnati 2

FC Cincinnati 2’s backline also received a major boost in the form of Nico Benalcazar.

The 22-year-old defender spent the last two seasons with NYCFC II, logging just under 3,000 minutes in 33 appearances. Benalcazar set a career-high with three goals last season despite playing nine fewer matches than the 2022 campaign.

FC Cincinnati’s involvement in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, as well as other competitions, could lead to Pat Noonan calling on the young defender as well this year.

Roberto Hategan - Sporting KC II

After one season in San Jose, Roberto Hategan will be wearing a different shade of blue in 2024.

The 22-year-old midfielder signed a one-year deal with Sporting KC II this winter. Hategan, a versatile midfielder, scored four goals and added two assists in 26 league appearances last season.

He only earned 1,094 minutes of playing time with Quakes II, but very well could increase that total in Benny Feilhaber’s squad.

Kai Thomas - Carolina Core FC

Carolina Core FC added some valuable experience to their roster ahead of the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season.

Defender Kai Thomas made the switch from FC Cincinnati 2 to the expansion side on a one-year deal. Thomas, 21, logged 1,900 minutes or more in each of the last two seasons, scoring three goals and adding one assist.

A strong two-way defender, Thomas should be an immediate leader for the expansion side.

Yekeson Subah - Carolina Core FC

Young attacking talent is also on its way to Carolina Core FC.

Yekeson Subah joins Thomas and many others in the expansion side’s roster for the upcoming season. The 19-year-old Subah made his MLS NEXT Pro debut in 2022 with Real Monarchs before joining LAFC2 ahead of the 2023 season.

Subah’s three goals scored last year were tied for the second-most on the LAFC2 roster. His creative attacking style should be a welcomed addition to Carolina Core FC.