Monterey Bay F.C. has signed Mexican defender Carlos Guzmán to a two-year contract ahead of the 2024 USL Championship season. | Photo courtesy Kalea Vizmanos / San Diego Loyal SC
SEASIDE, Calif. – Monterey Bay F.C. announced on Monday it had signed defender Carlos Guzmán on a two-year contract, pending league and federation approval, ahead of the 2024 USL Championship season.
Guzmán played his first season in USL Championship last year after inking a deal with San Diego Loyal SC over the summer – his first move away from Mexico since the start of his professional career in 2011. The defender started 14 of his 15 appearances for San Diego, including all 120 minutes in its Western Conference Quarterfinal contest against Phoenix Rising FC in October.
Guzmán recorded 52 clearances, 51 duels won and 20 interceptions defensively for San Diego. His lone goal for the club came against Monterey Bay on October 1 at Torero Stadium.
“I am very happy and excited to sign with Monterey Bay,” said Guzmán. “I believe this club is the right fit for me. I’ve had a lot of communication with Frank [Yallop], Ramiro [Corrales] and also with Rafa Baca. I like the ideology and the infrastructure of the club – I think we are going to have a very good couple of years. I like the way that Frank sees the game of football, I like the way his teams play. I loved the area when we played there, it’s beautiful, not to mention the stadium and the environment as well. It was very important for me and my family to love the place that I play.”
Prior to joining San Diego, Guzmán played 12 seasons in Mexico and has made more than 175 appearances in Liga MX. Coming through the youth system of hometown club, Club Atlético Morelia, Guzmán made his professional debut for the club in November 2011. Throughout seven seasons with Morelia, the defender spent time on loan at Atletico San Luis, Club Puebla, Club Tijuana and Club Leon. He then spent two seasons with Necaxa before rejoining his first professional club for a year in 2021. After that, Guzmán returned to Liga MX with Club Deportivo Toluca in 2022 before playing the first half of the 2023 season with Club Querétaro.
MIAMI FC SIGNS LÓPEZ: Miami FC announced on Monday it had signed Cuban forward Frank López, who joins the club having spent the past three seasons with Rio Grande Valley FC.
The 28-year-old forward recorded 13 goals and six assists for the Toros over the past three campaigns in 59 appearances for the club. A native of Cuba, López will enter his seventh season in the league next spring having recorded 43 goals and 12 assists in 140 regular season appearances overall, having had previous stints at the LA Galaxy II, San Antonio FC, OKC Energy FC and Sacramento Republic FC.
On the international stage, López has represented Cuba at the youth national team level, including at the U-17, U-20, and U-23 levels. During his international career, he scored twice during the 2015 Concacaf U-20 Championship.
ROWDIES RETAIN KLEEMAN: The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced on Monday the club had exercised its contract option for defender Freddy Kleemann.
Kleemann was a regular in Tampa Bay’s back line during the 2023 USL Championship season, making 25 starts and 32 appearances in his first year with the club. It was a welcome return to action for the 24-year-old, who sat out most of 2022 due to an ACL injury early in the year.
Following a standout college career at the University of Washington, Kleemann was drafted 11th overall by Austin FC in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. Kleemann made three appearances during a two-year stint in Austin and four appearances during two separate loan spells at Birmingham Legion FC.