UPDATE: Southern California native Aaron Long has apparently chosen LAFC over the Sounders and Inter Miami. LAFC were a relatively late entry for his services.
BREAKING: LAFC have reached an agreement in principle to sign USMNT CB Aaron Long, per sources. Not done or finalized yet, but final stages.— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) January 4, 2023
Long, 30, is a free agent after his contract with the New York Red Bulls expired. LAFC won Supporters' Shield/MLS Cup double this year. pic.twitter.com/i39Hqy2dof
Nothing appears to have been finalized yet, but various sources have indicated that the Seattle Sounders are among the favorites to land free-agent centerback Aaron Long. If the Sounders are able to close that deal, they would almost certainly have to move either Xavier Arreaga or Yeimar Gomez Andrade.
Apparently working in the Sounders’ favor are a few personal connections to Long. The 30-year-old never made an appearance for the Sounders, but he was a member of the team for part of the 2014 season and then played for S2 in 2015. Although he left the organization for the New York Red Bulls the following season, he apparently made a strong impression on several Sounders coaches and front-office staff, who have long wanted to bring him back. His stock only rose during the following five seasons, as he emerged as one of the top centerbacks in MLS and in the USMNT player pool.
Although his time in Seattle was relatively short, his connection to the area remained strong. Long began dating Seattle native Elise Hansen while he was here and she moved across the country with him before they got married in 2021. They now have two kids together. In addition to Hansen’s family still being in Seattle, Long is also good friends with current Sounders Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris. Long was recently a groomsman in Roldan’s wedding.
There are several teams still vying for Long’s contract, according to MLSsoccer.com’s Tom Bogert. Among them are Inter Miami and the LA Galaxy, as well as Liga MX’s Monterrey and Cruz Azul. Long and the New York Red Bulls have already announced that he’s not returning.