Not only is the 4th of July a holiday where Americans celebrate their independence, it’s a cause for MLS fans to celebrate the opening of the summer transfer window. With most teams having played over 50% of their regular season games, we have a pretty good idea about where the strengths are for each team, and where there are holes that need to be filled. Here are some teams that I think will make some splashes in this coming transfer window.
You won’t find a single person that could have predicted the season that the Sounders have been having. The Sounders sit 6 points outside of the last playoff spot, and are currently tied for the most losses in the entire league. Even the Chicago Fire have scored more goals than Seattle. Yes, it’s that bad. A large reason for the Sounders’ struggles is the departure of Obafemi Martins a few weeks before the season started. The holes were there, but Oba was good enough to mask those. With a DP slot open and enough cap space to sign (at least) one TAM player, Garth Lagerwey and Co. will look to bring in players that can hopefully right a sinking ship. I think they’ll look to sign two offensive minded players. Garth has commented previously that he’d like to sign a DP who is a creative midfielder.
Columbus Crew SC
Along with the Sounders, Columbus’s season has been awfully disappointing. Even before the Kamara-Higuain drama happened, they were underperforming. While Ola ‘The Other Kamara’ Kamara looks to be able to score goals, their offense is still lacking. Oh, and to throw salt in the wound, Higuain is out for 2 months due to injury. It’s not hard to see that Columbus needs help, but it’s much harder to nail down what exactly would help this team. I don’t anticipate them to sign a flashy DP, but if they could bring in another forward, and maybe a box-to-box midfielder, I think that could help them gain some ground in a very weak eastern conference. Oh, and a CB wouldn’t hurt their causes.
DC are about right where everyone expected them to be at this point in the season. I’m sure if you’d ask Ben Olsen if they should be playing better, he would say yes, but, considering the injuries and insufficiencies, I think Olsen has done a good job with the hand he’s been dealt. If you remember back to preseason they were trying to sign Antonio Nocerino, before Orlando City came in and swooped him up (albeit, illegally). United dodged a bullet there. But, entering into this window I think their needs are the same as they were in preseason: Goal scorer & center midfielder. Even more so than Columbus, D.C. United are not the type of team to go out and sign a multi-million dollar DP. All indications point to them having some money to spend this summer, and I think they’ll look to bolster up and get ready for the playoffs.
If it weren’t for the Colorado Rapids sitting a top of the western conference in July, there would be more chatter about the Union being the surprise of the season. All credit to Jim Curtin and Earnie Stewart for building a team that sits a second in the eastern conference. This hasn’t been without some difficulty, though. Their engine in the middle, Vincent Nogueira, left the team to go back to France for personal health issues. Jim Curtin has said previously that he’s pleased with his group of guys, but wants to be aggressive in the transfer market. Adding 1 or 2 good players (not necessarily DP-level) could turn this team into a legitimate contender. I would look for them to find an attacking player, and a central midfielder.
Those are just a couple of teams that have obvious holes that can be addressed in the transfer market. There’s always moves that seemingly come out of nowhere, and that’s why we call it Silly Season. Let’s buckle up and enjoy the fun!