After a couple of months of dead air, the MLS transfer window is set to open again on July 4.
We’ll undoubtedly see some action during the window, with a few teams likely set for big splashes in the international market and others on the lookout for some steals within MLS.
Trades can be a bit hard to predict in MLS, given the ever-changing amounts of allocation money (targeted and general – or TAM and GAM, as ) clubs have on hand as well as the fact that teams must stay under the salary cap.
That didn’t stop us from taking a crack at predicting a few #fakeMLStrades we could see this summer, however. Remember, this is more a fun exercise than a prediction – and aren’t necessarily realistic… again, TAM/GAM and the salary cap can be a bit nebulous when you can't see behind the curtain – but they all do have one thing in common: The player involved could potentially benefit from a change of scenery.
We’ll start with a team who haven’t yet played their first match…
Chicago GK Sean Johnson to Atlanta for TAM/GAM
He’s started Chicago’s last five matches, but it’s probably safe to say Sean Johnson didn’t love serving as Matt Lampson’s backup for the first nine games of Veljko Paunovic’s tenure. Atlanta would be a nice landing spot if Johnson is salty from his benching or if Paunovic just isn’t that high on the talented Georgia native, who turned 27 last month.
Paunovic and GM Nelson Rodriguez could certainly use some more cash for their rebuild/total overhaul in Chicago, and Atlanta – who signed career reserve goalkeeper Alexander Tambakis as their first player in January – would no doubt get some value out of an experienced, relatively young, local ‘keeper in Johnson.
Why not snag him now, loan him back to Chicago for the remainder of 2016 and hit the ground running in 2017?
Houston FW Erick Cubo Torres to Columbus for TAM/GAM
Columbus have needed another forward since sending Kei Kamara to New England for Targeted and General Allocation Money in May, and Cubo hasn’t exactly been a hit in Houston. Crew SC have plenty of TAM/GAM on hand via New England in the Kamara trade and a Designated Player spot available for Torres.
Houston would be able to wash their hands of the Mexican Under-23, who hasn’t seen much of the field – and hasn’t had much success on it – since arriving in Texas halfway through the 2015 season. They’d clear significant space on their cap and acquire enough TAM/GAM to make a run at a big time international signing this summer or in the offseason at a position of greater need (center midfield, anyone?).
Colorado MF Dillon Powers to Philadelphia for TAM/GAM, international spot
Roland Alberg has been a revelation, but Philadelphia could still use some added midfield depth to help fill the void created by Vincent Nogueira’s sudden departure. Powers, who has played a grand total of 18 minutes in the seven matches the newly-returned Jermaine Jones has been available for in Colorado this year, would provide just that.
Nogueira’s departure gave the Union some cap relief and an open international slot, which they’d send to the Rapids in addition to some TAM/GAM. Colorado would be free to go out on the market and use those funds and that international slot to add some attacking depth, which they could certainly use as they look to stay atop the Supporters’ Shield standings through the second half of the season.
What #FakeMLSTrades are percolating in your mind? What would you like to see happen when the window opens on July 4? Let us know in the comment section below.