Voices: Bradley Wright-Phillips

Summer transfers: Will these MLS teams swing big?


The summer of soccer is here, and MLS teams are poised to level up in the transfer market.

Whether it’s Leagues Cup, the Supporters’ Shield or MLS Cup, it’s all about strengthening your squad to lift a trophy.

Here are some teams I have my eye on.

Note: The MLS Secondary Transfer Window runs from July 18 to Aug. 14. Teams can sign players before then, they just can't debut until that first date.

LA Galaxy have no problem scoring goals – they've got one of the league's best attacks with Gabriel Pec, Joseph Paintsil, Riqui Puig and Dejan Joveljic. They might even add Borussia Dortmund legend Marco Reus this summer.

But they're not good enough defensively and concede multiple goals in almost every game. If they get a center back who's a leader, experienced, and has some pace as well, then we can take the Galaxy really seriously. I would keep Maya Yoshida as a cornerstone and then swap in a proven defender who helps you win a trophy.

Whenever I look at LA, I think: "Yes, they're dangerous. But if it's a one-off game, they're probably going to concede more than one goal and then have to outgun you." We all know how good the offense can be. But is their defense going to hang them out to dry?

Cincy have one of the best backlines in MLS. They have the reigning MVP in Luciano Acosta, one of the league’s best 10s. Their midfield does the dirty work.

But their striker spot isn’t steady; I don’t think they've found the solution after transferring Brandon Vazquez in the winter. They need a proven goalscorer because Aaron Boupendza hasn’t been it and caused some headaches on and off the field. I think they'll move on from him this summer and bring in a DP who gets them goals.

I like what I see from Kevin Kelsy – he’s a young player who has some really good attributes with his back to goal and in the box. He needs some time though, and Cincy need something more guaranteed right now. Yuya Kubo has also been their most dangerous No. 9 and he's more a utility man.

If Inter Miami upgrade their center backs, it's not even a question of whether they win the Supporters’ Shield or MLS Cup. The issue is they can't consistently defend and every ball over the top is a problem. They've allowed the first goal in 13 games this year. And their set-up demands center backs who can put out fires when the opposition counter-attacks.

So while there are rumors about Inter Miami adding more in the attack, the honest truth is they need help in central defense (especially after Nicolás Freire’s ACL injury). I have my doubts about the Tomás Avilés and Sergii Kryvtsov pairing.

I know it's Lionel Messi, I know it's Luis Suárez. But you can't always get a world-class goal or free kick bailing you out. It's just too much. You're not always going to get those magic moments. Sometimes you need the defense to win a game.

You know what’s scary? RSL can get even better in attack this summer.

What I’d like to see, if they’re keeping Chicho Arango underneath a No. 9, is signing a striker who doesn't want to come to feet. They need someone who wants to run in behind and stretch defenses, giving Chicho even more space to operate in. RSL currently have Anderson Julio in that role, but they have some DP flexibility and can upgrade that spot.

If it’s Diego Luna and Andrés Gómez on the wings, Chicho playing slightly withdrawn and then a DP No. 9… they’d win the Supporters' Shield with that group. They’re already leading the West with 36 goals (second-most in MLS). Now they can really go for it.

Olivier Giroud, when he arrives this summer, is a perfect addition for LAFC. But if I’m John Thorrington and find a way to add an Antoine Griezmann-type who can play centrally or out wide, they’re really cooking.

A front three of Giroud, Griezmann and Denis Bouanga? That’s winning you another MLS Cup or Supporters’ Shield. You could even put Griezmann in midfield and leave Mateusz Bogusz or Cristian Olivera out there. There are options in midfield as well, with Eduard Atuesta, Timothy Tillman and Ilie Sánchez.

We don't have to pick the XI, though. That's for Steve Cherundolo to figure out as head coach. It’s about creating depth and increasing tactical flexibility. And we all know Thorrington has a history of making big swings in the summer transfer window.

I look at Charlotte's defensive record under Dean Smith and how tough it is to score against them; now they need some creative players to really become dangerous. If Charlotte sign a proper No. 10 and a No. 9 they can rely on to get goals, they reach another level.

Patrick Agyemang is a good young player, but he shouldn't have the pressures at such a young age of leading their attack. If they have a proven goalscorer, someone Agyemang can learn from, and then he comes on the last 15-20 minutes, Charlotte are a team we're really talking about.

Colorado have an energetic, working-class team that's turned things around this year under Chris Armas. Now they need a creative wide player to make that attack even more dangerous.

Rafael Navarro will get you goals and works hard. Djordje Mihailovic is starting to play well as the No. 10. I really like Cole Bassett in the No. 8 role.

If Colorado add more creativity in the final third, a high-profile wide player, they could be more than a mid-table team.