As is a symptom of the MLS offseason, life comes at you fast. It was a relatively quiet Monday around these parts — until it wasn't. The afternoon exploded into action. It was transaction after transaction for a few hours.
There were a number of transfers, free agent deals and re-signings that kicked off during the day. Here's what some of the biggest moves can mean:
Two key loans turn to permanent deals
A very happy Bill Hamid | USA Today Sports
Perhaps the two biggest names involved in the flurry of transactions, Bill Hamid and Emerson Hyndman are staying put.
Hamid had a huge year with D.C. United in 2019 while on loan from Danish club FC Midtjylland, where he signed in 2018 as a free agent after he and United failed to agree to a new contract. Hamid's European sojourn didn't last long as he failed to gain a regular place in the starting XI. Before the end of the year, he was back at his boyhood club on loan through the end of this season.
The Washington Post's Steven Goff reports Hamid's transfer back to D.C. comes courtesy a $750,000 transfer fee. Sure, paying non-insignificant money to re-acquire a Homegrown player isn't particularly the plan, but it is what it is. Accepting the sunk cost in paying for their first Homegrown signing is a necessary hurdle in this case. Hamid is one of the top keepers in MLS and is now on a TAM deal. Brad Guzan is on a TAM contract and Vito Mannone is, too. It's fair market value. Unfortunate and not ideal to lose him for free then pay to get him back after he made just three appearances for Midtjylland, but it's better than not getting him back at all.
Perhaps after Hamid in 2018 then Lucho Acosta last season, D.C. will put the days of losing key players for free behind them.
In Atlanta, Hyndman was immediately a key contributor under Frank de Boer once he joined on loan last summer. ATL UTD were able to secure him on a permanent basis from Bournemouth Monday as well, a key coup for their 2020 midfield options, particularly without Darlington Nagbe. The fee wasn't released and there aren't any reports on what that number may be at time of writing, but it's telling that ATLUTD's release didn't denote Hyndman as a TAM player.
If the club continue in a 3-4-2-1 as expected, Hyndman is a prime option to start in central midfield. He also played as one of the two attackers underneath Josef Martinez, giving Frank de Boer options during a long season. Even without Nagbe, the midfield will be strong and deep, assuming Julian Gressel stays in 2020.
Orlando quietly sign Colombian U-20 midfielder
The youth movement in Orlando under new boss Oscar Pareja is getting a kickstart.
OCSC signed Colombian U-20 defensive midfielder Andres Perea on loan with option to buy from his country's Atletico Nacional. He already has experience in playing for one of his country's best teams and featured at both the U-17 and U-20 World Cups. The 19-year-old has a solid pedigree already.
Perea was born in Tampa and is a dual-citizen with the United States and Colombia, meaning he doesn't take up an international slot. A nice perk.
He joins a revamped midfield in Orlando, likely competing with Sebastian Mendez and Ori Rosell for minutes at the base of midfield. Mendez had a fine first season in MLS last year, one of the club's bright spots. If Perea settles well in MLS, that's not a bad trio to lean on for two spots, assuming Mauricio Pereyra occupies another place in central midfield. There'll surely be opportunities to go around for the exciting youngster.
Khiry Shelton returns to SKC
After a year in Germany with Paderborn SC, Shelton is back with SKC. And unlike Hamid's return, Shelton was out of contract, per a source, meaning he's back on a free deal.
Shelton, 26, made a pair of Bundesliga appearances this season but didn't turn into a regular for the club, who earned promotion after he joined last winter. Things are a little different in SKC since he left, as the club cratered to 11th place in the Western Conference last season and missed the playoffs for the first time since they were the Kansas City Wizards.
Also, he might help Daniel Salloi's goal drought:
SKC have boasted this offseason that the funds are there to invest in the squad and there's a hole at center forward. Shelton isn't likely the going to be the solution, but we thought that last year about Krisztian Nemeth. It's very underwhelming if Shelton is that guy, but the move is more than likely a depth play. The 26-year-old started 15 games in 2018 for SKC, after all.
Hm — doesn't Alvin Jones sound familiar?
Oh, yeah, that's where we remember the new Real Salt Lake fullback from. That strike — ultimately sinking the USMNT's hopes for the 2018 World Cup — remains his only international goal. Welcome to the league!
P.S.: Looking forward to #content that comes when Alvin plays against Seattle Sounders midfielder and his brother Joevin Jones.)