You don’t need an intro – you all know what this column is, right?
Context and overview info from Tom Bogert, then grades and analysis from Matt Doyle.
Two housekeeping notes:
- Not all moves have been officially announced at time of writing, but we included the ones heavily reported because, well, they’re happening. Moves will continue to be announced on Friday and perhaps beyond.
- Teams can still sign free agents until the MLS Roster Freeze Date on Sept. 2.
READ MORE: MLS Transfer Tracker presented by Avant
- CB - Juan Jose Purata
- FB - Aiden McFadden
- W - Edwin Mosquera
- GK - Raul Gudino
Confronting a big injury crisis with Brad Guzan, Miles Robinson and Ozzie Alonso out for the year, as well as mid-term injuries to a handful of other starters during the season, Atlanta squeezed everything they could out of the cap/roster to bring in some additions.
Potentially the biggest was using their final U22 Initiative slot to sign Edwin Mosquera, while Juan Jose Purata and Raul Gudino are only on guaranteed contracts through the end of the season.
Doyle: Win… barely
It’s not the most incredible window ever, but Purata and McFadden have helped in the short term, and Mosquera seems a good pick-up for the future. They’re better coming out of the window than they were going into it despite having VERY limited resources, so that’s a win. Even if it’s an underwhelming one.
I do think you can knock them for not being more aggressive about moving guys within the league – Marcelino Moreno doesn’t quite fit, right? If they’d swung something big, then I’d have been more bullish.
- W - Emiliano Rigoni
- W - Washington Corozo
- W - Cecilio Dominguez
Flying high near the top of the Western Conference table, Austin made some big changes on the flanks.
Winger Emiliano Rigoni was acquired from Sao Paulo for a $4 million fee on a DP deal. The 29-year-old is well-traveled, but one of his stops was at Russia’s Zenit St. Petersburg with Sebastian Driussi. Austin also added Ecuador international Washington Corozo on loan, a shrewd move that flew under the radar a bit.
Rigoni’s move was facilitated by Cecilio Dominguez leaving. The Paraguay international played just 283 minutes this year before agreeing to a mutual contract termination.
Dominguez was a sub-par DP with off-field issues. Replacing him with a guy who projects to be better is a win, and bringing in Corozo just in case Rigoni doesn’t immediately work out is a smart move.
Do I wish they’d added another center forward as well, maybe beating RSL’s offer for Danny Musovski? Yes. But still, this was another good window for Austin.
- AM - Nuno Santos
- CB - Adilson Malanda
- RB - Nathan Bryne
- CM - Alan Franco
- AM - Titi Ortiz
- CB - Christian Makoun
- Soon: CM Sergio Ruiz
It was a busy window for Charlotte, particularly at the end. First, the departures though.
Midfielders Alan Franco and Titi Ortiz left, while defender Christian Makoun was traded to the New England Revolution. Those three players saw playing time diminish after Christian Lattanzio became interim head coach following Miguel Angel Ramirez’s departure. Sergio Ruiz will soon leave, too.
Charlotte continued building with a few additions, none bigger than former Portugal youth international Nuno Santos.
The 23-year-old attacking midfielder from Benfica fills a position the club sought to fill, while retaining the flexibility to add another DP this winter. Santos’ profile is one that should transition very well to the league and he fills a hole in the squad (No. 10).
Adilson Malanda spent a full season starting at center back in the French second tier at 19 years old, while Nathan Bryne has almost 200 appearances in the Championship.
I wavered back and forth here, but ultimately decided this was a win. I give them credit for being clear-eyed about the need to part ways with the likes of Franco, Ortiz and Ruiz, and the fact that they got $400k GAM (and potentially more on the way) for Makoun is stunning.
The additions are pretty underwhelming, but I think this team’s probably a bit better than they were six weeks ago. So that’s enough.
- ST - Chinonso Offor
No major signings or (imminent) big departures… though Chicago did announce the transfer of homegrown goalkeeper Gaga Slonina to Chelsea for up to $15 million. He’ll head to England in the winter, as he’s back on loan for the year.
Just Chinonso Offor departed the first team in a trade to Montreal, but had just three starts this year.
The Fire are playing well right now, but I don’t think anyone in the world could’ve looked at this roster entering the summer and said “nah, they don’t need any upgrades.”
Nice job securing the bag for Gaga Slonina, though. And $325k GAM for Chinonso Offor going to Montréal is very good.
- CB - Matt Miazga
- ST - Sergio Santos
- CM - Haris Medunjanin
- Soon: W - Isaac Atanga
Just like in their pursuit of DP d-mid Obinna Nwobodo, FC Cincinnati were patient in waiting out a deal for their top target. On deadline day, that patience paid off by striking a deal for USMNT center back Matt Miazga on a free transfer from Chelsea. Miazga signed a max-TAM deal, too, rather than one that would require a DP spot.
Cincy also traded for Sergio Santos from the Union. As far as outgoings, U22 Initiative winger Isaac Atanga is on his way out on loan to Turkey, while the club agreed to part ways with Haris Medunjanin so the veteran midfielder could return to Europe and be closer to his family.
Doyle: Big win
Santos is fine – he’s a good depth piece behind Brandon Vazquez and Brenner, even if, IMO, they overpaid a bit for him.
They made up for that with the work they did with their No. 1 slot in the Allocation Order. In addition to getting Miazga – who everyone knew was the big prize out there this year, and who should slot in immediately as Cincy’s best defender and potentially one of the best center backs in the entire league – Chris Albright collected upwards of $325k xAM throughout the year by trading down to the No. 2 slot, then immediately jumping back up when their trade partner made a signing.
He put on a clinic.
- AM - Felipe Gutierrez
- CM - Ralph Priso
- CM - Mark-Anthony Kaye
Colorado swung a blockbuster trade that sent Canadian international Mark-Anthony Kaye to Toronto FC, receiving rising Canadian youth international midfielder Ralph Priso (and his Homegrown rights), more than $1 million GAM and further assets.
The Rapids’ other key move was adding Felipe Gutierrez on loan. The former Sporting KC man and Chile international gives Robin Fraser another option in attacking midfield.
Only five points back with games in hand, so it’s not like they’re dead in the water. And I do like Ralph Priso’s long-term potential, so I don’t think this window is catastrophic or anything.
But I also don’t think they did nearly enough to claw back above the West’s playoff line.
- ST - Cucho Hernandez
- ST - Jacen Russell-Rowe
- RB - Mo Farsi
- ST - Miguel Berry
It feels like a long time ago that Cucho Hernandez arrived, right? The Crew club-record addition was signed just ahead of the window and immediately hit the ground sprinting. The club farmed from their MLS NEXT Pro side to add Jacen Russell-Rowe and Mo Farsi to the first team as well. But Cucho is the story. He immediately brought life back to the team, which won MLS Cup in 2020 but missed the playoffs last year. That move made Miguel Berry available and he was traded to D.C. United, the key outgoing move this summer.
They reshaped their No. 9 depth chart, snagging Russell-Rowe and spending big on Cucho – who paid immediate dividends and is the main reason they’re above the line as of this writing. That’s obviously the exact kind of impact you want from a summer window.
Now, if only they could figure out how to defend over the final 10 minutes of games…
- CM - Sebastian Lletget
- None (yet)
After a transformational winter, Dallas made just one key move this summer: Trading for USMNT midfielder Sebastian Lletget from the New England Revolution.
Lletget reunites with former national team assistant Nico Estevez. Dallas were looking for an upgrade in central midfield and are ecstatic with the deal to acquire Lletget. I wrote “yet” in the departures section because I’m expecting Hungarian winger Szabolcs Schon to leave for a European club by the end of the month.
Lletget’s a good pick-up who should upgrade one of the problem spots in this side, and given his familiarity with Estevez he should fit in right away. But right back remains an issue – it’s a shame they missed out on Richie Laryea because he’d have helped – as does d-mid (I’d like to see Edwin Cerrillo get more time). And I do think they could’ve used an upgrade at center back as well. So while they’re better than they were at the start of the window, it’s marginal. And it kind of feels like a missed opportunity.
- ST - Christian Benteke
- CM - Ravel Morrison
- DM - Victor Palsson
- W - Martin Rodriguez
- GK - David Ochoa
- ST - Miguel Berry
- WB - Julian Gressel
- AM - Edison Flores
I’ll let The Dude from The Big Lebowski kick us off:
"This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-yous. And, uh, a lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder's head."
No club was more active than D.C. United, including appointing Wayne Rooney as head coach. And they saved the biggest move for last: Belgium international striker Christian Benteke was signed just before the deadline from Crystal Palace. Benteke, 31, has scored 86 Premier League goals with Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Aston Villa. He’ll be a DP.
There were some key departures to facilitate the moves. DP Edison Flores was sold and wingback Julian Gressel was traded. Beyond Benteke, in came reinforcements at just about every line, from goalkeeper David Ochoa to DP defensive mid Victor Palsson, former Derby County midfielder Ravel Morrison and attackers Miguel Berry and Martin Rodriguez.
Welcome to Wayne Rooney’s D.C. United.
Doyle: Seems like a win, I think?
To quote a less charming Coen Brothers character:
"What's the most you ever lost on a coin toss?”
D.C. tossed the coin by hiring Rooney and immediately trying to build the roster he wants.
It’s almost always foolish to judge a rebuild in its earliest stages, so this whole segment feels dangerous. I will say that I think the Ochoa and Berry moves could provide very good value, and that I’m dubious about the three big imports. Plus the trade of Gressel for just $900k GAM does not look great.
But Benteke is still excellent at finding space in the 18 (he no longer does anything beyond that), and both Palsson and Morrison should have some miles left in their legs. If they perform up to their reputations, this could end up being a landmark summer for the Black-and-Red.
- W - Nelson Quinones
- W - Tyler Pasher
Low-key summer in Houston.
Colombian winger Nelson Quinones, 19, was signed from Once Caldas, paving the way for the club to waive winger Tyler Pasher.
The Dynamo entered this window needing to do way more than just shuffle fourth-string wingers.
- W - Denis Bouanga
- W - Gareth Bale
- CB - Giorgio Chiellini
- DM - Sebastian Mendez
- ST - Danny Musovski
- W - Ismael Tajoui-Shradi
- CB - Doneil Henry
- CM - Francisco Ginella
Just re-read the additions list again. This was a team that went into the summer window atop the Supporters’ Shield race. Wild.
LAFC signed Welsh superstar Gareth Bale and Italian legend Giorgio Chiellini on TAM deals (!) to start the window. They ended it by trading for in-prime Ecuador international Sebastian Mendez and signing 27-year-old Gabon international winger Denis Bouanga, who consistently produced double-digit goal involvements in Ligue 1 the last few years. Bouanga fills their third DP spot.
Not enough is being made of Bouanga’s signing just yet – perhaps we have some LAFC fatigue – but his age profile/recent résumé should make him a really strong player in this league. Time will tell, of course.
It’s a huge window.
Doyle: Massive Win
Loaded up for the short haul by getting Bale and Chiellini, while in Bouanga and Mendez, they got two guys who could potentially be part of the foundation for the next half-decade.
And they didn’t trade Cristian Arango, which might’ve been the best move of them all.
- CM - Riqui Puig
- DM - Gaston Brugman
- CM - Rayan Raveloson
The LA Galaxy did some midfield shuffling this summer, headlined by the deadline day acquisition of former Barcelona wonderkid Riqui Puig, signed on a TAM deal.
Puig, 22, made 57 appearances for Barcelona. The former Spain youth international has excellent technical ability and vision, as you’d expect from a La Masia graduate. To make room for Puig on the budget, the Galaxy transferred Rayan Raveloson to Auxerre in France’s Ligue 1. He had 8g/5a in 44 MLS appearances, with a knack for scoring goals on set pieces and late-arriving runs.
Uruguayan defensive midfielder Gaston Brugman was the club’s other key signing, a more traditional DM to balance the midfield.
I don’t love Puig, but lots of smart people do, and getting him on a TAM deal manages a bunch of the risk here. Plus with Raveloson out and Brugman in, a midfield three of Puig, Brugman and Mark Delgado looks pretty damn good, so I think it’s safe to say the Galaxy are better coming out of this window than they were going into it (even if they’re likely to miss Raveloson’s box-arriving runs).
But they’re also still staring at the same potentially existential question they had two months ago: Can any of the wingers deliver? If they’d been able to address that question with a Puig-sized move, I’d feel more comfortable calling this past month an emphatic win.
- AM - Alejandro Pozuelo
- ST - Corentin Jean
Inter Miami got their work done early, with both Alejandro Pozuelo and Corentin Jean announced as the window opened.
Pozuelo is a former Landon Donovan MLS MVP, acquired in a trade with Toronto FC for just $150k GAM as they needed to open a DP spot. He was originally acquired for $11 million from Belgium’s Genk and has 26g/32a in his MLS career. Miami were intent to add a No. 10 during this window and walked away with Pozuelo for a nominal fee.
Jean, 27, was signed from Ligue 1’s Lens, a forward who can also play on the wing.
Doyle: Big Win
God, I love this window for Miami. Pozuelo has a chance to be the starting No. 10 in Fort Lauderdale for a half-decade, and they got him for virtually nothing (he’s out of contract after 2022 though). Meanwhile, Jean seems like the type of smart, targeted signing this club had zero interest in when they came online three years ago.
Obviously things aren’t perfect, but the roster’s both better and better structured coming out of this window than they were going into it.
- ST/W - Mender Garcia
- CM - Jonathan Gonzalez
- RB - Alan Benitez
- ST - Adrien Hunou
Minnesota United reloaded this summer, bringing in three players who could potentially be regular starters.
Colombian forward Mender Garcia arrives from Once Caldas. The 24-year-old can play center forward or on the wing and has more than 100 senior appearances in his career with 22 goals. Garcia is expected to hold the final DP spot for the rest of the season but can be bought down in the winter.
One-time US youth international Jonathan Gonzalez was signed on loan from Liga MX’s CF Monterrey. The Mexico international fills a need in central midfield. Paraguayan right back Alan Benitez gives further options to a positional group that’s been decimated by injury all season.
Going into this window I’d have said central midfield, fullback and a goalscoring winger who can also play some center forward were the three biggest needs, so well done to Adrian Heath & Co.
Garcia at least temporarily takes up the DP slot they opened after buying out Adrien Hunou, which is a little surprising given Garcia’s maybe not even a starter? Still, they improved their chances at staying above the line and making a good playoff run, which is the whole point.
- FW - Chinonso Offor
One in. No outs.
They nearly transferred rising Canadian international midfielder Ismael Kone to English Championship side Norwich City for around $6 million, but that deal fell through after it was agreed upon. No word on if it would have included a loan back or not anyway. The European windows remain open through August, so there’s always the chance Kone or Djordje Mihailovic go.
I think Montréal’s really good, and I also think they’re one big piece away from being an elite, A-Tier contender this year. Maybe a left wingback, or maybe a vicious, DP-caliber goalscorer? Or, in an ideal world, both? Offor, in his brief MLS career, has not looked anything like a starting-caliber goalscorer, let alone DP-caliber.
I know that splashing out on big, proven, DP talent goes against Montréal’s recent philosophy of bargain shopping, being patient and building with the kids, but they’ve done that part so well that they’re on the precipice of being real contenders. You only get so many rolls of the dice from that spot, and they chose not to. It’s disappointing.
- WB - Shaq Moore
- W/WB - Jacob Shaffelburg
Nashville’s biggest addition of the summer was to add USMNT right back Shaq Moore from Spanish second-tier side Tenerife, a long-term target that they got over the line in July.
Moore, 25, will fit perfectly both at wingback in Gary Smith’s back three or right back in a traditional back four. He made 101 appearances for Tenerife and has 15 caps with the USMNT.
Nashville also added winger/wingback Jacob Shaffelburg on loan from Toronto FC.
Adding Moore and Shaffelburg is good – Moore could end up being the best RB in the league, and his crossing should be an immediate help. I’m not a huge Shaffelburg fan but it cost them little to take a flier on a young left-footer with MLS athleticism and experience.
But nothing was done to address the lack of top-tier firepower beyond Hany Mukhtar. He’s got 12 goals on the season; only two other players on the roster have more than two. And in terms of chance creation it’s even more of a one-man show.
Head coach Gary Smith is now scrambling to set the bar on the floor:
This is an unbelievable take given what the Coyotes have done the past two years.
- ST - Giacomo Vrioni
- W - Ismael Tajouri-Shradi
- CB - Christian Makoun
- GK - Clement Diop
- ST - Adam Buksa
- ST - Jozy Altidore
- CM - Sebastian Lletget
First, the outgoings: Adam Buksa was long expected to leave the club this year, his transfer to RC Lens wasn’t a surprise. One of the players meant to replace him was Jozy Altidore… who didn’t work out. He’s been sent on loan to Puebla in Liga MX.
Another key offseason addition was Sebastian Lletget… who was traded this week to FC Dallas. New England’s roster reload continues.
The Revs made numerous key additions, headlined by DP forward Giacomo Vrioni from Juventus. They also added MLSers Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Christian Makoun and Clement Diop through trades.
Tajouri-Shradi fits better on the wing than Lletget, because he’s a natural winger. Makoun adds depth in central defense.
I am frankly shocked at the outlay for Makoun, but Vrioni has the resume of a guy who will succeed in MLS – and maybe even earn a Buksa-sized transfer back to Europe 18 months from now. Tajouri-Shradi is here for the long haul, and should be a perfect fit on the right side of the 4-2-3-1 that the Revs have been playing (and that they should keep playing, especially now that they have actual wingers). The asterisk with ITJ, of course, is “if he stays healthy.” It’s a very big if, but this was a worthwhile move regardless.
I’d have been more bullish if they’d figured out how to upgrade central midfield and/or central defense a bit.
- ST - Taty Castellanos
The Taty Castellanos saga ended with a loan to re-promoted LaLiga side Girona. NYCFC are replacing the reigning Golden Boot presented by Audi winner from within, with no external signings this summer.
The Pigeons are, in theory, well-equipped to handle the loss of the best center forward in the league by dealing out minutes to the guys who are already on the roster.
But it didn’t have to be this way. They could’ve bought Maxi Moralez off his DP slot with TAM, then gone big for a Taty replacement – Luis Suarez would’ve come to New York, right? How about 18 months of that?
- RB - Kyle Duncan
- M - Steven Sserwadda
- CB - Lucas Monzon
- ST - Ashley Fletcher
The New York Red Bulls re-acquired right back Kyle Duncan on loan from Oostende, just eight months after he left RBNY when his contract expired.
Duncan, 24, made just seven appearances in Belgium. He is likely to be RBNY’s first choice at RWB/RB.
The Red Bulls were looking for a forward on deadline day and there were reports that the club remained in talks through the evening. And head coach Gerhard Struber said “one or two signings” were very close. One would be Duncan. Maybe there’s a forward coming, too?
A reminder: Just because something hasn’t been announced doesn’t mean it hasn’t gotten done. Clubs can announce whenever they want, really, it just matters that paperwork was filed last night before 11:59 pm CT.
Monzon and Fletcher aren’t big losses by any stretch, but there’s zero ambition to any of the additions (though Duncan should help a bit), and the central defense has now become paper thin – a consequence of keeping so many roster slots open for no reason that I can discern. That’s especially problematic given Struber’s determination to run his team into the ground during the hottest summer on record. And I think it’s probably fair to say that the attack, sans high-level reinforcements, isn’t good enough to make up for it.
- ST - Nicholas Gioacchini
- W - Ivan Angulo
- CM - Wilder Cartagena
- CM - Sebastian Mendez
- W - Silvester van der Water
Orlando got deeper and refreshed competition in numerous positional groups.
USMNT forward Nico Gioacchini was signed on a free transfer from France’s SM Caen, a shrewd piece of business. Gioacchini can play center forward or on the wing, useful versatility for head coach Oscar Pareja.
Angulo also adds further options in the attack after the 23-year-old Colombian youth international winger arrives on loan. Wilder Cartagena, a Peruvian international center mid, replaces outbound Ecuador international center mid Sebastian Mendez (trade to LAFC), who was out of contract after the season and a bit down the depth chart.
In general, I think they added more talent than they subtracted. But they badly needed LB and CB depth, and got none.
Maybe it won’t matter – if Joao Moutinho and Antonio Carlos both have 12 more starts in their legs then Orlando could win the US Open Cup and make the playoffs, which would make this the most successful year in club history by a mile. But I think we’ve all seen from the up-and-down performances over the course of this season that this group’s hanging on by a thread.
- DM - Richard Odada
- CB - Abasa Aremeyaw
- ST - Sergio Santos
- CB - Stuart Findlay
The big goal for the Philadelphia Union was more about keeping the core together – i.e. Best XI-caliber talents Kai Wagner and Jose Martinez. As of Aug. 5, they’re both here still, even though Jim Curtin and the club are confident in internal replacements if offers come over this month.
Richard Odada, in part, is further insurance for Martinez. The 21-year-old was signed from Red Star Belgrade. Abasa Aremeyaw is an 18-year-old Ghanian center back who arrived on a free. In a perfect world, these two players are more for 2023 than this season, which would mean the first team stays intact and relatively injury-free.
With burgeoning homegrown talents ready for more minutes, Philly were able to move on depth pieces Sergio Santos (trade to Cincy) and Stuart Findlay (transfer to Oxford).
Getting the amount of GAM they did for Santos was excellent, and moving off of Findlay to open up the third-string CB slot for Homegrown Brandan Craig – Jim Curtin said straight out last month that he thinks Craig’s ready for that job – is just classic Philadelphia Union business.
I have no idea if Odada or Aremeyaw will be any good, but given Ernst Tanner’s track record in identifying talent and Curtin’s in developing it, are you going to bet against them?
- RB - Juan David Mosquera
Just U22 Initiative signing Juan David Mosquera as major moves for Portland this summer.
The highly-rated 19-year-old was courted by Villarreal as well, but signed for Portland. He’s a Colombian youth international and already has almost 60 professional games to his name.
Mosquera gives them much-needed RB depth, or maybe even a new starter. But the Timbers are suddenly thin up top following Felipe Mora’s season-ending surgery, and defensively they have been pretty poor – goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic’s massive season is papering over a lot of cracks back there.
They are fighting for their playoff lives and I’m not sure they’re any closer to winning that fight after this window.
- ST - Danny Musovski
- AM - Diego Luna
- CM - Braian Ojeda
- LB - Bryan Oviedo
- DM - Everton Luiz
- GK - David Ochoa
A quiet window turned super busy for RSL, who made a flurry of additions ahead of the deadline.
Danny Musovski was acquired in a trade with LAFC, Braian Ojeda signed on loan from Nottingham Forest (as their first ever U22 Initiative signing) and veteran Costa Rican international left back Bryan Oviedo arrived, all three within the last 36 hours of the transfer window.
Diego Luna wasn’t a Primary Transfer Window signing… but he was also able to play ahead of the Secondary Transfer Window opening because of an ITC loophole. I’m still counting him here.
Salt Lake also sorted the future of David Ochoa, who was away from the team after a chasm between the player and the club. He was traded to D.C. United before his contract expires in the winter.
We were surprised when the new owners didn’t make any big DP moves during the winter window. We’re absolutely shocked they didn’t make any during the summer.
I guess the idea is to be sure of the team you’ve got and the direction you want to go in before getting tied down to any long-term, big-money deals. I think there’s value in that, but I don’t blame the fanbase for grumbling.
Ojeda has a decent profile, though it’s at least a little concerning he couldn’t get minutes in the Championship. I like Musovski – $250k GAM for him was a steal – and I LOVE Luna. So it’s not like this was all bad, by any stretch.
- RB - Carlos Akapo
- CB - Rodrigues
- AM - Chofis Lopez
- CB - Francisco Calvo
- LB - Marcos Lopez
San Jose left it late in terms of incoming players, with reports arriving in deadline day’s final hours that the club signed right back Carlos Akapo. The 29-year-old was last with Cadiz in Spain. There were rumors that San Jose could add from the free agent market as well. MLS clubs can sign free agents (those not under contract) until the MLS Roster Freeze Date on Sept. 2.
The Quakes’ rebuild continues, with a DP spot opening after Chofis Lopez’s loan expired and two starting spots created as Francisco Calvo and Marcos Lopez depart on transfers. Calvo’s now at Konyaspor in Turkey, while Lopez is off to Feyenoord in Holland.
They've reportedly got some CB depth coming in Rodrigues, who's spent the last few years at Brazilian top-flight side Gremio.
I think they probably got better this window, though they’ll be a little lopsided with the sale of Lopez.
But to be clear, “sale” is the big word here. The Quakes are trying to become the Union or FC Dallas, and for the first time ever they sold two guys in one window – they got seven figures for Lopez and something around $300k for Calvo if reports are to be believed.
Between that and getting marginally better, I’ll call this window a minor win. It’s not going to be enough to push them up above the playoff line, but it’s proof of concept with regard to the overall approach.
Nothing to write about here – literally.
Doyle: Loss, but retroactively a win
We’ve been writing all year about how Garth Lagerwey loves to do business in the summer, but that he went all-in this winter because he smelled a chance to win a CCL title, and… damn, man, he really committed to the bit, didn’t he?
I’m genuinely surprised he didn’t have something up his sleeve for this window (yet), but they’re above the playoff line and are getting healthier. So who am I to argue?
- AM - Erik Thommy
- ST - William Agada
- ST - Nikola Vujnovic
Sporting KC’s work was done early in the hope of maximizing games for Erik Thommy and William Agada. The two deals were wrapped up a couple weeks ahead of the window opening.
SKC were hand-tied by injury and cap restrictions (see: Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido’s year-end knee ailments), having to find room for Thommy and Agada to begin with. Nikola Vujnovic’s loan was cut short to free up an international slot.
The inability to get meaningful intra-league deals done is brutal, especially when you consider how good Sporting were at that exact thing in building that great side of the 2010s. Musovski, for example, would’ve been a great fit, as would Lletget, as would Shaffelburg, as would Berry.
As it stands, things seem pointed toward a pretty deep and wide teardown in the offseason.
- W - Federico Bernardeschi
- CM - Mark-Anthony Kaye
- LB - Domenico Criscito
- RB - Richie Laryea
- CB - Doneil Henry
- AM - Alejandro Pozuelo
- CB - Carlos Salcedo
- CM - Ralph Priso
- W/FB - Jacob Shaffelburg
Boy, there’s a lot to get to here. And it doesn’t even include Lorenzo Insigne, because he technically signed in the winter before arriving this summer!
Toronto’s massive rebuild/reload continued, adding Italy international Federico Bernardeschi, Canadian internationals Mark-Anthony Kaye, Richie Laryea and Doneil Henry, and former Italy international Domenico Criscito.
That’s legitimately five new starters. Six if you include Insigne, who just debuted a couple of weeks ago. Most of them are expected to be elite contributors at their position in this league.
To make space, TFC shipped out DPs Alejandro Pozuelo and Carlos Salcedo, as well as rising midfielder Ralph Priso and fellow homegrown Jacob Shaffelburg.
Toronto still have an open DP spot, too.
Doyle: Massive win
I’m still not entirely convinced this team will make the playoffs, and I’m already a little bit tired of seeing Lorenzo Insigne cut inside to shoot from 30 yards out.
But no one can seriously argue this team hasn’t massively upgraded its talent over the course of this window. I count five new starters, all of whom should be among the league’s very best at their respective positions.
- WB - Julian Gressel
- CM - Alessandro Schopf
- CB - Erik Godoy
The Whitecaps have slowly added core pieces over the last few windows and this summer was no different, with Julian Gressel (trade with D.C. United) and Alessandro Schopf (free) both acquired.
Gressel is regarded as the best chance-creating right wingback in MLS; he’s a perfect fit for Vanni Sartini’s system. Schopf is an Austrian international, arriving as a free agent after spending last year in the Bundesliga at Arminia Bielefeld. Both players expect to be in Sartini’s first-choice XI once settled.
Erik Godoy was waived to clear a roster spot for Schopf. The only other outgoings were a pair of players already on loan to European clubs, making permanent moves to those destinations: Simon Colyn (PSV) and Damiano Pecile (Venezia FC).
Doyle: Big win
Schopf should fit perfectly next to Andres Cubas in central midfield, and Gressel… I mean, he’s the best wingback in the league and a top-three crosser of the ball in league history. You could not have asked for a more perfect addition to a team that's already got a 2023 CCL spot locked up (CanChamp path).