Major League Soccer's version of "silly season" got a few nifty boosts this week with a pair of announcements that US national team players and former MLS standouts are on the move.
US defender DaMarcus Beasley has been transfer-listed by Puebla while once-upon-a-time US defender Eric Lichaj was released at the end of his Aston Villa contract. Also, former San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Simon Dawkins, who was on loan to Villa, will leave the club and return to his parent club Tottenham Hotspur, at least momentarily.
Beasley is almost certainly on the way out of Puebla in the coming months of the summer transfer window. That much we know for sure. As part of standard operating procedure throughout Beasley's decorated career, three solid years with the Mexican club and he's out the door, on to the next one.
Of the three players on the move this week, Beasley will garner the most interest abroad, and around MLS. Heading into a World Cup year in 2014 and seemingly back in Jurgen Klinsmann's national team, finding a good fit and ample playing time is imperative for the just-turned 31-year-old. Yes, DaMarcus Beasley is still only 31 years old.
Surely there are a handful of MLS teams that could use a blazing fast left winger, or a dependable left back.
Lichaj is sure to have suitors in a few different places as well, as he's a 24-year-old right back that can also play on the left in a pinch. He's got eight US national team caps at the senior level, and more than two dozen in the youth ranks. Lichaj played sparingly during his six years at Villa — 32 first-team appearances — but showed enough potential to earn those call-ups in 2010 and 2011.
At the right price, as is always the case, Eric Lichaj could be a great reclamation project for a handful of MLS teams looking to shore things up in the back as they eye up a playoff push.
Dawkins is a bit more of a "left field" case than Beasley or Lichaj. In two seasons on loan to the Earthquakes, he scored 14 goals and notched three assists — respectable numbers, considering he started 40 games. The Quakes were disappointed to lose him in January when he moved to Villa on loan, but the allure of playing in the Premier League was obviously too much to pass up.
He then made four substitute appearances for Villa, tallying a grand total of two shots on goal. If the Quakes are in the market for an impact attacking midfielder, and their current MLS standing indicates they very well could be, the agent of Dawkins might be the first call head coach Frank Yallop makes.
Who should be in the market for one of these new left back, winger or attacking midfielders once the MLS transfer window opens back up this summer? Would you have any of these players in your team?