On Thursday, a series of MLS trades were announced ahead of the LA Galaxy signing center back Giancarlo Gonzalez from Serie A club Bologna. Because Gonzalez was sold by Columbus Crew SC for a transfer fee more than $500,000 in 2014, it meant that the Galaxy had to move up from No. 11 in the Allocation Order to No. 1 to ensure they could get their man.
It meant finding a way to jump ahead of Toronto FC, who held the top spot and were content to stay there.
The Galaxy ended up acquiring the No. 2 slot from Orlando City SC for $400,000 in Targeted Allocation Money then traded a 2020 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick to TFC to swap No. 2 to No. 1. After the Galaxy signed Gonzalez, they dropped to the bottom of the list, elevating TFC back to No. 1.
TFC were intent on staying atop the Allocation Order to keep their options open if one of their targets on the Allocation List become available this summer, general manager Ali Curtis explains.
“There are 3-5 players we have a lot of interest in," Curtis told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. "Some of them may not be available, we may not have the financial wherewithal to get a deal done, but we have a few players on that list that we think highly of.”
Players land on that list if they were sold out of MLS for a transfer fee of $500,000 or larger, or if they are part of a select group of US national team members and elite US youth national team players. Some players on the list include Fabian Johnson, Omar Gonzalez, Cyle Larin and more.
Toronto's interest in unnamed targets won't preclude Curtis from dealing the top slot further down than No. 2 should the move make the most sense for the club.
“We have a couple players in mind that we’re looking at, but it won’t preclude us from trading the spot if it makes sense," Curtis said. "Whatever we deem as most valuable, and what’s needed for the club, we’ll take that decision."
In separate TFC transfer business, the club continue to chase a winger. There are multiple targets on that front, too, as Curtis works to get a deal done as soon as possible.
“Every day I’ve been pounding the pavement trying to get a deal done," Curtis said. "There are a couple guys in the works in an advanced place, but nothing’s over the line yet. ... Trying to put pressure and trying to get the deal done as quickly as possible because our season is rolling. Bringing in players, it takes time to integrate them."
The primary MLS transfer window closes on May 7, while the Secondary Transfer Window will open on July 7 before closing on Aug. 7.