Winners and losers: How the transfer window went for all 20 MLS teams
The MLS secondary transfer window closed on Thursday at midnight, and most teams around the league scrambled to get the last few pieces in place for the remainder of the 2016 season.
The impetus behind those moves vary from team to team. The Philadelphia Union went with bigger splashes as they look to make noise in the playoffs this season, for example, while the Chicago Fire added some pieces and resources that will help in the longer-term build under GM Nelson Rodriguez.
[NOTE: It is near-impossible to truly measure the effectiveness of these trades without knowing the amount of general or targeted allocation money involved. MLS does not disclose those figures, which essentially limits fans’ conversation around the moves while simultaneously shielding general managers from any sort of criticism or accountability regarding the trades.]
Here is a look at the transfers and what they might mean for the respective teams.
Added: Forward Luis Solignac (trade with Colorado), forward David Arkashyan (signed, FK Trakai, Lithuania), General Allocation Money (reported $100K, trade with Philadelphia), Targeted Allocation Money (reported $75K, trade with Philadelphia; undisclosed amount in trade from D.C. United), 2017 1st-round draft pick (trade with Philadelphia), 2019 3rd-round draft pick (trade from D.C. United)
Sent: Forward Kennedy Igboananike (traded to D.C. United), General Allocation Money (undisclosed, traded to Colorado)
Analysis: The Fire must think in the medium- to long-term right now, a fact that doesn’t go over well with a fan base that’s tired of waiting. That’s understandable and acceptable, but the reality is that it’s going to take at least one more window to fix things in Chicago. Nelson Rodriguez seems to be ramping up to January. In the short-term, Solignac helps replace the production of Igboananike, and Arkashyan is a low-risk, high-reward signing. A healthy portion of Chicago’s TAM is used to buy down the contracts of Michael de Leeuw and Johan Kappelhof, but Chicago has to turn its cache of GAM and remainder of TAM into two quality DPs and at least a couple more midfielders that can help win in 2017.
Added: Forward Sebastien Le Toux (trade from Philadelphia Union), goalkeeper Tim Howard (signed from Everton)
Sent: Forward Luis Solignac (traded to Chicago Fire), General Allocation Money (traded to Philadelphia Union)
Analysis: A relatively low-key window for the second-place Rapids saw them replace Solignac, who hasn’t lit up the stats book, with Le Toux, a proven player in MLS who is capable of creating and scoring. It’s a solid move as Le Toux fits into multiple spots for Colorado, either on the wing or up top, and can help Colorado’s push to the playoffs. Of course, we say low-key because Howard has already played games for the Rapids and we know the United States goalkeeper can mean the difference of a few more wins for Colorado.
Added: Forward Adam Jahn (trade from San Jose), goalkeeper Zack Steffen (signed from Freiburg), defender Nicolai Naess (signed from Stabaek)
Sent: Targeted Allocation Money (traded to San Jose)
Analysis: The front office in Columbus has been vocal about how hard it tried to add a designated player in this window, but the Crew weren’t able to get something done. The result is an underwhelming haul for a team that desperately needed a spark. Steffen’s future should be bright, though, and Naess and Jahn help the depth of a team that was too thin. The problem is the Crew haven’t found enough help for an anemic attack that relies almost solely on Ola Kamara.
Added: Forward Kennedy Igboananike (trade from Chicago Fire), forward Patrick Mullins (trade from NYCFC), midfielder Lloyd Sam (trade from New York Red Bulls), General Allocation Money (trade from Vancouver)
Sent: Targeted Allocation Money (traded to Chicago Fire, NYCFC), General Allocation Money (traded to NYCFC, NYRB)
Analysis: United needed to get better in the attack. They also needed to get younger and faster in order to compete both short- and long-term in the Eastern Conference. They did that in this window without spending a ton of money. D.C. GM Dave Kasper talked about it with us here.