As the transfer window is about to close on April 15th (see, that day is kind of important) it should be noted that many teams are still adding players. This includes the soon to visit Kansas City Wizards who just added Indian (sub-continent) Forward Sunil Chhetri to their squad. Yes, they lost Zoltan to an ACL injury, but Chhetri has been in camp for a while, so this was an intended move for some time. The Wizards are actually making this move from a position of strength.
That is not the case for Toronto, Red Bull, and Philly. All teams that will be adding starting caliber players on the fly, not from within their system, but in some cases guys that have never practiced with the team. Why would so many MLS sides think that it is a good idea to add starting talent that does not understand the system, rather than during the 2 and a half month pre-season?
Take Toronto for example. Today they added two defenders and last week they added a different one . Three defenders added as Toronto continues to figure out defensive woes that are so bad they inspired this exchange over twitter.
Dave Clark:: shorter tweet possible- Toronto still Toronto.
McCarthy: Tough to disagree, though Preki could fix it if he gets the personnel. RT @sounderatheart: shorter tweet possible- Toronto still Toronto.
A multi-year problem is being handled on the fly during the first month of the season, as if there was not a long pre-season in which to figure this out. Did First Kick sneak up on Mo?
He isn't alone.
The Union of Philadelphia added a solid player, a former USL-1 MVP, but they did it after they got beat in Seattle. And really only a few days before their next match. Arrieta is a solid addition, but why in the world would they desire to add him AFTER the season starts?
Maybe it was just because they really needed to add defense? One would than have to explain why they are looking at both Luciano Emilio and Carlos Ruiz. It is called grasping at straws, and is the result of poor planning.
The list goes on though, Red Bull New York are looking at adding Luke Rodgers from England's League Two (that's the fourth division). Four games into their season and they are adding a player who will take a few weeks to get use to the new side.
None of these additions were due to unforeseen injuries, but instead are just issues of planning, communication and ignoring possible early points. Last year Red Bull added nearly a full squad just prior to the closing of the window, but by then they had already fallen so far behind that the additions were bound to be meaningless (some didn't even make it through the year).
Sure a tweak here and there wouldn't be a surprise, but it happens so often, for so many teams one could wonder what the advantage is for a team that actually practices together during the 10 week preseason and that takes the pitch with an "ideal" roster over the first 3 games?
If an average MLS side gets 4 points in that stretch is there an extra point? or two? or three? Should the Union be at 4 points rather than 3, if they had one of Ruiz/Emilio and Arrieta rather than Myrie I would find it likely.
Maybe I shouldn't point this out to everyone who can read, but in a few cases we are talking about teams that do this year after year, and that are bad during that time.