Just as last week saw a flurry of activity, 12-12-12 was another busy transaction day around Major League Soccer. The cuts, trades and the signing of a coach could shift the balance of power in the league.
First up is are the Portland Timbers who lost a draft pick (or two), Allocation Money and Bendik to gain Ryan Johnson and Milos Kocic from Toronto FC. They also moved up one spot in Allocation Ranking in an odd deal with Chivas USA that includes a second round pick if Portland acquires one. In all the Timbers have a stable of many forwards, which is handy if your coach plays a kind of 4-3-3, but many of them may not fit. Look for them to deal one or two more as they continue to tweak for a different style of play - Boyd and Fucito still seem most likely to go. They also re-signed Danny Mwanga. They've only added 4 players and lost 9, but moving up in Allocation Ranking means something else is bound to happen. It won't be happening in the SuperDraft, because at this time they don't have a pick.
Sporting Kansas City is also quite active. They've lost seven players, but that really isn't the news, most of those guys were squad players at most. What they acquired could be special if they can find a way to get their first team talent on the field at once. Again sending Allocation Money, the acquired Benny Feilhaber from the Revolution. Using just a 2nd round pick, they nabbed Ike Opara and restructured his deal. To top it off they re-signed Matt Besler. Yes, they are going to lose Espinoza, but they are using their Allocation Money and stocking up for their three tourney run. They may just be adding a striker as well.
New York Red Bulls main activity was last week, but just this morning they used "addition by subtraction" in the true origins of the term as they parted ways with Rafa Marquez. In New York Christmas came early. Not only do they have a DP slot open, but they also lose one of the worst DP signings in MLS history.
Chivas USA finally found a coach (there are two other teams still coachless, so it's not like the Goats were alone). Chelis may not follow MLS and he may be in for a rude awakening about the odd roster rules, but it is better to have someone in charge than not, right? They may get an extra draft pick, or at least an international roster slot.
Every one of those teams is better for the moves they made yesterday. Here in Seattle fans just wait, as was expected.