When American soccer fans talk about the Transfer Window they almost always are talking about the one in England. This has to do with the popularity of their game within the US, but it leads to some poor commentary as MLS does not follow the English window (several leagues better than MLS don't, but let's stay focused).
Here's some things to know about the Major League Soccer transfer window and how the Sounders can still play within it. Some of this may be basic, but these reminders seem necessary after the reaction to yesterday's trade.
- The relevant federation of a potential transfer is the one in which the receiving team plays.
- The MLS Winter Transfer Window is their primary window. This means it is the long one. It also just opened last week. It will remain open until mid-April. This is roughly April 15th, but may be a couple days earlier or later.
- Players coming over who are currently frees can come over at any time as long as they have not reached their limit on the number of teams (3) for which they've played in the past year.
Sounders availability to play in the window
- They currently have four roster slots open. They have not signed Dylan Remick or any of the Supplemental Draft picks at this time, as far as we know.
- They currently have three international slots open.
- They have already paid the 3rd DP luxury tax and have that slot open.
- There is some cap space available. It likely isn't enough for a full DP, but should be enough for a youth DP. A larger post explaining this will be up soon.
The Seattle Sounders are not limited by time, by roster space and not too limited by the salary cap (one moderate trade would free up a full DP slot) in the Winter Transfer Window. Having players now, so they could train with the team prior to the CCL and early season is ideal. It is not necessary. There may be a time for panic, but it likely does not start with about 95% of the transfer window remaining open.