It's the official start of the silly season in MLS as the transfer window officially opened up today. However, that hasn't stopped teams from announcing all sorts of trades and signings in preparation for the opening of the summer transfer window. There's been no official announcements from the Seattle Sounders, but trialists have been coming through camp and there are plenty of rumors floating around. Soon enough we'll see what sort of help Adrian Hanauer has lined up for the 2nd half of the season.
More importantly than the start of the silly season is the superb play on the field of the Seattle Sounders. Despite fighting through more than their fair share of serious injuries and roster shake-ups the Sounders are 4th in the league on a PPM basis and still have an outside shot at the Supporter's Shield. The Sounders also defeated a close to A-list L.A. Galaxy team at Starfire to advance to the semi-finals in the US Open Cup. It was one of the most complete games I've had the pleasure to watch this season. You can see match highlights and photos at the Sounders website.
Also, Fredy Montero just missed out on goal-of-the-week honors to David Beckham's crazy curving corner kick. On the other side of the ledger his header in the Portland Timbers game was the one that netted Troy Perkins his 2nd save-of-the-week for the season. Without the Perkins save Montero would have netted a hat-trick for the game.
Sounders U-16: On Sunday the Sounders U-16 team played their first game in the Development Academy finals. Jesse Klug opened up the game with a six minute goal, but the Dallas Texans came back in the 75 minute to tie the game 1-1. On Tuesday the Sounders came back to beat Real So Cal 2-1 with goals from Austin Sweeney and Ian Lange. The Sounders would need a win against the LA Galaxy academy team in their final group game to advance. Unfortunately, the Galaxy would prove to be the better side in a 3-0 victory over the Sounders yesterday.
More after the jump:
More Changes in Toronto: Despite just signing two new DPs the Toronto front office is still making changes. In a set of big trades this morning Toronto FC traded to the San Jose Earthquakes some of their best non-DP players in Nana Attakora, Alan Gordon & Jacob Peterson. In return they picked up Ryan Johnson from the Earthquakes. They also picked up defensive midfielder and Canadian international Terry Dunfield from the Vancouver Whitecaps for allocation & future considerations. They followed that up by sending promising young defensive midfielder Tony Tchani to the Columbus Crew for Andy Iro and Leandre Griffit. It looks like Aron Winter was serious about dealing with the team's "lack of quality".
Whitecaps Also Making Trades: The Whitecaps have also been very active in the transfer window with mixed success. On Tuesday, the club signed striker Mustapha Jarju as the team's 2nd DP. This is a trade on future potential as the 24-year old Jarju still has his best playing days ahead of him. Then the Whitecaps took a step back by trading local boy, and fan favorite, Dunsfield for an undisclosed amount of allocation money and future considerations. On its face its a silly move as Dunsfield provided a lot on and off the field for his tiny $65,000 contract.
NYRBs Sign Rost: The New York Red Bulls used their 3rd DP slot this week when they signed veteran goalkeeper Frank Rost. Rost looks like exactly the kind of player that NYRBs need between the posts. He's a veteran whose has had an excellent career with Hamburger SV. Rost is also known to be a vocal leader who can organize a back-line. It think its fair to debate if spending a valuable DP slot on a 38-year old keeper was the best option for GM Erik Soler.
Smith Pops Up in Spain: Sporting K.C. striker Ryan Smith has been spotted in Spain on trial with Real Zaragoza. The speedy winger was one of the more exciting players for the Sporks during their late season run last year and was often compared favorable to fellow former Arsenal youth player Steve Zakuani. However, he's been largely MIA this season. He signed a 2-year deal last year with the Sporks, but recently claimed to be a free agent in an English interview. Sounds fishy to me.
Concussions Continue: Recently Brian Floyd wrote an interesting opinion piece on the way MLS treats concussions. Sparking the debate was A.J. DeLaGarza's overly quick return from what sounded to the lay person like a serious head injury. Now we have word that promising young striker Blake Brettschneider has been diagnosed with a concussion. He's the 4th DC United player to be sidelined with a concussion. Hopefully, Ben Olsen is smarter than Bruce Arena in dealing with concussions.