Transfer windows are one of the things that make soccer different from "American" sports. The primary MLS transfer window closes tonight at 10 PM Pacific. As of last year, that also means intra-league trades and loans are also off limits until the secondary, or Summer, window opens on July 4th and closes on August 3rd.
Transfer windows are the primary way to add talent to a roster, but trades are also quite common in MLS. If the Seattle Sounders have not added a player by 10 PM, it doesn't mean they're stuck until the next window. There are three 'other' ways that MLS teams can add talent.
- Get some, but not all paperwork in - Sometimes ITCs (International Transfer Certificates) are requested prior to the deadline closing, but 100% of the deal is not done. A deal can be near completion and then announced a few days later.
- Signing a Free - a player that is not under contract with any club when the window closes can be signed as a free transfer outside of the window.
- Signing a Homegrown Player - this is a variant on the free, as the player would not be under professional contract, but an HGP can be signed outside of the window.
Currently the Sounders have 27 players under contract, seven of whom take an international spot. That means that they have one to three roster spots open,
an two international spots open (after a trade with TFC that also netted TAM) and a Designated Player spot open. A general understanding of their general Allocation Money, Targeted Allocation Money and salary budget is that they could add two significant players - one DP and one TAM level talent. That space could slightly change if the DP is a added in the secondary transfer window, or is a young DP.
Garth Lagerwey recently told Sportsradio KJR that he expects the team to add two big names, most likely in the Summer window.
Consider this your Sounder at Heart transfer deadline open thread.