As the second week of the MLS offseason is underway, two teams have come out as big winners so far. The Seattle Sounders and DC United have made several monumental moves and deals in the past two weeks. Both teams have seen several of their core veterans depart to new teams, but both have also seen a significant amount of new, talented players join their respective squads.
Four new players have ventured into the Emerald City and are ready to make an immediate impact for the Sounders. Goalie Stefan Frei was traded from Toronto F.C., defender Chad Marshall was traded from the Columbus Crew, and forwards Tristan Bowen and Kenny Cooper were traded from Chivas USA and F.C. Dallas, respectively. Seattle had looked to be a team in serious need, especially after they let a lot of their top players go to the Re-Entry Draft. The only position that is still in need of some work is the midfield, especially after Mauro Rosales, Adam Moffat and Blair Gavin were all not re-signed.
Since he signed on with the club, Clint Dempsey has done almost nothing to help the Sounders. From an MLS fan standpoint, I was very disappointed with how poorly he did play, especially after coming from a long-term run in the English Premier League. He will be returning to Fulham F.C. for a period of time during the MLS off season; hopefully this will spark him back to life before the first games start again in March.
As of today, DC United has officially signed US International forward Eddie Johnson; this will be Johnson’s third MLS team over the course of his career. Johnson will be joining the team along with other recently acquired players, like defenders Sean Franklin and Bobby Boswell, midfielder Davy Arnaud, and forward Connor Doyle. Each one of these players brings with them multiple years of experience, skill and knowledge of how to play the beautiful game.
After finishing dead last in the 2013 standings, DC United will have exceptionally high hopes for this up and coming season. Currently, they could be one of the early favorites to make a playoff run, if everything was strictly based off of what the team looks like on paper. Hopefully all of you out there know that soccer games are not determined on paper, but by who performs better on the field and ultimately scores more goals.
It has been an interesting first two weeks of the MLS offseason thus far. If things continue to move the way they have already, it can be predicted that at least two more big-times moves could happen before the new season starts.