Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Annual MLS Exodus Beginning

Looking ahead to the transfer window, it looks like the MLS might lose a few key players to Europe in January. Ives Galarcep writes:
If you were to take a poll asking people who the best defenders in MLS are, the list would include each of the following names:

Chad Marshall

Michael Parkhurst

Bakary Soumare

Bobby Boswell

At least three of those names enjoyed career-type seasons while the fourth, Parkhurst, still played at a very high level. Needless to say, these four are easily among the Top 10 defenders in the league.

All four could be gone from MLS this winter.
Soumare, a newly minted Malian international, also holds a French passport, and is a beast for the Chicago Fire and at age 23 don't be surprised to see him in a Ligue 1 jersey come January. That transfer fee might be close to $1 million.

The biggest problem for the MLS is that Parkhurst, Boswell and Marshall are all free agents. Teams in Europe can pick them up, double their current salary, get a quality player and pay no transfer fee. All three are out of contract by the end of the month. The MLS blew the opportunity to make money off these players in transfer fees, even if those fees are just $500,000 or even less, MLS by allowing these players to end their career seasons without a contract, even a short term one year contract, means they lose money on these players. Dumb, Dumb.

Parkhurst will be playing in Denmark next year. I could see Boswell in a Scandanavian league, possibly Sweden, or even Belgium. Marshall, possibly the Netherlands, or a lower Ligue 1 side in France.

The U.S. produces great goalkeepers and it looks like they are producing a good crop of defenders as well.

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