Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MLS Transfer Bait

It is three weeks until the FIFA January transfer window opens up. So here is how this transfer window works, for those of you who read this blog but aren't big soccer fans. During the month of January, players who are under contract with a club can request a transfer or clubs can sell a player's rights to another club, which usually involves some sort of transfer fee. For well known players, this transfer fee can run into the tens of millions of dollars.

For American sports fans, think of the transfer window as the mid-season trade deadline, an opportunity for clubs to make improvments in the club by adding players to replace injured players or players that a club is looking to sell.

Players who are out of contract (think free agent) can be signed at any time--see Michael Parkhurst. Ives Galarcep has a list of MLS players who are likely to transfer to Europe in January. His list is:

Landon Donovan
Kenny Cooper
Michael Parkhurst--Already done
Chad Marshall
Sacha Kljestan
Marvell Wynne
Bobby Boswell
Joe Cannon
Bakary Soumare
Edson Buddle

All of these players could make the jump to lower European leagues pretty easily. Donovan is on a loan deal to Bayern Munich and if he impresses and gets some playing time, his move could be permanent. Of these players, Soumare has a French Passport, so don't be surprised to see him with a Ligue 1 club in January or next July. Wynne has developed well, but I think one more year in MLS with some national team call-ups would do him well. Wynne is currently in England with a Generation Addidas squad getting some time against reserve teams in the Premier League, so a move is possible, but he needs more national team call-ups to make that happen due to work permit issues.

A couple of other names you might see thrown around would be Eddie Gaven and Robbie Rogers of the Columbus Crew. This two speedy wingers have a great deal of experience for their age (Gaven at 22 is already a six year veteran of MLS) and could make a real impact for some clubs. The problem might be that Columbus and MLS might not want those two young men to transfer just yet.

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