Eli Lesser @thisweekinmls
The 2019 Major League Soccer Secondary Transfer Window closed last Wednesday, August 7, at Midnight Central Time. While some clubs made moves to upgrade their squads, others stood pat. Here are the winners and losers of the MLS Secondary Transfer Window:
Winner: Minnesota United
For the first time in the club’s short history in MLS, Minnesota United is a serious threat to make the playoffs. The team showed to the rest of the league this transfer window that they are serious about contending THIS season. The Loons added multiple attacking-minded midfielders in Finnish International Robin Lod and Young DP Thomas Chicon, as well as French Left Back Wilfried Moimbe. While Lod and Chicon will add more firepower to an already stacked attacking midfield, Moimbe fills in a much needed gap at Left Back for the club.
Loser: Chicago Fire
Heading into this transfer, many reports suggested that the Fire would be extremely active, either in selling players like Nemanja Nikolic and Aleksandar Katai or by buying elite level talent to join/replace those players. Instead, Chicago sold young Midfielder Mo Adams to Atlanta and added two aging household names in Jonathan Bornstein and Micheal Azira. For a team that still has hopes of making the playoffs this season, Chicago simply did not do enough.
Winner: New England Revolution
The New England Revolution stressed quality over quantity, making a single move during this window. However, that move filled the club’s desperate need for a consistent striker. The Revs signed Argentine Striker Gustavo Bou from Liga MX side Club Tijuana and the signing has worked perfectly for the club already. The 29-year-old Designated Player has bagged three goals to complement an assist in five appearances so far for New England. The Revs extended $12M for Bou, demonstrating that the club is willing to do whatever it takes to win an MLS Cup. Finally.
Loser: Real Salt Lake
Their play on the field suggests that Real Salt Lake want to compete for an MLS Cup in legendary Goalkeeper Nick Rimando’s final season. So, why did the club not make any big upgrades? Sitting in 6th place in the Western Conference, most likely, they are not going to make a deep playoff run, especially with their current squad. With inconsistency at the back as well as in their attack, Real Salt Lake should have shown more ambition than only adding Midfielder Kelyn Rowe, who is unlikely to impact the club greatly. Sacking passionate Head Coach Mike Petke did not help the team’s cause here.
Winner: LA Galaxy
Like the New England Revolution, the LA Galaxy made one BIG move. The five-time MLS Champs added one of the best-known young South American names in Argentine Winger Cristian Pavon. Not only was the club able to finally sign Pavon after months of negotiations, but also pulled off quite the coup by acquiring the 23-year-old on a FREE loan and paying Pavon via TAM. The move meant the G’s did not have to sacrifice DP Winger Romain Alessandrini to make the signing possible. That is a victory in its own right. Time will tell if the addition of Pavon will help the Galaxy remain a legitimate threat to win a sixth title.
Loser: Sporting Kansas City
Another fringe playoff team this season, Sporting Kansas City did not make the necessary moves to lift themselves above the red line this transfer window. The team’s lone addition was Portuguese Left Back Luis Martins. In what has been an extremely disappointing 2019 campaign for the club, it seems like SKC are holding themselves back from making a late run into the playoffs. They did not address their weakness of not having a competent Center back to pair with Matt Besler, and they did not acquire a quality number 9. This winter will be interesting for Peter Vermes’ squad.