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MLS: Winners and Losers of the Summer Transfer Window

Ned HarwoodContributor IIIAugust 19, 2011

MLS: Winners and Losers of the Summer Transfer Window

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    The transfer window is over and it is time to recap some of the highs and lows of the summer opening.

    Last year we saw big names like Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez come to the states to pave the way for some more big European names.  From Torsten Frings to Robbie Keane, a recap of the last two months is below for you to observe.  Enjoy!

Transfer Window Winners

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    LA Galaxy- The clear winner of this window would have to be the deep-pocketed LA Galaxy. 

    Not only did LA dump “over-the-hump” Juan Pablo Angel and his hefty salary (or at least some of it), the team went out and picked up arguably the greatest striker in Irish history in Robbie Keane. 

    All season the Galaxy have been missing a premier goal-scoring threat up top, yet still have made themselves clear favorites for the Supporters Shield.  Keane’s speed has declined over the years, but you would have to think that his finishing ability from Donovan/Beckham’s crosses would certainly make the nine million dollar transfer worthwhile.  Not only is the Supporters Shield in reach, but the MLS Cup is theirs for the taking as well.  

    Toronto FC- No team has been more active this summer than Toronto FC, and for good reason.

    TFC has been a mediocre/sub par MLS club for nearly its entire existence and have played a style of football not worthy of their deserving fans.  Aron Winter’s phone bill must be sky high for the amount of calls he made this summer, which resulted in the club getting Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans

    Koeverman’s has established himself as a legitimate force inside the 18 and Frings has done well to hold opponents at the midfield line.  Since their arrival, TFC have beaten Real Salt Lake and advanced one round in the CCL.  Surely the two summer signings will help them in tough games later in the tournament.

    Freddy Adu- The wonderkid is back in the States and the move couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.

    After losing their leading goal-scorer Carlos Ruiz, the Union really needed to pick up a strong offensive weapon in order to be a legitimate contender for the MLS cup.  The move is also a plus for the career of Freddy Adu, who will use the expected First XI action to help enhance his chances of being called up for World Cup qualifying next year. 

    A win-win for both sides, and I’m sure the majority of the league is glad Freddy is back where he belongs.

Transfer Window Losers

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    New York Red Bulls- This whole season has been a losing one for the New York Red Bulls, with the transfer window surely being one to forget.

    New York spent its final Designated Player spot (the other two being occupied by Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez) on German goalkeeper Frank Rost, who hasn’t shown anyone that he is an improvement over blunder-boy Bouna Coundoul

    To make things worse, Rost was ruled out for the next month due to a right quad tear he sustained on the way back from the Emirates Cup in London (Even more of a reason to dislike the tournament for Red Bulls fans).  Dwayne De Rosario has also been making a big splash in DC after the Red Bulls shipped him for Dax McCarty. 

    The transfer window was a time where the Red Bulls could have turned this sinking ship around.  Instead the team keeps heading towards “embarrassment island.” 

    Chivas USA- The only team who seemingly wants to walk around with an L on their forehead.

    To call Chivas’ transfer window passive would be an understatement. The Goats had multiple chances to land top talent, from Benny Feilhaber to Freddy Adu, to even Eddie Johnson, but failed to open their wallets big enough to land any of them.

    Chivas unfortunately has been living in the Galaxy’s shadow for the last couple of years, and will need to start spending if they have any chance at losing the “little brother” role in Los Angeles.  The club did get Juan Pablo Angel, but as we all know, Angel is priced about 5 times more than his effectiveness these days. 

    The day Chivas learns how to spend will be the day Hans Backe uses subs!

    Chicago Fire- The Fire’s season has been in flames since Week 1, but the team had a great chance to make significant investments and bring good football back to Chicago next season.

    However, the club’s only significant signing was 35 year old Pavel Pardo who has little to no future past this season. 

    The real question then becomes: “Why did Chicago make an expensive investment for a season already in the gutter?” 

    It is not like Pardo will help this club rise to glory in 2012 or help the struggling team reach the playoffs, the only two reasons why any team would spend as much as they did on a player like Pardo

    While the club could have used this transfer window to pick up some prospects, it decided to overspend on a player a half-decade past his prime. Confusing to say the least. 

Grading the Top Five Transfers

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    For each transfer I will grade how effective the move is for the player, club, and league. 

    Robbie Keane- Keane immediately makes this LA squad favorites for the double. Whether the move helps Keane with Ireland remains to be seen. 

    For the Player: B

    For the Team: A

    For the League: A

    Freddy Adu- First XI action is exactly what Adu needs in this point of his career. He could really help the Union on the offensive end.

    For the Player: A-

    For the Team: B+

    For the League: B+

    Frank Rost- Rost hasn’t done anything but watch shots zoom past his shoulder. At 38, he might not have been worth the risk for New York.

    For the Player: C

    For the Team: B-

    For the League: B

    Pavel Pardo- How the Fire thought Pardo was going to turn this season around is beyond me. For Pardo, it is just another team on his resume.

    For the Player: C+

    For the Team: C-

    For the League: B-

    Frings and Koevermans- The two have boosted spirits up in Toronto and have done what’s been expected of them. They will really prove their value in the Champions League.

    For the Players: B-

    For the Team: A-

    For the League: B+

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