Should Major League Soccer Alter Their Transfer Window Mindset?

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 27, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07:  Jermain Defoe of Spurs celebrates scoring their second goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League Group K match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and FC Sheriff at White Hart Lane on November 7, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Ever since the Los Angeles Galaxy acquired David Beckham in 2007, the big name designated player transfer policy of Major League Soccer has seen quite a few big names enter the league. 

Now, as the MLS offseason and January transfer window beckon, the name of the latest star to be linked with MLS has been released. 

According to a report by Darren Lewis of the Daily MirrorToronto FC have agreed to a deal with Tottenham and England forward Jermain Defoe. 

At 31, Defoe would still be able to produce for the Reds, who are a side that are in desperate need of a successful season north of the border in 2014. 

Defoe has been relegated to the bench at Spurs since the summer arrival of Roberto Soldado from Valencia, and he is looking to break into Roy Hodgson's England squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 

There is no doubt that this would be a massive get by Toronto FC and the league itself, but is it the right transfer to highlight the offseason? 

Some of the highest profile designated players in the league at the moment are in the latter stages of their careers, including Robbie Keane, Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry

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While all three of those world-class players have delivered a ton of quality performances for their respective teams, they will not be around for more than three or four years. 

As MLS continues to grow, it may be time for the hierarchy of the league to alter their transfer policy to bring in younger international superstars who could potentially play their entire careers in the league. 

Some may argue that the league has not quite reached that point in its development yet, but no one has really tried to institute this strategy outside of the young American players occupying the American top like Omar Gonzalez and Graham Zusi. 

American Omar Gonzalez has been key to the success of the LA Galaxy over the past few years.
American Omar Gonzalez has been key to the success of the LA Galaxy over the past few years.Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It has been made clear by the 19 teams in the league that keeping young homegrown talent is a priority, and for the most part, that strategy has been a success in the recent history of the league. 

For something like this to work with international stars, it will take a bold owner to go out and convince a few young products to play in America.

With the entrance of New York City FC and Orlando City SC in 2015, this could be an option that either ownership group looks to exploit before everyone else catches on to it. 

It is inevitable that this will happen one day given the progression of MLS over the last decade, but until then, aging stars like Defoe will be the only big names moving across the Atlantic Ocean in search of glory. 

Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90. 


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