2012 MLS: Summer Transfer Window Winners and Losers

2012 MLS: Summer Transfer Window Winners and Losers

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 31, 2012
  • 2012 MLS Season, Features

Houston has gotten some good returns so far out of Garcia. (US Presswire)

As some may know, last Friday was the close of the MLS summer transfer window. Teams may still have an announcement or two left to bring up in the coming days as deals were done before the window closed. Trades will also be made between now and the middle of September as the playoff race continues to heat up but for those wanting to look to outside of MLS for a good deal, their time is up until next year.

With the window closed, there are some big winners, some pretty sad losers and some clubs that we really just need to wait and see where things go in all of this. I have three in each category for you but feel free to leave your thoughts below on what your team did or didn’t do.


Houston Dynamo – They stand to lose Geoff Cameron but will likely gain Ricardo Clark back. In a way that is a push in my book. No, the bigger move that has made this side a big winner in my mind is the signing of Designated Player Oscar Boniek Garcia from Honduras. That addition alone has worked out in a big way as of late as the Dynamo offense has exploded with him in the mix. Sometimes it takes a guy from a country like Honduras time to adapt to the style and speed of MLS, but Garcia has proven to work out very well for the Dynamo.

Columbus Crew – I’ve been saying for weeks that this club needed offense and in a bad way. Their defense had always been strong this season with the likes of Andy Greunebaum mining the net. Now with newcomers Jairo Arreita and Designated Player Frederico Higuain, the Crew have options up top that they didn’t weeks ago. Arreita was signed back in April and he was possibly worth the wait to the Crew faithful as he scored two goals this past weekend in a big road win at Sporting Kansas City.

New York Red Bulls – We’ve known all season long that this could be a good team, if not a really good team. Now it appears that this club is certainly in MLS Cup or Bust mode. Adding the likes of Tim Cahill and Sebastien Le Toux show that they are all in. While the offensive group of Le Toux, Cahill, Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry sounds very nice on paper, it will all still come down to a defense that has to stay stout. If anything, the trade for Health Pearce has to show it’s value before long. If it does, we’ll be looking at a team that will finally take home some hardware this season.

Jury is still out

Seattle Sounders FC – We knew that Sigi Schmid and crew would roll the dice eventually this summer. They did it earlier in the year when they traded for Eddie Johnson and so far that worked out fine for them. But as the season went on and the struggled started to show, they knew they needed a midfield leader to guide them to the promise land. So out was DP midfielder Alvaro Fernandez to Chicago and in comes German midfielder Christian Tiffert. Seattle also snuck in a deal to get Honduran Olympian Mario Martinez on loan as well. Just like New York, this is an all-in type move to get them to a MLS Cup.

Vancouver Whitecaps – Boy did Martin Rennie make some headlines two weeks in a row to send not just one big name striker out of town but two. Both Le Toux and Eric Hassli were traded off in consecutive weeks. In return the Caps got one guy that I think could be a huge difference maker in Dane Richards. It should also be noted that Swiss midfielder Davide Chuminento was also sent packing as well to help make room for DPs Barry Robson and Kenny Miller. So far Robson seems to be fitting in nicely with the club and in the league. In a conference that is so tight, the gambles are big from this club. Thankfully for them, two of the clubs around them in the standings have extra games to worry about. If Miller can get going this will be a contender.

Montreal Impact – The names were big. Alessandro Nesta and Marco di Vaio. But the gamble is huge considering the timing of the two deals in the middle of the summer. So far Nesta has played one game and has turned the worst defense in the league into a group that looks a little more calm and collected. di Vaio opened up his scoring account last weekend as well and if he can continue, the Impact may finally have a striker that they can really count on.

And the losers

FC Dallas – Sure the trade for Julian de Guzman is a low risk-high reward type move but in a season that has been lost to injuries, suspensions and off the field issues for Dallas, not making another move to get a forward or additional midfield help won’t settle well with those that support this club. Yes, David Ferreira is back but since his return he’s hardly played with Brek Shea and I’m fairly certain he and Blas Perez haven’t passed the ball around enough to get to know one another this season. I know some front office folks have told me they don’t like to sign a South American or Central American during this time of year due to the time it takes most players from those regions to get used to MLS. I get that but sometimes a gamble is worth taking for that reason if it gets you into the post season.

Colorado Rapids – After all the clubs in the league did some deals, all the Rapids could muster up was a deal to send a defender to Portland (Kosuke Kimura) and trade in a defender from Montreal (Tyson Wahl). It may come to be a surprise to some but the Rapids are now the ONLY club in MLS history to not sign a DP. Yeah, seriously. I’m not saying a big named signing would have been the answer to end their summer problems but it certainly could have helped. The fact remains this team is missing some big pieces, they lack a playmaker in the midfield and their offensive leaders haven’t really made the impact that is required of them this season.

Sporting Kansas City – Boy, I was shocked not to see them go out and sign at least one more striker in this summer window. With the Eastern Conference tightening up after each week, the margin of error becomes slimmer for a club like KC. Their defense has carried this far this season but offensively they lack a certain bite these days. Teal Bunbury, CJ Sapong and Kei Kamara are all collectively good but teams have figured out how to slow them down here this season. A change of pace target forward would have been great to snag.