Midseason Watch: What Each MLS Side Needs As The Summer Transfer Window Opens

Midseason Watch: What Each MLS Side Needs As The Summer Transfer Window Opens

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 10, 2014
  • 2014 MLS Season

It seems silly to think it but we’re already halfway into the 2014 season. The summer transfer window is about to open up for the 19 MLS teams and the playoffs are just a few short months away from kicking off. Yes, it is all happening this quickly.

So what do each club need to do this summer in order to get to the MLS promise land? Here are a couple quick suggestions for each side, plus a comment or two to go along with it.

Chicago Fire

Needs: Target forward, center back

Comment: Yes, the club has Mike Magee but given how they just dumped Juan Luis Anangonó (on loan), the team is without a big DP up top. In fact they are the only club in MLS at the moment without a DP. Hard to believe but they are. And they desperately need some attacking help because of it too. On the other end of the ball, they need some help in the back. While Bakery Sourmare has been fine, the other center backs have not been working out nearly as well.

Chivas USA

Needs: Playmaker in the midfield, defensive help

Comment: This one feels like a broken record with this club. They’ve really lacked a true number 10 for the longest time and with Martin Rivero hurt, it doesn’t appear like they’re going to improve in that department anytime soon unless they make a splashy move. Getting in someone to help Erick Torres out in the attack will go a long way in making this club viable for a new owner to work with next year. In the back, this club still has holes to fill in the middle of the defense and on the wings. Pick your spots in the back, they could use an upgrade just about anywhere.

Colorado Rapids

Needs: Right back, playmaker

Comment: This team is so stinking young still that they need a bit of grit and veteran flash in the middle to really guide this team back into the playoffs. I love where they are going but the inconsistent nature of this club is painful to watch at times. I love the idea of upgrading their right back situation though. They’re solid in the defense thanks to Chris Klute and Drew Moor but that right side has been tough to watch this season with Marvell Wynne showing some decline in his game.

Columbus Crew

Needs: Striker, fullback

Comment: After the first couple weeks of the season, this club looked great. But the more the season has wore on the worse they are getting here. For me, adding some spark to the attack with a striker that has some wheels seems like the way to go here. But in the back they also have to correct their fullback situation. They’re young and those players need time but at some point you need to change what isn’t working back there.

D.C. United

Needs: Left back, health up top

Comment: The departure of Cristian Fernandez left a big hole at left back for this club. They have Taylor Kemp in house but the guy is still very green in my book. Adding some quality to that side of the field this summer is going to be huge for this team as they move into the bulky part of their schedule this August with the Champions League. Also, getting some health up front for Fabian Espindola is key as well. But more importantly, getting more out of Eddie Johnson would go a long way for their success this season.

FC Dallas

Needs: Center back, discipline

Comment: Going into this season FCD had a lot to like in their defense but the depth has been really tested with injuries and suspensions. George John hasn’t sniffed the field this year and by all accounts he is likely going to miss the rest of the year. That means FCD has to address that hole to help Matt Hedges out. Outside of that, they need discipline help, which may come with players like Mauro Diaz and Hendry Thomas returning from injuries.

Houston Dynamo

Needs: Center back, forward

Comment: Hard to believe how quickly this club has fallen off the path here in the last few weeks. Depth wise they just didn’t do enough to address their weaknesses going into the season and now we’re seeing how poorly their center back and forward situation really is now that players are getting banged up.

LA Galaxy

Needs: The right mix in defense, clicking DPs

Comment: Looking at the Galaxy it is hard to really find a true need that Bruce Arena can go get on the open market. So for them it really is all about their DPs clicking again and finding the right combo in the back for their defense. If those two things can happen, those extra games-in-hand that they have on everyone at the moment should go a very long way in ensuring this club’s passage into the playoffs.

Montreal Impact

Needs: Left wing, center back

Comment: The Impact are a team that appear to finally be turning a corner – even if it is a small one – on this season. I still believe they got a lot of work to do to get even in contention for the playoffs. Adding Argentine playmaker Ignacio Piatti was a start but he won’t be joining the team just yet. That means there are still some holes that need to be covered on the left side of the field and in the back. I would throw up top in the strikers department but Jack McInerney appears to finally be going in the right direction this season.

New England Revolution

Needs: Defensive/holding mid, striker

Comment: I thought a month ago their striker situation was all good and clean but it seems as though Patrick Mullins has hit the rookie wall. Jay Heaps has to find either a new player to plug into that area to spark the attack or hope that Mullins can get going again. But the bigger need may be in the defensive part of the midfield. Homegrown player Scott Caldwell isn’t quite there yet in my book. If this club could get a Beckerman on their team, they would be extremely hard to beat.

New York Red Bulls

Needs: Right back, midfield health

Comment: Overall this club doesn’t have a ton of holes that need immediate filling. I’m a bit shocked that they haven’t gone out and gotten a third DP just yet but I expect them to this summer. That may help their midfield out if they get the right person. Outside of that, their biggest need is at right back. They need a top level guy in that spot or else teams will continue to expose that weakness.

Philadelphia Union

Needs: Defense, defense, defense

Comment: If they can convince Carlos Valdes to return to Philly, this team can make some serious leaps by allowing Maurice Edu to move back into the midfield along side Amobi Okugo. Their fullback situation also could use some love as well, particularly at right back. Teams are exposing the Union on that side with pace and with players that can take Fabiaho on in one-on-one situations.

Portland Timbers

Needs: Time for their defense, consistency

Comment: This is another team that doesn’t really need to make a ton of moves this summer thanks to the moves they’ve made recently. They need time for their new DP in the defense to work out but they also need to hope that he can be the answer in the back this season. That goes along with the consistency factor as well. Up front in the attack, they need to be more well rounded in how they approach things. Darlington Nagbe needs to be the guy, not Diego Valeri. Then again, it wouldn’t be the worst thing if Valeri stepped up a little more this season too.

Real Salt Lake

Needs: Forward, health

Comment: Boy the loss of Alvaro Saborio is a big one but also losing Joao Plata on and off to injuries isn’t helping out either. This team could use one more striker to send them over the top in my book as the other parts are still good. Overall, this team needs health more than anything else.

San Jose Earthquakes

Needs: Target forward, right back

Comment: For San Jose it is pretty obvious, they need help up top as Stephen Lenhart and Alan Gordon just aren’t cutting it these days. The club has only scored 15 goals this season, the fewest in the league to date. They also need some quality in the back at right back, that may be an understatement.

Seattle Sounders FC

Needs: Center back, left back

Comment: Chad Marshall has been huge this year but he needs some help, in a big way. The others on the roster just aren’t working out or just don’t pair well with Marshall. I put the left back on there because Leo Gonzalez always appears to be just a inch away from another injury.

Sporting KC

Needs: Health, right back

Comment: Losing Chance Myers was huge for this club, it created a massive hole at right back that no one has been able to fill so far. You could add in that their center back spot needs some help and it certainly will if Matt Besler decides to leave town. Overall, this team just needs to get over the injury bug that has crippled this squad at times this season.

Toronto FC

Needs: Time

Comment: Really for me the pieces are there for this squad. They made great strides in the offseason but with everyone in and out so far this season, the team just needs time to gel across the board.

Vancouver Whitecaps

Needs: Striker

Comment: Another team with really only one clear need right now, and that is a striker to fill the hole that Kenny Miller left behind. They have good young options but adding in one more piece up there may be what gets them into the playoffs this season.