With Major League Soccer (hopefully) kicking off the 2010 season later this month, I’m going to take a final look at the offseason transfers for each club. This list does NOT include 2010 MLS SuperDraft players, only new signings or players loaned out. I’m going to dish out eight teams today and eight teams on Monday.
After a lengthy spell of talks and contract agreements, the Fire recently signed aboard Dutch international Collins John. A former Fulham offensive standout, John will help bolster the Fire attack that lost the tandem of Cuauhtémoc Blanco and Chris Rolfe in the winter months. As of late, John suited up for N.E.C. in Holland along with Watford in the English Championship.
Julio Martínez MF El Salvador
Krzysztof Król MF Poland
Just a few days ago, Chivas USA added depth to their defensive back line by signing Michael Umaña, a Costa Rican international and veteran of the 2006 World Cup. New coach Martín Vásquez has applauded the preseason success of his defense, a back four that has only allowed 10 goals in 990 minutes of play, along with six shutouts. Umaña will contribute to this seemingly impenetrable defense this season at the ripe age of 27.
Osael Romero MF El Salvador
The Rapids spent most of the offseason reshaping their defense, especially after signing prolific forward Conor Casey to a three year extension. With assist leaders in Omar Cummings and Mehdi Ballouchy also returning, Colorado openly sought after and inked Columbian defender Oscar Murillo, on loan from Deportes Quindío. I should mention, of course, the major MLS swap that sent Wells Thompson and Jeff Larentowicz to the Centennial State. Larentowicz especially has the ability to play with a defensive perspective if need be.
Ian Joyce GK USA
Danny Earls DF Ireland
Guillermo Barros Scheletto was resigned – priority #1 successful. If you ask me, the Crew has one of the most fundamentally sound squads in the MLS right now. Of course, that didn’t stop the Crew from inking four brand spanking new talented players from the MLS SuperDraft. Recent signee and Columbian pure striker Sergio Herrera has the potential to work well with GBS up top. Given the recent form of forward Steven Lenhart and his white afro (see vs. Toluca), the Columbus Crew Stadium will be rocking all season long.
DC United is in trouble. The good news is that they’ve been busy scouting for new talent. The best signee? That would be their new starting goal keeper Troy Perkins. Hopefully he won’t stop on Freddy Montero like his predecessor Josh Wicks. Perkins can also get it done on the pitch and will do wonders for DC. I’d also like to welcome the first Australian player to suit up for the MLS in Danny Allsop. He brings to the table quite the resume, scoring goals for teams like Manchester City and Hull City. New head coach Curt Onalfo hopes Allsop can reenergize the depleted DC United attack after losing Fred and Luciano Emilio.
Adam Cristman FW USA
Cristian Castillo MF El Salvador
Kurt Morsink MF Costa Rica
The Hoops had somewhat of an uneventful winter in terms of acquiring new players. They strengthened their backline by trading for Ugo Ihemulu from Colorado and Heath Pearce from overseas late last season, along with Kittitian striker Attiba Harris, but that was after all, last fall. FC Dallas also brought on MLS veteran keeper Kevin Hartman who will battle Dario Sala for the starting job. It will be an interesting competition for both players, but I see the edge going to Hartman. His vital and experience, along with MLS records for all-time saves (you know, little things) gives him the edge over Sala, who dropped off his game a bit last year.
Stu Holden will be, quite frankly, one hell of a player to replace and every Dynamo fan will attest to that. The players with the best kept hair will be missed dearly, but at least they still have their other midfi—What’s that? Ricardo Clark left too? Germany? What? Houston did re-sign veteran midfielder Richard Mulrooney, but at 33 years old the tank is practically out of gas. In better news, the Dynamo inked their second academy product in 18 year old Francisco Navas. As a dominant midfielder, perhaps Navas can bring some control back into the middle of the field for the Dynamo. The youth system in American soccer lives.
Adrian Serioux DF Canada
Kansas City Wizards
The Wizards certainly don’t mind investing in foreign players. Kansas City inked five players from five different countries including Moldova, France, Denmark and England. An alternative to Kevin Harman, the Wiz welcomed keeper the experienced Jimmy Nielson to man the pipes. A previous Danish Goalkeeper of the Year, Nielson will take some pressure off the less than average defense.
Pablo Escobar DF Columbia
Ryan Smith MF England
Stéphane Auvray MF France
Igor Kostrov MF Moldova
The remaining eight teams will be reviewed on Monday. What are your thoughts? Any early MLS Cup predictions?
Tim Patterson is a staff writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at TPatters@tulane.edu.