MLS Offseason At Hand As Teams Are Ready To Make Moves

As the 2016 MLS season is a couple months away, this offseason is even more important
by Katherine Rupp   |   Friday, December 11, 2015

US Soccer Federation (USSF)

It’s that time of year again: the MLS offseason. With the Portland Timbers trouncing (maybe not in terms of goals but in overall quality of the match) Columbus Crew SC during the MLS Cup Final, there’s another MLS season on the books and an offseason which began December 7th and the 2016 preseason will begin (for many teams) in January 2016.

And remember from year’s past that this ‘offseason’ – so to speak of – really is no such thing. As mentioned, there are many teams – nine MLS teams to be exact and one USL team (the newly-formed Swope Park Rangers of Sporting Kansas City) – to be involved in the 2016 preseason tournament in Tucson, Arizona. This coming year’s preseason matches for New England, Vancouver, San Jose, Portland, Seattle, and Houston (in MLS) begin February 6th.

In addition to looking ahead to the MLS 2016 preseason (already!) is the fact that quite a few players, to the say the least, either have had their options declined, they are out of contract, have been traded, or have retired. A few players who raise eyebrows and could excel with some other teams include Mike Magee (who was most recently at Chicago), Chris Pontius (DC to now Philadelphia), Blas Perez (FC Dallas), Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy), Justin Mapp (Montreal), Jermaine Jones (New England), Maxi Urruti (Portland), Luis Gil (Salt Lake), Lamar Neagle (Seattle to now DC), Seth Sinovic (Sporting KC), and Mauro Rosales (Vancouver).

With so many players that are currently without a team, plus many players coming into Major League Soccer through the 2016 MLS SuperDraft which will be held in mid-January. And as many MLS watchers learned this past 2015 season, there are certainly some diamonds in the rough that show up playing pretty large parts in their team’s seasons. Cyle Larin of Orlando, Fatai Alashe from San Jose, Matt Polster in Chicago, and Saad Abdul-Salaam in Kansas City are a handful of the rookie players who made a difference in their inaugural MLS seasons.

As the offseason comes to a head for MLS fans, pundits, front offices, and players alike, there will be – and should be – a lot of take into consideration going into the legal year of Major League Soccer. With soccer in America taking more precedence and getting more respect, this offseason will be even more important as the news of trades, allocations, retirements and the like would show the ever-shifting pattern of the weight of the beautiful game in the United States.  

Katherine RUPP

Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.