The MLS Secondary Transfer Window closed yesterday and teams throughout the league made moves to improve their lineups. Some teams made bold acquisitions, some tinkered with an already potent lineup and some completely reshaped their entire roster...looking at you D.C. United. Minnesota United FC made a flurry of moves with the hopes of strengthening a roster in desperate need of talent. Below are our answers to the following two questions. Please join in the conversation by answering in the comments.
1) Overall thoughts on the Loons activity during this transfer window?
2) Do you think the Loons improved themselves with the moves they made?
1) Overall thoughts on the Loons activity during this transfer window? I thought the window was fine, if unspectacular. I was hoping for a 10 or a somewhat bona-fide defensive option but these guys will do. I have moderately high hopes for Nicholson once he settles in, whether that's in the coming weeks or down the line.
2) Do you think the Loons improved themselves with the moves they made? I guess so? Or at least in the sense that some of these moves might push lesser players out of the starting lineup and to the bench where they're most likely best served. I don't think any of the new guys will light the world alight but do think that something notable can come from them once they've had some time to adapt to the team and league. That being said, there should still be a lot of work done to get this roster to an acceptable level.
1) As a whole I am... curious... about how the moves transpired and how they will play out. Grading a transfer window is kind of like grading a draft, you'll never be able to see quite how good it is until the players have actually played, or the "real moves" have all been figured out. The part that most interests me is how (if?) the new pieces will all fit into place. Without a game for close to two weeks, hopefully the club can get the late additions in town and on board, as well as continuing to get players like Allen and Nicholson more comfortable. I am interested to know how much of a factor Heath was in the decision to bring these players in. Did the club bring in players and just say "make this work" or was he heavily involved in the process? I hope it's the latter, because there are some moves (mainly all the attacking players) that don't entirely make sense to me that I am just going to have to roll with.
2) I think they have. If not on the field, at least in the perception of fans and across the league. There has been obvious frustration with how the club has refused to open its wallet to bring in big names, but I think the sheer quantity of "budget" options that the club has brought in shows that they are making progress working within the incredibly confusing MLS salary rules. Utilizing the available TAM/GAM to bring in players (even if we may have overpaid a bit for Finlay) is way better than letting it sit in our imaginary Garber bank account going unused. The club is still without a DP but I 100% did not expect one to be brought in this year. Again, we will have to wait and see if this transfer window improves the on-field production, but I am confident that the new players will make the last third of the season a bit more interesting. Good, bad or otherwise.
1) The activity is certainly good, but it comes a little late for my liking. The end of the window certainly can act as a motivator for teams to get deals done, but it would have been much better if these players arrived in the beginning of the window, when they could have had an impact on part of the crucial homestand that just ended.
2) It is an improvement, for sure. I can't wait to see what Ethan Finlay can add, and even if he isn't great, there's a lot of competition (or is it saturation?) at winger right now.
1) Ask me this 48 hours ago and I’d have had a completely different answer! Since the flurry of activity in the two days before the transfer window closed, I think a lot of us have gone from “underwhelmed” to “cautiously optimistic.The good: Adding midfielder Ethan Finley, winger Sam Nicholson, and winger Jose Leiton, as well as loaning out Rasmus Schuller. The unknown: Adding defender Michael Boxall, midfielder Mathieu Flamini (if it comes to pass), and The bad: Failing to trade Johan Venegas away to Portland in exchange for Darren Mattocks. That would have been a great way to cut a loss and add an impact player.
2) Undoubtedly. Nicholson looks like he can make an immediate impact on the starting XI. Leiton and Finley should likewise find their spots starting on game day. Offloading Schuller on loan was an equally smart move that frees up a roster spot.
1) I'll start out by saying that yes the Loons have definitely improved in this transfer window. The addition of Finlay should help shore up the Midfield while Kapp gives the Loons a young keeper to back up Shuttleworth. Schüller being loaned out also should help going into next year as he'll get some valuable playing time with HJK. While all good in a sense these moves come too little too late. These moves really should've been done in the first transfer window. It's the final third of the season now with 8 of the final 11 games on the road. Playoffs won't be happening this season as the Loons haven't won a single road game and the best performances were 2-2 draws in Colorado and Houston.
2) So far I like the look of the Loons in 2018 but there are still things needing fixed.
1) There was a dizzying amount of rumors that it was hard to know what was real and what wasn’t. But that’s part of the fun. Overall I think the Loons waited until too late into the window for any of the players to really make an impact on this season. Whether that was something the Loons could control is a question I have.
2) Can’t be any worse, amirite?
So what say you? What do you think of the moves the Loons made?