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Recapping the secondary transfer window for all MLS teams

Almost all of the clubs in Major League Soccer made improvements to their rosters during the secondary transfer window. 

Among the highlights of the acquisition period, which ran from July 9 to Aug.7, were late moves made by the two Los Angeles clubs, which made splashes with signings from South America.

Some summer signings, such as New England’s Gustavo Bou, have already made an impact on their respective clubs with the playoff push intensifying every week. Below is a look at all of the transfer window moves for all 24 MLS clubs. 

Atlanta United

Emerson Hyndman shoots during Atlanta United's 2-0 U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal win over Saint Louis FC

Emerson Hyndman shoots during Atlanta United’s 2-0 U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal win over Saint Louis FC at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga., on July 10, 2019. (Courtesy of Atlanta United)

In: Emerson Hyndman (loan from AFC Bournemouth), Mo Adams (trade with Chicago) 

Out: Romario Williams (traded to Columbus), Gordon Wild (waived) 

Atlanta United’s pair of additions have already contributed in the scoring column in their short time with the club.

Emerson Hyndman, who scored in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals Tuesday, has provided the Five Stripes with a valuable midfield piece behind their slew of high-profile attackers. 

Mo Adams, who scored within two minutes of his club debut at Los Angeles FC, is going to be relied upon as a depth option at fullback with Brek Shea out injured for the rest of the season. 

Chicago Fire

Jonathan Bornstein

Mar 1, 2016; Washington, DC; Queretaro defender Jonathan Bornstein possess the ball as D.C. United midfielder/forward Patrick Nyarko defends at RFK Stadium. (Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

In: Jonathan Bornstein (from Maccabi Netanya), Micheal Azira (trade with Montreal)

Out: Mo Adams (traded to Atlanta), Jorge Corrales (trade with Montreal) 

Chicago brought in a few experienced pieces, one from abroad and another via intraleague trade. 

Jonathan Bornstein will provide more stability on the defensive flanks for a team that has struggled in that area of the field 

Azira is now with his fourth MLS team since debuting with the Sounders in 2014. His best seasons came in Colorado in 2016 and 2017, but he hasn’t been able to be a regular contributor for the Rapids and Montreal since then. 

FC Cincinnati 

Oct 28, 2018; Harrison, NJ; New York Red Bulls midfielder Derrick Etienne celebrates his goal during the second half against Orlando City at Red Bull Arena. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

In: Maikel van der Werff (free transfer), Andrew Gutman (loan from Celtic, via rights trade with Chicago), Derrick Etienne (trade with New York Red Bulls), Joe Gyau (transfer from MSV Duisburg) 

Out: Kenny Saief (loan expiration), Forrest Lasso (loaned to Nashville SC), Emery Welshman (mutual parting), Eric Alexander (waived) 

FC Cincinnati is going to go through more roster overhaul during the offseason when new head coach Ron Jans has an opportunity to evaluate every piece in his hands. 

Andrew Gutman and Derrick Etienne are two young players who could make a difference right away and establish their spots for the 2020 season, while Maikel van der Werff comes with familiarity to Jans and general manager Gerard Nijkamp from their time at PEC Zwolle. 

Colorado Rapids

In: None

Out: Nana Boateng (mutual parting) 

Colorado held firm with its only major move being the parting of ways with Nana Boateng, who hadn’t played a single minute in 2019.

Columbus Crew

August 3, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Eloy Room (1) during the first half against the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

In: Romario Williams (trade with Atlanta), Luis Diaz (transfer from Herediano), Eloy Room (free transfer), Jordan Hamilton (trade with Toronto), Youness Mokhtar (free transfer), Chris Cadden (free transfer) 

Out: Robinho (trade with Orlando), Patrick Mullins (trade with Toronto), Joe Bendik (trade with Philadelphia), Chris Cadden (loan to Oxford United), Niko Hansen (trade with Houston) 

Most of the Columbus Crew’s additions allowed them to make deals across the league, shipping Robinho, Patrick Mullins, Joe Bendik and Niko Hansen away. 

Eloy Room will make the biggest impact in the short term as Zack Steffen’s replacement. Counting on a Gold Cup standout to be the No. 1 goalkeeper could be seen as a risk by some, but the Crew are confident in the Curacao international.

Romario Williams and Jordan Hamilton are solid pieces to have on the bench and may benefit from a change of scenery. Luis Diaz has two assists in four appearances, but he only has one start and 176 minutes so far for Caleb Porter’s side. 

D.C. United

Apr 20, 2019; Orlando, FL; Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Felipe Martins handles the ball during the second half against the Orlando City at Orlando City Stadium. (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)

In: Gordon Wild (free transfer), Felipe Martins (trade with Vancouver), Emmanuel Boateng (trade with LA Galaxy), Ola Kamara (transfer from Shenzhen FC) 

Out: Akeem Ward (waived), Zoltan Stieber (mutual parting), Chris McCann (mutual parting) 

Obviously, the biggest transfer news involving D.C. United is the departure at the end of the season of Wayne Rooney to Derby County. The Black-and-Red should be able to supplement Rooney’s scoring through Ola Kamara, who recorded three double-digit goal seasons with Columbus and the LA Galaxy before bolting for China. 

Emmanuel Boateng will give Ben Olsen’s side a boost in pace on the wing, while Felipe Martins covers for the injury losses in defensive midfield. 

FC Dallas

Jul 27, 2019; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas midfielder Edwin Gyasi (7) in action during the game between FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake at Toyota Stadium. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

In: Edwin Gyasi (loan from PFC CSKA Sofia) 

Out: Pablo Aránguiz (loaned to Club Unión Española S.A.D.P) 

One of FC Dallas’ top concerns is who will find the back of the net in the home stretch of the regular season. Edwin Gyasi should be able to provide more chances to Dominique Badji and Co., while generating a few scoring opportunities on his own. 

FC Dallas’ best acquisition mechanism is its academy, and some young players need to step up in the final few months to secure a playoff position. 

Houston Dynamo 

Jul 3, 2019; LAFC forward Christian Ramirez celebrates with Latif Blessing after scoring a goal against Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park. (Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports)

In: Jose Bizama (transfer from Huachipato FC), Christian Ramirez (trade with LAFC)

Out: Chris Duvall (waived) 

Christian Ramirez was deemed as surplus behind Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi and Adama Diomande on the LAFC depth chart, and he will be a welcome addition to the Dynamo attack.

Ramirez scored 14 goals with Minnesota in 2017, and he should provide an extra dimension alongside Alberth Elis and Mauro Manotas. He also eventually could be the successor to those two players if they move on to Europe or Liga MX. 

Los Angeles FC

In: Brian Rodriguez (transfer from Club Atlético Peñarol) 

Out: Niko Hämäläinen (end of loan), Shaft Brewer Jr. (mutual parting), Christian Ramirez (trade with Houston) 

The rich got even richer at the end of the secondary window, with LAFC bringing in Brian Rodriguez. The 19-year-old followed the same path as Diego Rossi, who might be the next young star to head to Europe from MLS if the price is right. 

LA Galaxy

In: Cristian Pavon (loan from Boca Juniors) 

Out: Emmanuel Boateng (trade with D.C.) 

LA Galaxy worked the monetary tightrope to reunite Cristian Pavon with his former Boca Juniors manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto. How Schelotto unlocks Pavon’s potential in Los Angeles remains to be seen, but it is a coup for Dennis Te Kloese and Co. to get the deal done. 

Minnesota United 

Uruguay’s Thomas Chacon controls the ball during the Group C U-20 World Cup match between New Zealand and Uruguay, in Lodz, Poland, May 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

In: Robin Lod (transfer from Real Sporting de Gijón S.A.D.), Wilfried Moimbe (free), Thomás Chacón (transfer from Danubio FC) 

Out: Eric Miller (traded to NYCFC) 

Minnesota United followed the trend of bringing young South American players to MLS with Wednesday’s announcement of 18-year-old Thomás Chacón. 

Robin Lod and Wilfried Moimbe should also be key pieces to Adrian Heath’s squad in its hunt to earn a home playoff game in the first year of Allianz Field. 

Montreal Impact

Jul 27, 2019; Montreal, Quebec; Montreal Impact midfield Lassi Lappalainen plays the ball against Philadelphia Union during the first half at Stade Saputo. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

In: Lassi Lappalainen (loan from Bologna FC 1909), Bojan Krkić (free transfer), Jorge Corrales (trade with Chicago) 

Out: Harry Novillo (mutual parting), Micheal Azira (trade with Chicago) 

Bojan Krkić has bounced around Europe since leaving Barcelona in 2014. If the Impact get the best out of him, combined with the return to fitness of Ignacio Piatti, they could create some distance between themselves and the red-line competitors in the Eastern Conference.

Lassi Lappalainen already made an immediate impact on the squad with a pair of goals in his debut against Philadelphia.

New England Revolution

New England Revolution forward Gustavo Bou (7) reacts after scoring a goal during the first half

Jul 17, 2019; Foxborough, MA; New England Revolution forward Gustavo Bou reacts after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Gillette Stadium. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

In: Gustavo Bou (transfer from Club Tijuana) 

Out: Justin Rennicks (loaned to North Carolina FC); Isaac Angking (loan to Charlotte Independence)

Gustavo Bou scored in his first appearance for the New England Revolution, and he is expected to be a massive piece of the resurgence under coach Bruce Arena to finish in the top seven.

Due to Bou’s addition, United States U-20 forward Justin Rennicks was sent to USL Championship side North Carolina FC, who is coached by Dave Sarachan, a longtime Arena lieutenant. 

New York City FC

May 4, 2019; Saint Paul, MN; Minnesota United defender Eric Miller during a game between Minnesota United and Seattle Sounders at Allianz Field. (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

In: Gary Mackay-Steven (free transfer), Eric Miller (trade with Minnesota) 

Out: None 

Gary Mackay-Steven should provide coach Domence Torrent with some necessary wing depth, while Eric Miller is a valuable veteran asset to have in defense with a busy conclusion to the regular season ahead. 

But New York City FC’s best addition this season will turn out to be Héber, who joined in the primary window. 

New York Red Bulls 

Jan 7, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Indiana defender Rece Buckmaster (red vest) fights for the ball during the MLS combine at Orlando City SC Stadium. (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)

In: Rece Buckmaster (signed from USL affiliate), Josh Sims (loan from Southampton) 

Out: Derrick Etienne (traded to FC Cincinnati), Marcus Epps (loan to Memphis 901) 

New York Red Bulls continued to benefit from their USL pipeline with the addition of Rece Buckmaster, and they also brought in Josh Sims from Southampton, but he is only here until the end of the season. 

Losing Etienne might not be that big of a deal in the long run for the Red Bulls if they continue to churn out young midfield and forward prospects. 

Orlando City 

Valencia’s Geoffrey Kondogbia, left, and FC Krasnodar’s Mauricio Pereyra challenge for the ball during a Europa League round of 16 match at the Krasnodar Stadium in Russia, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Vitaliy Timkiv)

In: Robinho (trade with Columbus), Mauricio Pereyra (free transfer) 

Out: None

The pressure is on coach James O’Connor to get the best out of Mauricio Pereyra with the team four points behind the Revs, who hold the final playoff spot in the East.

Orlando City has played well of late, and now that it does not have to focus on the U.S. Open Cup, it can put all of its assets toward achieving the club’s first postseason berth.

Philadelphia Union

(Courtesy of Philadelphia Union)

In: Andrew Wooten (free transfer), R.J. Allen (free transfer), Joe Bendik (trade with Columbus) 

Out: Carlos Miguel Coronel (loan termination) 

The Union filled their need at forward through Andrew Wooten, who performed well despite not scoring against D.C. United on Sunday. 

R.J. Allen and Joe Bendik were brought in solely as depth options and they have yet to see the field for Jim Curtin’s side. 

Portland Timbers

In: None

Out: Lucas Melano (mutual parting) 

Portland’s most important acquisition was Brian Fernandez in May. Parting ways with Lucas Melano made sense since he played less than 300 minutes in 2018 and 2019. 

Real Salt Lake 

kelyn rowe

May 29, 2019; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting Kansas City midfielder Kelyn Rowe (11) throws the ball in at Children’s Mercy Park. (Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY Sports)

In: Kelyn Rowe (trade with Sporting KC) 

Out: Pablo Ruiz (loaned to Pinzgau Saalfelden) 

Real Salt Lake is taking a chance on Kelyn Rowe for the rest of the season before he becomes a free agent. Rowe was not able to make an impact during his time with Sporting Kansas City, and he has not been a significant contributor since he had a goal and seven assists in 2017 as a member of the Revs. 

San Jose Earthquakes

In: Carlos Fierro (transfer from Cruz Azul), Andrés Ríos (transfer from Racing Club de Avellaneda) 

Out: None 

Matias Almeyda brought in two more pieces to his squad that should keep the San Jose Earthquakes in contention for a home playoff spot. 

Even without Carlos Fierro and Andrés Ríos, the Quakes were on the path to the postseason, but adding the midfielder and forward, respectively, complements the depth already in place and makes the Quakes a legitimate top-four team. 

Seattle Sounders

In: Emanuel Cecchini (loan from Málaga CF), Luis Silva (signed from Hobro IK) 

Out: None

Seattle pulled off two deals before the window closed, and it received a significant boost with Brad Smith remaining with the club. 

Emanuel Cecchini should compete for minutes in central midfield and he could provide some valuable depth to the squad, while Luis Silva carries MLS experience and he could add scoring support off the bench.

Sporting Kansas City 

In: Cameron Duke (Homegrown), Luís Martins (free transfer) 

Out: Kelyn Rowe (traded to RSL)

Sporting Kansas City added left back Luís Martins to a defense that has already let in 41 goals in 23 games. 

In order to make the push for the playoffs, Peter Vermes’ side needs to clean up its defensive record. 

Toronto FC 

Jul 27, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto FC forward Patrick Mullins (13) battles for a ball with FC Cincinnati defender Kendall Waston (2) at BMO Field. (Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports)

In: Jacob Shaffelburg (Homegrown), Erickson Gallardo (transfer from Zamora FC), Patrick Mullins (trade with Columbus), Nicolas Benezet (loan from EA Guingamp) 

Out: Jordan Hamilton (traded to Columbus), Terrence Boyd (mutual parting) 

The biggest boost to Toronto FC’s playoff push is the return of Jozy Altidore to the lineup. 

Of the new additions, Jacob Shaffelburg has made the most significant impact in a small timespan, but just like the other clubs that made upgrades, the Reds need their new depth to contribute in order to reach the top seven.

Vancouver Whitecaps

In: Michaell Chirinos (loan from Olimpia); Tosaint Ricketts (signed from FK Sūduva)

Out: Lucas Venuto (mutual parting); Chituru Odunze (transfer to Leicester City)

One player is not going to turn around Vancouver’s season. 

Michaell Chirinos is a nice piece to add to the club’s attacking unit, but the Whitecaps need more than just one addition to move out of the Western Conference basement.




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