The MLS summer transfer window opens in about two weeks, marking the start of a month-long period (June 27 to July 27) where teams can add players from other leagues to the roster. To no one’s surprise, it’s also the time of year where you start to see a lot of transfer rumors.
While there haven’t been many involving the Sounders just yet, general manager and part owner Adrian Hanauer expects there will be soon. I spoke with him briefly about the upcoming transfer window after Tuesday’s practice:
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(The summer transfer window doesn’t open for a couple weeks, but I’m sure you won’t wait until then to explore some potential moves. Last year at this time, there was a lot of attention on possibly adding a big-time forward. Do you have a sense of how this transfer window will go?) “I assume that there will be a lot of attention and speculation and rumor about potential big acquisitions again this year. It seems to be the pattern — fans and everyone get excited about big acquisitions, and very few happen around the league and worldwide. I think I said it last year and I’ll say it again, I think that the roster that we have today will not change dramatically from now until July 27 when the window closes. But I would also think that our roster will somehow look slightly different than it looks today. As usual, we look for players throughout the year. Chris Henderson and I are actually heading to South America tomorrow. As everyone can see, we have three designated players. People are pretty good at math, they can add things up and see we don’t have significant cap space, so it’s not like we’re going to be out adding, adding, adding. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, we’re in a situation as a club and the evolution of our team where anything would have to be addition by subtraction. We just can’t add and add and add. If we happen to bring a bigger player in, someone’s going to have to go.”
(Does that make it doubly more difficult to make a major addition? Knowing you’d have to make that work and find another right situation in a major subtraction?) “Yeah, for sure, and it’s not like we’re struggling. We’re in a pretty good position in league. We’re in the quarterfinals of the Open Cup again. We’ve got Champions League coming up. We need depth. We need quality. We don’t need to nor have any interest in blowing our team up. If anything, we’ll continue to tweak things. Obviously one other factor that is still a ways out, but we have to continue to monitor Steve Zakuani and see how he progresses. We’ve been short some players recently with Adam (Johansson) being out and Leo (Gonzalez) being out and Patrick (Ianni) being out and Michael (Gspurning) being out, so getting those guys back could be a real boost to us, as well, in the second half of the season.”