Howdy folks! So the European transfer slammed shut on Thursday with more than few surprise moves from around the EPL, MLS , and all over Europe. Combine the Euro transfer window with all of the happenings in MLS with the preseason in full swing and the last few days have been exciting.
FC Dallas preseason has been, to make an understatement, interesting(?), and now with the departure of Brek Shea to Stoke City Hoops fans will have to wait and see if Clavijo has something up his sleeve to replace the young winger.
A congratulations goes out to the FC Dallas Academy players as the team's started out 4 for 4 in their first games of 2013. Scott Brown has a breakdown of all 4 matches over at FCDallas.com.
It's been over a month since the FC Dallas Academy teams have played a match, but that didn't stop the squads from picking up valuable divisional wins over Lonestar SC in their first matches of 2013 last weekend.
A great job by all four squads. It's encouraging to see the young future of FC Dallas, and American soccer in general, being nurtured in the Academy system. Let's just hope that in the future these players will grow enough to impact the first team.
Also go watch the video from the FC Dallas 2013 Promo Shoot at FCD TV. It's worth a watch just to see Ugo Ihemelu without his dreads. (Spoiler: It's weird!)
And now it's time to get into the insanity that was the fleeting hours of the Euro transfer window.
Three MLS players were grabbed up by European teams in the last couple of days. Daniel has covered the Brek Shea saga in depth (his story stream here) so I won't touch on that to much. I will say that while I think this is the best move for Shea's career and overall growth, FC Dallas need to make a major move to add depth up front and on the wings in order to make this team a playoff contender. In my opinion, with the current roster, the team is 2 injuries away from a repeat of the disaster that was last summer.
MLS has lost some major talent to Europe this month. Kei Kamara is headed on loan to Carrow Road until May to bolster a lack luster attacking core at Norwich City. NCFC boss Chris Hughton spoke with Steve Garland of canaries.co.uk about the acquisition of Kamara.
"I'm delighted to bring Kei to the Football Club, one of Major League Soccer’s best players over the last few seasons."
Sporting KC isn't short on offensive weapons. With guys like Zusi, Sapong, Bunbury, and Bieler it seems that SKC will be just fine without Kamara for a few months. They may even turn out to be the winners in this if Kei returns from his spell at Norwich with big improvement in his game.
Andy Najar became the first MLS Homegrown player to make a permanent move to a European side when DC United announced that the team had come to an agreement to sell Najar to Belgium's R.S.C Anderlecht. DC United General Manager Dave Kasper spoke with DCUnited.com about the move.
"This transfer is a testament to the hard work of our Academy staff, to Ben and his staff for their patience and vision, and to the MLS Homegrown Player initiative. We wish Andy all of the success in the world and we look forward to watching his career blossom....."
Najar joins former MLS product Sacha Kliejstan in the Belgium giant's midfield. I've seen Najar play a few times and he's definitely going to fun to watch in European competitions in the future.
SB Nation's MLS blog manager Jeremiah Oshan gave his take on the movement of MLS players into Europe and what it means overall for the league.
.....up-and-coming Americans will hopefully start looking at MLS as a better option than playing in someplace like Sweden. The league has developed a, perhaps, undeserved reputation as making transfers more difficult than necessary, but these recent moves should show that the league is not holding its players hostage.
I completely agree with Oshan on this point. Keeping and developing young American talent in MLS is crucial not only for the league, but American soccer in general.
I'm interested to hear your opinion on whether these moves are good or bad for MLS.
Goal.com's Alex Labidou gives his winners and losers of the January transfer window. One of his big losers?? MLS...
It is great to see that MLS is becoming a reliable feeder league for clubs in Europe but losing Shea and Najar in one offseason is far from ideal for the league. Furthermore, the fact that Juan Agudelo remains in MLS is a bigger issue. He has only one year left on his current contract and could sign with a club for free at the end of June. That would be a disaster for the league, which, according to sources, rejected a $8 million for the 20-year-old striker just a year ago.
It is odd that Agudelo is still here in the states. As a Celtic fan I was personally hoping that he would be wearing green and white hoops for the foreseeable future. To me Juan Agudelo is similar to Shea in the sense that I don't know how much more either can/could continue to grow in MLS. Keep a look out for him to move in the summer transfer window when we get to do this all over again!
If you're looking for a complete listing of the goings on of the January window then fear not! ESPNFC.com has a complete list of transfers and loans here.
I ask everyone to go over to the MLS UK's site and read about their new initiative Bald for Bidmead in support of a friend in need and to help out with a great cause. I'm not sure of our MLS UK FC Dallas reported Tom Farnell has shaved off that short 'do of his yet but I encourage you all to go bug him to do so. Find him at @farnell81.
I'm going to wrap this edition up with a reminder that Valentine's Day is fast approaching and you now have the chance to send your sweetheart a Hooper Gram from FCD. All proceeds go to charity and it's a fun surprise for any Hoops fan in your life.
As always guys thank you so much for reading!