MLS Transfer Problem
Not only is Major League Soccer being blamed by many for the failures of Team USA, but now MLS seems to be reluctant to allow top American players (and other MLS players from the CONCACAF region) to go abroad during the international transfer window because Major League Soccer operates on a calendar that is different than that of the rest of leagues of the world. The transfer deadline is placed much like the trade deadline in American pro sports leagues, at a time when rosters can be more or less frozen for a large chunk of the season.
MLS has clearly made a decision to stop players from being sold to European teams. Charlton athletic is reported to have offered the league as much as $2 million for Clint Dempsey. That was rejected by the league. In addition, the league shot down inquires from Celtic into the availability of Sharlie Joseph, and Real Sociedad’s loan offer for Eddie Johnson.
The unwillingness of MLS to sell these players limits the exposure and respect for MLS abroad at the same time as prohibiting the development of key players for the US National team and for other CONCACAF nations. (Like Grenada, home of Shalrie Joseph.) The amazing thing is that MLS continues to be so shortsighted with regards to the value of certain players in the league. At the same time the league continues to operate in a vacuum from the rest of the soccer world, something which isn’t good news for the US Soccer Federation or our national team.