When the MLS Summer transfer window opened at the end of this past June, the New York Red Bulls were determined to shore up their midfield on the offensive side and get that classic number ten midfielder and hoped to get Luke Rodgers back with his visa issues still pending.
And while rumors have been rampant that certain Brazilians or Stephen Ireland were being targeted, on Friday the thirteenth it seems that Sporting Director Eric Soler has pulled the trigger on a trade that has stunned everyone in MLS.
The Red Bulls made a deal with the Vancouver Whitecaps that sends Jamaican international midfielder Dane Richards to Western Canada, and in return they get forward Sebastian LeToux. The Whitecaps will also receive allocation money in the deal.
The trade in many ways does make sense as Jan Gunnar Solli will be on the right side of the midfield as Brandon Barklage has excelled in the right back position. Let’s also not forget the surging Academy defender-midfielder Connor Lade, who has proven that he can play solid minutes. This situation can also give either Kenny Cooper or Thierry Henry some rest when LeToux can pair up with either man.
While the Clemson product has improved every season since being drafted by Bruce Arena in 2007, Richards’ recent form has dipped. His only goal came against the Montreal Impact at Olympic Stadium earlier this season.
But what it shows from the Red Bulls is that they are buyers in the market, making moves in expectation of a deep MLS Cup Playoff run. For the Whitecaps they have allowed a transfer of Swiss midfielder Davide Chiumiento back to his home land and maybe they see Dane Richards as a replacement. They may also be clearing space to make another splash in the transfer market before the window ends. With the emergence of Darren Mattocks as a rookie sensation at forward, Martin Rennie clearly needed to alleviate their abundance of attackers.
The Red Bulls have also acquired Bill Gaudette from the L.A. Galaxy for a conditional pick. What that means for young keeper Ryan Meara is unclear.
Down in the heart of Texas, F.C. Dallas acquired enigmatic designated player Julian de Guzman from Toronto F.C. for young forward Andrew Wiedeman. The native Canadian de Guzman has struggled to live up to the DP label from the defensive midfield position, and he will look to the Hoops as a fresh start.
Welcome to silly season, and once again crazy deals within the league are happening. Clubs continue to look for that big transfer to give their sides a boost to a playoff position and reach the MLS Cup Playoffs, while others align for the future. Let’s see what happens before the window closes.