Garth Lagerwey

All you need to know about MLS' Secondary Transfer Window

Happy Secondary Transfer Window Day! Now what does this mean, exactly?


In MLS, there are two different periods during the season in which clubs can officially sign players via international transfers or trade players within the league. The first one, known as the Primary Transfer Window, went from February 14 – May 8. The Sounders’ roster didn’t change during this stretch, which isn’t much of a surprise. The Secondary Transfer Window, on the other hand, has provided the Sounders with some of the biggest names in club history.


In the past two seasons, General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey has made significant splashes during the Secondary Transfer Window. In Summer 2015, the Sounders lost eight of nine matches. During that window, Lagerwey signed four impactful players who helped the Rave Green reach the postseason: defender Román Torres, midfielders Andreas Ivanschitz and Erik Friberg and forward Nelson Valdez.


Last July, the signing of midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro catapulted the Sounders to one of the most improbable comebacks in league history, as the club went from ninth place in the Western Conference to MLS Cup champion in less than two months.



In 2013, Seattle signed a guy from Nacogdoches, Texas, who ranks second in club history with 41 MLS goals. Other notable players to sign during the Secondary Transfer Window include Leo Gonzalez, Christian Tiffert and Álvaro Fernández (twice!).


So where does this put the Sounders in 2017? There has already been one move. Dutch fullback Kelvin Leerdam’s signing was announced earlier this month, and he is now eligible to play for the Sounders in all competitions. The 27-year-old has been training with the club since he arrived, but was ineligible to compete at Colorado last week or on Saturday’s friendly since his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) couldn’t be processed until the window opened.


The Sounders have roster flexibility to make additional moves as well. Using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), Lagerwey could free up a Designated Player slot and sign a player to a substantial contract. Or perhaps additional Leerdam-caliber players make their way to Seattle and the current DP’s are kept in place (Dempsey, Lodeiro and Osvaldo Alonso).


No matter what happens, this window closes on August 9.

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