There may not be a busier time of year for trade talk than early January, as teams posture and prepare for the MLS Draft. Teams all over the league are talking about deals involving draft picks and veterans they want to unload.
A lot of trades won't be made until after the MLS Combine and just before the draft, but here are just some of the tidbits (some new, some old) I have come across in my conversations with the league's movers and shakers:
FC Dallas has a surplus of young players and is trying to unload at least a few of them ahead of the draft. With rosters trimmed from 28 to 24, and with the Hoops holding three of the first 18 picks, you can expect Schellas Hyndman to ship off one or more of his better young players.
Dax McCarty is one of those players. He has been offered around to multiple clubs and could be a part of a draft-day deal. The LA Galaxy were among the teams offered McCarty, but Bruce Arena may be waiting to see who he grabs with the No. 3 overall pick before pulling the trigger.
The Galaxy has been busy shopping its own players, with Ante Jazic and Mike Randolph among the players on the discount rack.
One player the Galaxy appear interested in is Mike Magee, who is on the way out of New York. You may recall that Arena called Magee into his national team camp in the past and coached him in New York.
Real Salt Lake is looking to move up in the draft and will try to offer up one of it's collection of fullbacks to do so. With the exception of 2008 first-round pick Tony Beltran, don't be surprised to see any of the RSL fullbacks deal. That includes recent U.S. national team call-up Chris Wingert, who sources tell me isn't happy with his contract.
All the talk about the Chicago Fire losing multiple players during this winter break appears be nothing but hot air. The club is close to finalizing its loan agreement with Marco Pappa and have all but completed Cuauhtemoc Blanco's contract extension. As for disgruntled defender Wilman Conde, the club is open to listening to offers for the Colombian center back, but has yet to receive any concrete offers from foreign clubs.
Another team identified among the clubs looking to move up into the early part of the first round of the MLS Draft is the Kansas City Wizards. No word yet on who KC would be targeting, but Wake Forest midfielder Sam Cronin is believed to be a candidate.
D.C. Unitedis trying to shop its two Gonzalos, Martinez and Peralta, but not finding much interest. D.C. is especially looking to move Martinez, who is 33, seeking a high salary, and not in the team's future plans, but the club doesn't look like it will score something for nothing for a second straight off-season (after dealing Christian Gomez to Colorado last year when D.C. had no intention of re-signing him).
Seattle still might have a chance to land defender Jeff Parke, one of its Expansion Draft picks. The former Red Bull defender was set to test the waters in Europe, but is apparently open to discussing a move to play for Sigi Schmid and the Sounders.
One player who may not wind up playing for Schmid is Khano Smith, who sources tell me has already been offered around by the Sounders after having been selected in the Expansion Draft.
Reports that Toronto FC has already closed the door on signing a designated player before the start of the season are not true, team sources told SBI. With plenty of allocation money on hand to fit a DP salary onto its salary cap, Toronto could make a DP signing this pre-season if the right player came along, but a summer signing is still probably more likely.
That's all for now. What do you think of the above developments? Share your thoughts below.