The Monday After: Creeping in 2011

No domestic matches this weekend, but with January 1 in the rear view mirror, the flipping of the calendar was an important milestone nonetheless.  The Winter Transfer Window officially opened and American players are among the most sought after targets. Players with USMNT ambitions have already started moving and rumors continue to swirl around some of the bigger names in American soccer. While the Winter window offers an opportunity for European clubs to improve their sides mid-season, the next ten weeks are the prime time for MLS teams to set their rosters for the next campaign.  In addition to international transfers, the draft is less than two weeks away for both WPS and MLS.  For better or worse, the draft remains the primary roster filling mechanism used by most MLS teams.

Despite these upcoming dates, it has been a fairly quiet couple of weeks in American soccer business.  With Christmas vacations, New Year celebrations and MLS deep into the middle of its offseason, there have been few announcements of significance.  We expect multiple jersey sponsors, DP signings and corporate partnerships to come in the next few weeks. During MLS Cup weekend, league officials made it clear that new primary corporate partnerships were set to be announced, and that front has been largely quiet.  With the first full year of the new DP rules (3 permitted per team), the next few weeks promise to really heat up the hot stove (although nobody expexts 54 DPs in MLS next year),

Champions League games are set move into the quarterfinals in less than two months.  Before that, there will the US/Chile in California and months of preseason largely based in Arizona.  We can look forward to negotiations between MLS and various networks about possible long term deals to televise the league.  Yes it has been quiet…but with history as a guide and based on intuition and suggestion, the next couple of months promise to be fun.