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Vancouver Whitecaps to Make a Splash Before Transfer Window Closes?

MLS Primary Transfer Window closes on May 8th. Do the Whitecaps make a move beforehand?

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The majority of transfers in Major League Soccer occur prior to the beginning of the season, or during the summer. However, many are unaware that the MLS Primary Transfer Window doesn’t close until May 8th. That means that the Vancouver Whitecaps can still make a move to bring in a new player. While few teams take advantage of the late window close, namely because other leagues are not looking to move players at this time, the Caps could.

The main reason why the Whitecaps may still add a player is due to David Edgar’s season-ending injury. It is a bit convoluted, but the Whitecaps can receive salary budget relief under the following parameters

  • Injured player earns more than $100,000.
  • Injured player must have suffered injury prior to the close of the Primary Transfer Window and the new player must be signed during that window.
  • Replacement may earn up to $250,000, but not more than the player who suffered the injury.

According to MLS Players Union, Edgar has a guaranteed contract amount of $183,833 (and suffered the injury in the off-season). As a result, a new player can be signed. The key parameter though is that the player cannot earn more than $250,000. So, don’t expect a new designated player signing. However, the Whitecaps can still acquire a pretty good player for $200,000.

It is important to note that summer signings are pro-rated, meaning that they would only count half to the salary cap. Combined with the abundant amount of targeted allocation money the Whitecaps have, they could make an impact signing and pay down the contract (or Shea’s contract) to the $150,000 TAM, which would be pro-rated to $75,000 for the half year. Based on salary numbers put out by the Players Union earlier this month, Vancouver is fairly close to the salary cap, so to make a move in the summer the Caps would have to move a player or two (e.g., Flores). As a result, the Whitecaps best opportunity for acquiring an impact player may be in the next few days.

While the opportunity to acquire a new player exists, a more important question is what are the Vancouver Whitecaps still in need of? Bob Lendarduzzi suggested, after the Manneh trade, that the TAM money would be used on a striker. Although Fredy Montero has done well in the role, it would be good to have another strong option. Robinson doesn’t seem keen on using Greig, and Erik Hurtado has his own issues. The return of Brek Shea last night means that he could fill in up top, but that is not really his primary position either. As a result, the striker stable in Caps-Land is, basically, Montero.

The Whitecaps are fairly deep at other positions. Spencer Richey has shown that he could fill in for Ousted should he experience an injury. There is not a lot of depth behind the full-backs, but Nerwinksi and de Jong are suitable. Centerback could use some depth, especially given the upcoming Gold Cup and Voyageurs Cup. Again though, Seiler or Dean could fill in, as could Jacobson if needed. Defensive midfield seems full, while the Caps have an over-abundance of wingers. That midfield playmaker sure would be nice, but I doubt the Caps make a move there considering that Jordy Reyna is due back in a few weeks. It is not that the current squad is elite and that no player is above being replaced, however, there are no obvious holes in the lineup that need filling. As a result, it is possible that the team does not use the potential cap relief of Edgar to add to the roster. Maybe they wait until the summer...or until the off-season.

What are your thoughts?