Let the sun shine in

The nice thing about this time of year? We get a break from demands that MLS move to a season to align with European leagues. Something about balmy 28 degree temperatures in Chicago - and that ain't bad for this time of year - tips the balance from purity in favor of sanity.

The lousy thing about this time of year? The stupid transfer window. Looking at arguments for and against*, I find that Gary Megson, Sam Allardyce, Steve Coppell, Alex MacLeish, Arsene Wegner all agree with me. Only Ahmed Bilal seemed to be willing to give the transfer window a fair hearing, and this is what he came up with:

Good points. What is needed, then, are roster freeze deadlines. Say, the last two months of the season. People can still get their thrills counting down trade and transfer deadlines, and clubs and players aren't trapped in an pointless bureaucratic diktat.

The attentive reader will notice that a lot of the complaints I linked to above are anywhere from months to years old. Not a lot of progress has been made on getting rid of the damned thing, but no one wants to speak up for it. As near as I can tell, whatever problems the window was meant to solve are still around, only more so. You just have this feeding frenzy twice a year. I can understand why players and agents love it, I'm mystified as to why clubs and federations put up with it.

It certainly hurts MLS. Having one month to compete against EVERY FREAKING CLUB IN THE WORLD for players is a little tough, especially since your basic MLS team has a scouting and development staff that would be dignified by the term "skeletal." A lot of MLS teams could use every second between elimination and First Kick to improve their team. It hasn't done Los Angeles or Chivas USA a lick of good having to sit around and wait to see what happens with Donovan and Kljestan. Since those players are as good as gone (especially Donovan), it would have been better to just get the ordeal over with.

But no. The transfer window is here for the foreseeable, just like the MLS summer schedule. It seems like complaining about the transfer window is like complaining about winter in Chicago. Except there's a hope that one can be changed in the near future. You know, global warming and all.

*Following sources at the bottom of Wikipedia entries counts as research, doesn't it? I tried "Transfer windows pros and cons" on Google, but I got a lot of hits about Microsoft Windows. Looking things up is hard!