MLS - Better Trades
The busiest time of year for better trades in Major League Soccer is typically in early January. That's the time when teams float test balloons, check the temperature of the market, and try to gauge the interest from other teams in the league. It's a good way to get an idea of what the other general managers and coaches in the league are thinking prior to the annual MLS draft. Who knows? They might even come away with a better trade that can improve their club for the upcoming season.
Sometimes a team will have a surplus of talented young players. Because a team can only have a limited number of young players without becoming vulnerable to the more experience teams, the will often make bettertrades in an effort to move some along. In exchange they may receive a veteran player in return, unless they prefer to create better trades by accepting a number of draft choices in return.
Sometimes a player will fall out of favor with the fan base. This could mean a one-way ticket out of town. Teams can make better trades by shipping away a player who the fans no longer support. It can be embarrassing to have fans boo and harass a member of the home team. That sometimes means the only option might be to turn them aside and push them to a different address. A change of scenery can mean good things for the disgruntled player, too. He may find favor with his new team and could be embraced by the new fans. In that case the deal is a better trade for both sides.
There are instances where a player can turn an ankle or break a leg on the field. This sort of tragedy can force a team to seek the services of a replacement player. Because such an injury can leave a team in the lurch, other non-sympathetic teams may come to their aid with less-than-stellar offers, something that could not be considered a better trade by any stretch of the imagination.
Like professional basketball, the MLS has its own version of the salary cap. It is a concession that the players must accept in order to keep the league solvent. Sometimes salary cap issues will arise and force teams to seek a better trade, although it's generally difficult that sort of circumstance. Occasionally teams are forced to make a deal, even though it isn't in their best interest.
Because of the transient nature of soccer, many times international players will be lured back home to play for their national teams. In that instance its often impossible to make better trades, since the foreign team isn't compelled to follow the same sort of rules when it comes to signing and trading players. Your team's starting halfback may be playing in Milan next spring. Your goalie? He could be starting in the British Premier League. Anything is possible and better trades aren't always the answer here.