The final day of January is always a big deal in European soccer circles - midnight tonight will mark the close of the winter transfer window over there, and teams will be virtually set for the final run in of their seasons. With several MLS teams losing players to Europe this winter, let's look around at where things stand.
More and more, MLS teams are being affected by top talent moving to Europe on transfers. Roger Espinoza to Wigan Athletic on a free. Brek Shea sold to Stoke City. Kei Kamara loaned to Norwich City through the end of the Premier League season. And, of course, Andy Najar sold to Anderlecht. And who knows what might come out of the blue today - it is, after all the final day of the European winter transfer window, and that means lots of crazy things could happen.
Thankfully, nobody expects any of those crazy things to affect D.C. United. But the loss of so many players has left holes in rosters, not just at RFK Stadium, but throughout MLS. FC Dallas will need help on their left flank. Sporting Kansas City will need to replace the production and marketability of Kamara and hope that Benny Feilhaber can come close to matching the industriousness of their departed Honduran. And United will have to move pieces around and bring new ones in to make up for the loss of our own departed Honduran.
If you haven't already seen this video, which has been at the bottom of a few transfer-related posts this week, give it a watch. SBNation/soccer's Ryan Rosenblatt talks about some of the big departures around MLS this winter and what teams are doing (or not doing) to fill the gaps.
We'll be back to our jersey number-inspired countdown to the 2013 opener tomorrow with #29.