After the re-entry draft, waiver claims and expansion draft, a list of MLS free agents has now been assembled. Here are the top three players that clubs should target this offseason.
The offseason is a time of hope, rising expectation, and critical, team-building work. Teams can entirely turn their fortunes around with smart, progressive recruitment in the offseason. After all, matches are often won by the team with the most talent, irrespective of who the coach may be.
And this offseason, there is a vast array of excellent free agents that Major League Soccer sides should be looking to pursue. In fact, you could assemble a semi-decent squad out of the free agents that might do better than FC Cincinnati did last year.
But who are the best individuals that MLS teams should target? Well, here are my top three candidates.
3. Justin Meram
In terms of sheer ability, there are few players on the free agent list that can rival former Atlanta United winger Justin Meram. It was a surprise when the Five Stripes declined his contract option in 2020 after he performed admirably throughout the second half of the season, even filling in at left wing-back when needed.
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He may have only scored four goals in 1270 MLS minutes last season, following on from zero goals and assists for the Columbus Crew before he was traded to Georgia, but his impact reached far further than padding the stats sheet. His dribbling was a primary asset for Atlanta, both from an offensive standpoint and in releasing pressure, he showed increased positional versatility, and still has that same burst of speed that made him such a threat in Orlando and Columbus in years prior.
In 2017, Meram totalled 20 goals and assists for the Crew. He was then traded to Orlando before returning to Columbus before finally ending Atlanta. Not much was expected of Meram in Atlanta, but he proved his worth and could do so again as an experienced, versatile, still dangerous veteran.