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The Transfer Window is Closed, but Signings Can Still Happen

All hope is not lost for Sporting Kansas City fans that were hoping to get a summer signing to help the MLS Cup Playoff push over the coming months.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

If we all know anything, Major League Soccer has some weird roster rules. While the summer transfer window closed on August 3rd, 2016, it doesn't mean that things are done and dusted. In fact, Sporting KC so rarely pays transfer fees, the odds could still be in favor of a move. Before we get to that, a few things should be noted.

First, SKC did make a deadline day deal, just not one that anyone cares about. They traded the rights to Tony Rocha, who they drafted in the fourth-round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft in 2015, to Orlando City SC. In exchange they received a fourth-round selection from Orlando in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. Rocha never played for Sporting KC, which is not surprising. SKC's third and fourth-round picks from 2016 have both already been released without appearing outside of preseason games.

Second, even though I just said Sporting doesn't pay transfer fees, news from earlier today is they tried to pay about 6.2 million dollars to acquire Romain Alessandrini, a winger who plays for Marseille in the French Ligue 1. That's shocking considering Sporting generally do not pay transfer fees. Look back at all the recent signings: Ever Alvarado, Nuno Andre Coelho, Jordi Quintilla (RIP -- I mean, he's not actually dead), Soni Mustivar, Krisztian Nemeth -- not a single transfer fee was paid (I've left out players signing as free agents or traded for within the league, but the same holds true).

So as I said, hope isn't lost and here is how. Yes, the summer transfer window is closed but the MLS Roster Rules have some language worth noting:

An MLS player may be transferred or loaned at any time to a non-MLS club (subject to that club’s Federation’s transfer window), and subject to the consent of the player. Upon loaning a player, clubs will receive roster relief and budget space, subject to the terms of the loan.

The registration windows – the dates between which MLS may request the transfer certificate of a player under contract in another country – are as follows:

Primary Transfer Window - February 18 – May 11, 2016
Secondary Transfer Window - July 4 – August 3, 2016
Be sure to notice where it says "a player under contract in another country." All the above mentioned players were out of contract. Many of the leagues around the world are currently between seasons. There are undoubtedly players that haven't been re-signed or joined new clubs. The real date that matters in that regard is the 2016 Roster Freeze Date, which is September 15, 2016. If SKC still haven't added a player at that point, then you can lose hope.

Now let me quickly crush that hope I just started to give you. The biggest name that Sporting were apparently considering signing was Emmanuel Frimpong. Our own Thad Bell recently got word that his signing is not happening. Not that there aren't other players out there that are currently being scouted. I wasn't aware of Coelho or Nemeth before they got signed, but they came in the offseason.

The mostly recently comparable player would be Quintilla. He was signed while out of contract in 2015. He would go on to play in eight league games and accumulate 274 minutes. More famously he would score the winning penalty kick in the 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Someone like Quintilla could be signed. Heck, why not bring back Quintilla on a cheaper deal. According to a tweet today, he is in Shanghai wearing his Sporting KC jersey. I miss that kid and we need depth in the attacking midfield role.

From Shanghai to the world

A photo posted by Jordi Quintillà (@jordiquintilla) on

Quintilla was playing for $100,000 before he was released. The league minimum for players outside the standard roster is just $50,000. One can't be sure Quintilla would play for that or less, but considering he's still wearing his jersey half way around the world after he got cut, it's possible. If not him, then someone could join the club.

Overall, hope isn't dead, but I wouldn't recommend getting your hopes up. It could happen, but it's one thing to get signed and it's another to make an impact. Vermes hasn't shown a propensity to play news signings often (though injuries have allowed Cameron Porter on the pitch twice already). And getting Sporting Fit is on a whole other level. That said, all hope isn't lost yet. Not to mention the team is in pretty good form, with or without a new signing.