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The Most Important MLS Off-Season Moves
MLSNet, January 24th, 2008 3:45PM

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MLSNet writer Jeff Bradley recounts the 11 most important trades of the MLS offseason so far. They are, from least to most important according to Bradley: Jim Curtin, Chicago to Chivas USA, Jason Hernandez, Chivas USA to San Jose, Bobby Boswell, D.C. United to Houston, Jose Burciaga Jr., Kansas City to Colorado, Ivan Guerrero, Chicago to San Jose, James Riley, New England to San Jose and Zach Thornton, Colorado to New York.

The last four are the ones to watch. The move to Chivas USA from Real Salt Lake should provide Alecko Eskandarian with a "huge opportunity," says Bradley. The much-traveled striker is still only 25, but he's also headed to a confident team that finished second in MLS last season with two quality forwards (Ante Razov and Maykel Galindo). Third on Bradley's list is Joe Cannon, who's moved from L.A. to San Jose. Cannon is still one of the best keepers in MLS. Without him, L.A. would have never had a shot at the playoffs last season.

Carlos Ruiz (from FC Dallas to L.A.) could be a deadly addition to the Galaxy. Somebody needs to get on the end of David Beckham's crosses, and Ruiz certainly has the talent. However, his numbers have been pretty lame over the last four seasons, which means his confidence will be the x-factor. Finally, Chris Albright to New England was the most surprising and significant off-season move, Bradley says. 2007 was an injury write-off for Albright, but before then he was probably the best right back in MLS. He's now moving to one of the league's best defenses.

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