Six months after leaving Aston Villa for Middlesbrough, Brad Guzan could be on the move again when the January transfer opens for business. His destination? MLS, perhaps, according to a report from FourFourTwo.
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After failing losing out on the starting job to former Barcelona star Victor Valdes at Boro, Guzan is reportedly “exploring a potential return” to MLS which would see him end his eight-and-a-half-year stay in England in favor of a non-Designated Player contract in MLS, according to the report.
Even coming in below the DP threshold, which is set to surpass $475,000 in 2017 (it was $457,500 in 2016), Guzan would be one of the highest-paid goalkeepers in MLS should a move come to fruition in the offseason. Unlike winters past, a number of teams will be on the hunt for a new no. 1 as 2016 draws to a close and 2017 kicks off.
First and foremost, Atlanta United and Minnesota United — expansion teams set to officially begin league operations after MLS Cup 2016 — will hold the first and second spots, respectively, in the allocation order once it resets after the Dec. 10 final. Neither side has signed a ‘keeper with the explicit intent of naming him the starter in March (yet).
LA Galaxy and New York City FC — a pair of sides with more than a little money to throw around this winter — are also expected to target a new starter in goal, while Houston Dynamo and Orlando City SC also enter the offseason with goalkeeper situations which are less than crystal clear. D.C. United and/or Philadelphia Union could also become involved if Bill Hamid and/or Andre Blake are transferred upon successfual training/trial stints in Europe. Sean Johnson is reportedly on the Chicago Fire trading block.
The list of possible landing spots isn’t limited to the above teams, of course, as the Colorado Rapids certainly wouldn’t have been a side earmarked as needing a new goalkeeper this summer, but they signed Tim Howard to the largest ‘keeper contract in league history, so any one of the 22 teams could insert themselves into the Guzan sweepstakes at any time. Only time will tell.