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Toronto FC adds Rapids defender Moor through free agency

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Toronto FC allowed the most goals in Major League Soccer last season, a fact that almost ruined their high-powered offensive capabilities.

The Reds took a solid step toward fixing that problem by dipping into the new free agent market for longtime Rapids captain Drew Moor.

[ MORE: “Sorry Sunil” — Wambach says she’d fire Klinsmann from USMNT ]

FC Dallas’ sixth-overall pick in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft, Moor had been with Colorado since 2009.

From TorontoFC.ca:

“Improving our defence is our top priority this off-season and we are very happy to bring Drew to Toronto FC,” said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Drew brings valuable MLS regular season and playoff experience to our backline. He is a proven winner and a leader with success in our league. Drew had a number of interested suitors and we are very pleased that he chose Toronto FC as his club and that he wanted to be part of what we are building here.”

It’s not a team-defining change, but adding the 31-year-old veteran isn’t going to hurt anything and joins a group headlined by Nick Hagglund and Damien Perquis.

MLS hot stove: Offseason trades, free agent signings roll on

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Last time we checked in on the hot stove that is the MLS offseason, we were just hours into the fast and furious season of wheeling and dealing assets, but a handful of key trades had already been executed.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

As we check back in a few days later, it’s still trade after trade (after free-agent signing) after trade going down these days. A quick recap of noteworthy MLS roster moves made over the last week…

Prior to selecting Urruti with the first pick of the re-entry draft (stage one), FC Dallas acquired said position from the Portland Timbers in exchange for allocation money. Urruti, who counted just $200,000 against the salary cap in 2015, scored five goals for the Timbers in 2015 (playoffs included), a year after bagging 10 in just 12 starts (30 total appearances). With Blas Perez out of contract and on his way out of town, Urruti will compete with David Texeira for the starting center forward spot in 2016.

[ MORE: Sale of Houston Dynamo completed ]

The reigning MLS Cup champions sold Jorge Villafana to Santos Laguna for a fee of just under $1 million, and quickly filled the gaping hole at left back by acquiring Chris Klute from Columbus Crew SC in exchange for allocation money. Klute ($82,500 cap hit in 2015), who had plenty of U.S. national team buzz around him back in 2013, racked up seven assists while playing full back for the Colorado Rapids, but saw his playing time decrease in 2014 before being traded to Crew SC last winter. He made just 14 appearances (8 starts) for Crew SC this season, but fits the two-way profile for full backs in Caleb Porter’s system to a T.

[ MORE: USMNT to face Iceland, Canada at conclusion of January camp ]

If you had Justin Mapp in your “Who will be the first free agent signed in MLS history?” office pool, you’re a winner. Mapp signed with Sporting Kansas City on Monday, giving the current U.S. Open Cup holders a much-needed injection of width and wing play heading into 2016. Mapp played in just five games in 2015 thanks to a dislocated and broken elbow suffered in the season opener back in March. In his three previous seasons with the Montreal Impact, Mapp averaged seven assists per season from 2012-2014. His salary cap hit was $186,725 in 2015, meaning he is eligible for a raise of up to 20 percent, given he made between $100,000 and $200,000 this year.

[ MORE: MLS announces $37 million investment for player signings ]

Marco Pappa was traded to the Rapids, by the Seattle Sounders, in exchange for allocation money. Pappa somehow counted just $75,000 against the cap in 2015 — that number was perhaps paid down with allocation money — after returning from a failed stint in Holland in 2014. In his first season back in MLS, Pappa scored six goals and assisted on five others, but his time in Seattle soured this season when he was arrested for DUI in July.

We now know who’s signed the first free agent deal in MLS history

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Major League Soccer, meet free agency. Free agency, meet Major League Soccer.

While out-of-contract players joining new teams has happened in the past, that’s always been a case of availability based on release, or something other than free market movement.

[ MORE: Five USMNT players up for U.S. Male Player of the Year ]

Justin Mapp, 31, is now a member of Sporting KC despite Montreal wanting to retain him, a fact that would’ve kept him in Quebec in years past.

In case you forgot, here’s MLSSoccer.com:

MLS introduced free agency as part of the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement earlier this year. Players who are 28 or older and who have spent a minimum of eight years in the league are eligible for free agency if they’re out of contract or had their option declined. Mapp was out of contract with Montreal, who extended him a new offer before he chose to sign with SKC.

Drafted by Chicago in 2002, Mapp was dealt to DC United for Dema Kovalenko in 2003, and later moved to Philadelphia in a trade before being selected by Montreal in the 2011 Expansion Draft.

Mapp has worn an MLS jersey in 332 games, scoring 27 goals.

Strike season? Real Salt Lake owner calls free agency “go nowhere conversation”

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The MLS players have been pretty open about their willingness to strike if they don’t get what they want from labor discussions with Major League Soccer, and one of the key areas is free agency.

And if you believe the words from Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen on local radio last night, you probably want to prepare for a work stoppage in MLS.

[ MORE: Geoff Cameron on CBA discussions ]

Hansen said nothing’s going to change, and it implies that it’s an impossibility.

From RSL Soapbox, here’s Hansen:

“That’s a ‘go-nowhere’ conversation. When you look at all the owners, they’ve all been in pro basketball, baseball, football, and that was the one thing they all vowed they’d never do is go through that again.

“They’ve tried it twice, it’s been defeated by the courts. It’s just a foolish place to waste time. If that’s still open, it’s just foolish.

“The rest, there’s some great agreement everyone can reach, but every time I read ‘we’re going to work on free agency,’ well, you know, that’s one of those real waste-of-time conversations. I think everyone’s very intense on it. I know that the league and the owners are seriously looking at that.”

Obviously, there’s nothing impossible about changing policy, but the owners have to come with strong words about their single entity ownership. But players want to be able to choose their destination a little more freely at some point. Owners want it closer to pre-Curt Flood.

Seems like we could be headed for that sort of standstill that has socked other leagues, especially the NHL and MLB, in the face so many times.