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USL announces Transfer Windows


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USL announces Transfer Windows


Tuesday, January 27, 2004

TAMPA, FL -- United Soccer Leagues announced today that it will be subject to the international registration periods for transfers of in-contract players that apply across the soccer world, releasing the official transfer windows USL will utilize for professional players in the United States and Canada.

"We have been preparing for this instance for some time as transfer windows have been in place abroad for several years and are confident this will not adversely affect the operations of any of our clubs," said Tim Holt, Director of USL League Operations.

Due to the timing and placement of the USL regular-season and postseason calendar (April - September), the windows imposed upon USL by FIFA differ from those imposed upon other leagues internationally.

Due to varying schedule lengths, USL's American clubs and Major League Soccer will utilize different secondary transfer windows. USL clubs will follow the transfer window of their nation.

For the 2004 season and until further notice, FIFA will not register player transfers that take place outside of the following transfer windows:

United States - USL Transfer Windows

- January 1 until March 31 (the "primary window")

- July 5 until August 5 (the "secondary window")

Canada - USL Transfer Windows

- Feburary 1 until April 30 (the "primary window")

- June 1 until July 31 (the "secondary window")

United States - MLS Transfer Windows

- January 1 until March 31 (the "primary window")

- August 15 until September 15 (the "secondary window")

By a FIFA Circular to all national associations, FIFA has clarified that national associations may register certain players who are free of contract and seeking employment even if such registration falls outside of the transfer windows.

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quote:Originally posted by argh1

Why?? are Canadian and American transfer windows different?? It's the same league , still , right?? Does this apply to CPSL , last years ,end of year , controversy of players switching uni's comes to mind.

Other questions come to mind as well. It would be nice to hear more about this.
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The first casualty in the new American transfer window rules appears to be Landon Donovan.

Taken from the Sportsnet.ca site

U.S. star Landon Donovan unlikely to move to England's Portsmouth

posted January 28 @ 11:19, EST

PORTSMOUTH, England (AP) - Portsmouth is unlikely to sign U.S. forward Landon Donovan because of complications with FIFA's transfer regulations, a club spokesman said Wednesday.

Portsmouth announced its interest in the 21-year-old on Monday with owner Milan Mandaric saying he'd reached agreement with the player, with Major League Soccer and the German team Bayer Leverkusen. Donovan, on loan from Leverkusen, plays with the MLS San Jose Earthquakes.

The transfer hit a snag because of different European and American periods for buying and selling players - called transfer windows.

"Unfortunately we are bound by the regulations of the American transfer window," a Portsmouth spokesman said.

"Obviously we need to find a player before our own window closes. The regulations are unlikely to change in time. We're still interested in the player, but the regulations are the regulations. It's not likely we'll sign him."

The European transfer window ends on Jan. 31.

FIFA has told the U.S. Soccer Federation that it must limit transfers to two periods per year. The MLS can obtain players from foreign teams from Jan. 1 until March 31 and from Aug. 15 until Sept. 15.

Under those rules, Donovan would not be able to return to MLS's San Jose Earthquakes until August. The 2004 MLS season runs from April to November.

The English season finishes in May.

Donovan has scored 15 goals for the national team and is one of the most promising young players in American soccer.

Portsmouth has managed to acquire sell Croatian international striker Ivica Mornar from Anderlecht.

Mornar, 30, is expected to sign a 2½-year contract with Portsmouth, Anderlecht said.

This could cause serious problems with players finishing their seasons in Europe who want to transfer to the A-league or MLS.

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A lot of answers (I asked some questions to Tim Holt) :

You can find an article that explains all (in french) on impactsoccer.com


Good Morning Matthias-

I have attempted to answer your questions below – keep in mind as these are applied to North America for the first time in 2004 there will be a lot of “grey areas” to start. It is quite a challenge to apply a system designed primary for European teams worldwide but we will do our best to fully comply to the satisfaction of the CSA & USSF.

- As the A-League is made by American and Canadian teams, will the USL "create" one primary and one secondary transfer window that will be the same for all the 16 teams ?

USL does not have the option of “creating” its own window. It is our responsibility to follow the windows which the CSA and USSF have negotiated with FIFA and communicated to USL. At this time, there is a slight disparity in the length & timing of those windows.

- Are these windows for all tranfers or only for international transfers (I mean from a country to another) ?

It is the interpretation of the CSA & USSF at this point in time that these regulations affect only international transfers. Domestic transfers would be permissible outside of the windows.

- In case of they apply only for international tranfers : is a transfer from an A-League club to another ine the other country (from Rochester to Montreal for example) considered as an international transfer ?

Transfer of players from an American-based A-League club to a Canadian-based A-League club ARE considered international transfers. We are permitted no special dispensation merely b/c the teams are involved in the same competition.

- Are there rules about the "division upgrade" (players can move divisions up - from PSL to A-League for example - and not down, or the opposite, at certain periods) ?

FIFA’s transfer rules make no distinction between differing levels of professional leagues.

- You mention that USL will utilize those windows for "professional players". Is the status of the player the one he has in his old club or in his new club ? (My question is : do those windows apply to a player hired to an amateur team and do they apply if a player leaves the A-League for an amateur team ?)

The current status of the player (amateur vs. professional) is the key distinction not the status of the player’s club. For instance, a professional player on an amateur team is subject to the transfer window rules. Amateur players by definition are not subject to these rules b/c they do not play under contract and no team “owns” there registration. They are in essence “free agents”.

- Imagine a player leaves Rochester for Montreal, when will it be possible as the wondows are different in USA and Canada ? On June 1 (window open in Canada but closed in United States) or on August 5 (window open in USA but closed in Canada) ?

First of all, the A-League Roster Freeze for 2004 is Monday July 26th – so irrespective of the Windows, there will be no intra-League movement as of this date. It is our understanding that on June 1st a player WOULD be permitted to be transferred from Rochester to Montreal. In other words, you can only obtain players when your country’s window is open.


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