Major League Soccer's primary transfer window, one of two periods on the calendar in which teams can register new players via international transfers or intra-league trades, officially opened on Tuesday.
Any transactions not completed during the primary transfer window will have to wait until the opening of the secondary transfer window, which runs July 10 to August 9 this year.
Teams can announce incoming transfers and trades outside of the transfer windows whenever the paperwork is official, but a player cannot officially be put on a club's roster until his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) is transferred, which must happen within one of the two transfer windows. Although players cannot participate in an official MLS game until their ITC is transferred, they are able to participate in preseason. During the MLS season, intra-league trades involving players can only happen within the windows.
Teams can still make trades that do not involve players – that is: swap draft picks, roster spots, allocation money and other assets – outside the two windows. Clubs may also transfer or loan their players to non-MLS clubs at any time, subject to the transfer window of the recipient club's national federation and subject to the consent of the player.
The transfer windows – the dates between which MLS may request the (ITC) of a player under contract in another country – are as follows:
Primary Transfer Window | Feb. 14 – May 8, 2017
Secondary Transfer Window | July 10 – Aug. 9, 2017
Charles Boehm is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com