Brittany Campbell

Galaxy manufacture cash while chasing an acquisition

CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy are in a collecting mood. With just days left until the close of the Primary Transfer Window (May 7), the Galaxy have gone on two separate spending/buying/collecting sprees to make, what should be, their final roster move until this summer.

On Thursday, the Galaxy, in a transaction that can only happen in Major League Soccer, traded $225,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) to Minnesota United for $325,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).

Then, on Friday, the Galaxy doubled down on their search for more TAM when they traded another $225,000 in GAM to the Columbus Crew for $300,000 additional of TAM.

The Galaxy, aware of the absurdity of the announcement, let General Manager Dennis te Kloese give one of the better tongue-in-cheek quotes of the year.

“As everyone knows, it is imperative to trade GAM for TAM as we look to remain competitive in the global market,” said te Kloese. “Securing TAM for GAM will provide us flexibility to improve our roster prior to the closing of the primary MLS transfer window.”

And then, they did it again the following day for the second transfer.

“It is no secret that making multiple GAM for TAM trades is a vital step in continuing to compete in the global market,” he said. “Adding this additional TAM for GAM will give us more options to strengthen our roster ahead of the close of the primary MLS transfer window.”

In general terms, these are the kind of roster-building moves that drive casual fans of the league crazy. In the most basic of words, it can be seen as trading imaginary money for a different kind of fictitious money.

But beneath that dismissal of the different roster rules that are set for each kind of money, shows the Galaxy working a clear path towards their next acquision. And they’re working it with a precision that only a Dutch general manager can provide.

In 24 hours, the Galaxy turned $450,000 in GAM into $625,000 in TAM. League experts will tell you it’s because GAM is more valuable – basically because it can be spent in more ways than TAM.

But the Galaxy, with a clear target in mind — most likely 26-year-old Argentine midfielder Favio Alvarez — are finding the opposite true. And te Kloese is making other teams pay for his newest addition.

If you hypothesize that the Galaxy didn’t have enough GAM to get the transfer done, then what te Kloese did was pure genius. He used the perceived value of GAM to TAM to actually increase the amount of TAM he had with the understanding that both can make his deal happen. He just needed more of one. So he manufactured it.

The Galaxy are likely to add Alvarez in the coming days, as they work to replace the injured Romain Alessandrini who won’t be available for the Galaxy until September, at the earliest.

But there’s also the outside possibility that this gathering of TAM could be for two players, instead of just one. However, with only one International Slot available, it’s unlikely it turns out that way.

The Galaxy kick off their first game of six-game May on Saturday against the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, New Jersey.