MLS Daily Sweeper, 12.11: CWC, CONCACAF, Atlante, TRADE MADNESS…AHH!!

Jesus balls! What a day! So many major and minor things to discuss….best start with the little stuff to warm up. Just like before playing, right?

– One little thing to keep an eye on: I seriously don’t know how teeny-tiny Major League Soccer (MLS) rosters will cope with the scheduling insanity if the powers-that-be follow through with their threat to create a CONCACAF Champions Cup. FC Rocky looked only at Houston’s schedule, but a couple teams will be eating the same shit sandwich.

– The Club World Cup continues (very early) tomorrow morning (report tomorrow) when Etoile Sportive du Sahel enjoys their one-night stand against Boca Juniors. Naturally, Boca is trotting out the typical “we’re not overlooking anyone” business, but one suspects they’re grinning like cats when no one’s looking. Then again, Jonah Freedman’s look at how the world’s mighty have fallen cautions against complacency.

– Don’t know how far behind I am on this (so much for following the Mexican league…oh wait, I couldn’t, not with my cable package), but Atlante, the latest hot thing in Cancun, Mexico, won the Mexican Primera’s Apertura. That makes them the “other” Mexican club for this spring’s CONCACAF Champions’ Cup, right? Wikipedia says it does – smack at the bottom of their brief history of the club. Do note the move from Mexico City to Cancun in August 2007. Luis Bueno wrote a nice recap of Atlante’s accomplishment as well. But the most interesting thing to come out of any of these pieces appears at the bottom of that first link – and it doesn’t deal with Atlante so much as MLS’ future prospects in our local, international tournaments:

“One-time models of success, Pachuca have hit rock bottom. The record-setting club lost 1-0 in the opening round of the Club World Cup to little-known Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel. Los Tozos went to Japan who had high expectations, but the club that could do no wrong for most of 2007 — winning the Clausura championship, the CONCACAF Champions Cup, and the Superliga title — has not played well of late and they failed to make any accounting of themselves on the world’s stage.”

So that’s one CONCACAF Champs’ participant sucking wind. Maybe we’ll get a club to the final in 2008?

OK. Now the big stuff (and the accompanying thought-sprawl):

– The first I heard about the potentially giganamous ‘keeper trade that would send Joe Cannon from the Los Angeles Galaxy to DC United came via a commenter who goes by Goose (my gut-reaction to the trade follows). I don’t know who broke this one, and care a little less (though most people seem to credit Steve Goff, who dubs it a mega-deal). As Goff frames this, it’s Cannon to DC, Carlos Ruiz to LA, and WVHooligan throws in a possible missing piece, with Christian Gomez going from DC to FC Dallas. Throw it all together and all I can say is….wow. Well, that’s not entirely true. The more I think about it, the more I’m willing to upgrade my gut-reaction into an official opinion: e.g. I think Cannon to DC will do that team some good, though primarily in terms of bringing some organization to a defense that needs it; for the record, The DCenters, who watch this kind of thing more closely, aren’t as impressed with my, admittedly, theoretical upside (though they do at least note my theory on organization). The good news is, it sounds like we’ll get a chance to see this play out (even if the answer will remain inconclusive).

But it’s the other two trades that most interest me. Or, more accurately, I think it’s the Gomez to Dallas rumor that really has me thinking; call me a skeptic of a Ruiz resurrection no matter where he goes. Turning to the other piece of this, DC fans seem to be taking it as a given that Gomez is gone (example; I’ve seen others, though); it’s the “to Dallas” part I’m struggling to wrap my head around. Gomez is a swell player, and I mean that in the best sense of that word, but one has to wonder how he’ll fit in Dallas’ attack – especially with Ruiz gone. I read some DC-related speculation about Gomez moving to forward in the event that Jaime Moreno leaves (up in the air still), but I don’t see Gomez as a forward. So, say they play a four-man midfield: I guess I’d expect Arturo Alvarez, Pablo Richetti, Juan Toja, and Gomez. Things look a little better, as I see it, in a five-man midfield: Alvarez, Richetti, Toja, Gomez, Marcelo Saragosa/Dax McCarty. Play three in the back and you could have Kenny Cooper and ___ (Abe Thompson? Roberto Mina? Dominic Oduro?) up top; play four and it’s the one-man Cooper show – not a bad set-up in my mind. Would this even work – and by that, I mean either set-up? Shit. Probably not; this is Dallas, after all, and they have their traditions. All I know is this is one of those experiments I’d really like to see go live. These are great days we’re living, bros. We’re like Jolly Green Giants walking the Earth, with guns. (Who doesn’t need the occasional Full Metal Jacket quote, right?).

All I’m gonna say is, pull the trigger guys. Though this kind of thing might force me to make FC Dallas my Western team. WAIT: Never mind. WAIT: Mind. Wow. (And thanks to Goose for keeping my current with his comments; my email tells me things.) This one is moving fast and slow all at once. I stand by the speculative junk above, but, seeing as I don’t work with sources and ignore questions of timeliness, I’ll just update what I’m seeing and leave the heavy thinking till after the dust settles.

– Speaking of FC Dallas, 3rd Degree flagged the players whose options the team picked up. I was happy on some weird moral level to see they picked up Bobby Rhine’s. But they got that through an article led by word that Dallas had opted against picking up Denilson’s option. But that’s not the interesting news. Here’s that:

“He wants to stay here, loves it here and the team. We have talked about the possibility of renegotiating but we’re not very far down the road on that”

‘Scuse my French, but the part in bold is just fucking fascinating – and not just for the way it complicates Dallas’ midfield options (surely more trades/waivers would have to follow Gomez’ arrival…right?). Still, there’s something endearing, even noble, about Denilson’s apparent desire to prove himself…assuming that’s what this is about.

– Finally, Osorio. The trading stories interested me too much for me to read all the stuff out there on Juan Carlos Osorio’s move from the Chicago Fire to Red Bull New York. But I did read Ives Galarcep’s piece on his likely motivations – e.g. family/personal. And Luis Arroyave posted something still more interesting regarding how upfront Osorio was in using the word “stepping-stone” to characterize signing with Chicago; it seems he even said as much to his players. So, when all’s said and done, I understand Fire fans’ frustration (revulsion?) at the move, but seeing as he only did what he suggested he might, I don’t see Osorio as the villain. Call it a personal quirk, but I rate honesty over loyalty. So long as he warned people going in – most importantly, the people who hired him – he’s met his obligations to be straight with them.

In related stories, Arroyave’s piece flags some possible replacements for Osorio…a good thing given that they need someone to figure out what to do with the draft picks they acquired with Osorio’s departure.

That’s it. Holy crap. I am positively drunk on speculation.

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One Response

  1. […] Washington Post (that’s as opposed to the blog they run to satiate the 24-hour cycle) on yesterday’s madness drained the power of the trade whirlwind currently tossing about DC United. As it turns out, a […]

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