Player Movements, Some Obstructed, Some Rumored; Memo to Foreign Coaches re: Houston

Time to check around the league, to make sure the movement has generally been normal and regular.

– May as well start with the problem: the blockage keeping Taylor Twellman from leaving the New England Revolution for England’s Preston North End. And, here I was, all set to bang out a “Free Taylor” post, only to discover that someone else – namely, Longshoe over at Who Ate All the Cupcakes – beat me to it. To his further credit, he even laid out a more thorough argument than I would have. But, to add to the excellent point that the time to rebuild in New England is now, here’s something else: I’d argue that Major League Soccer (MLS) has maxed out Twellman’s marketing potential; worse, barring some changes to the Revs make up – and none seem upcoming – the odds for Twellman doing something eye-catching (e.g. win MLS Cup) any time soon don’t look so hot. Given that, all the Revs (and, to whatever extent, MLS) are doing now is pissing off Twellman and giving future talents reasons against signing a long-term contract with New England.

Right. The rest of these are rumors and trades-in-progress to varying degrees. I’ll start with those filed under “outgoing” and conclude with “incoming”…which is where the real stretches lurk.

– Memo to foreign coaches: Finish the job. With Nate Jaqua heading over to Austria (and a little club called SCR Altach), you guys have only forward from the Houston Dynamo roster left to pick up: Brian Ching. I hear he’s the best anyway, so scoop him up before it’s too late! Hurry!!

– Chivas USA ‘keeper Brad Guzan picked up a suitor: Aston Villa. Chivas really needs to get cracking on that ‘keeper situation…

– Whither DC United’s Christian Gomez? Ives Galarcep has the latest…and it’s not looking so pretty for the midfielder. If I had to pick a destination for Gomez, I’d recommend the Colorado Rapids…but that could be because I’ve volunteered myself for watching them this year. I’d also like to wish him a happy future – he seems awful damn nice – but don’t know if that’s on the cards anywhere Fernando Clavijo coaches.

And now, the incoming – and a couple of these (the Toronto FC stuff) seem downright implausible:

– (English striker/winger) Darren Huckerby and Italian midfielder (and a good one) Stefano Fiore to Toronto FC. I can believe the first, but not the second. That said, I’d be OK with both happening. Y’know. Why not? But I must stress, these are rumors – e.g. things people talk about, sometimes just to kill time.

– This one seems more plausible, mainly because San Jose has to start adding someone to their friggin’ roster. So why not former New England forward Willie Sims and Guatemalan d-mid Freddy Thompson? Again, this is a rumor, but warm bodies – preferably athletic ones with decent feet – are definitely needed in SJ.

– And, finally, a rumor that didn’t come from MLS Rumors (at least not that I know of): somewhere in the middle of an update on all things Red Bull and New York you’ll find talk about a guy named Martin Liguera being connected to MLS’s New York club.

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8 Responses

  1. Trust in Dom
    Trust in Dom
    Trust in Dom

    If I keep saying that to myself, I can somewhat make it through all of these signings that have only “Outgoing” connected to Dynamo players. This is getting hard to take.

  2. Not to deepen your crisis, but I do have to wonder about what’s keeping Ching off people’s radar. There are the injuries, obviously, but 1) he’s got the higher profile, and 2) I suspect if you asked Dynamo fans which striker/forward they rated highest, Ching would top the list.

    So…I guess I’m asking: do you rate Ching highest among Dynamo forwards?

  3. Ching is going to turn 30 in May. Hes definately better than Jaqua or Ngwenya at this point but they are both younger. Also, Ching makes more money then either did this year. Furthermore, bottom table Austrian teams are pretty far from top tier Europe. I think the Dynamo could take either one of the teams they are joining. I really dont think Houston had the cap space to keep either ( with the way they played this year) and thats all it comes down to. Raising the salary cap would keep players like them from leaving MLS for comparable leagues in Europe.

  4. Fair points all. But, against them:

    – What Ching makes in MLS shouldn’t matter to a foreign club, right? I’m asking, seriously; I know MLS clubs are stuck with the salary or somehow renegotiating a player down, but I’m guessing Ching would make more in Europe – even Austria. Hell, Pat Noonan doubled his take home (roughly) by going to friggin’ Viking-ville (or Norway).

    – Um. I think I already made this one – and, OK, it’s based on an assumption: if Ching simply wants a change of scenery or more cash, it doesn’t matter if he’s in top-tier Europe. I guess I’m just saying Ching could have a number of reasons to go.

    OK, for your point:

    – At 30, what are his ambitions like? At this point, I’m thinking his World Cup career will be what it will – e.g. I don’t think him moving anywhere will really knock him up the chart.

    – The salary cap…yeah, that could complicate things. I know the Dynamo renegotiated Brian Mullan’s contract this off-season and cranked up DeRosario’s late last year. You’re probably on to something there. But Jaqua seemed like cheap-ish labor (whoa…just checked the ’07 numbers; at $110K+ he wasn’t so cheap), so did Ngwenya (and he really was; under $60K). Still, these guys were good value for forwards.

    So…where am I going with all that? Nowhere, I guess. Just thinking out loud. Interesting and helpful comment.

  5. Why Ching does not get Euro attention is every bit as mystifying as why De Rosario does not get the attention.

    How’s this scenario though. When, not if, when Ngwenya’s new team gets relegated in May, maybe he’ll head back here, despite the rumors of him going to join Klinsman. I find that one a bit hard to believe, anyway.

    Jaqua’s shortcomings were evident all year, as were Ngwenya’s for that matter. So Dynamo might just be OK there with DeRo moving up. The real need for the team is not forward, but a backup keeper, which they currently don’t have. I’m still trying to beat the “Go get Burpo” drum, but so far to no effect. Oh well.

  6. Yah, with you on the DeRo mystery. I know he wouldn’t do in a top Euro league what he did in MLS in, say, 2006 (and he wasn’t too shabby in 2007), but I can’t imagine he’d be useless for a solid, mid-to-lower-table EPL side or in the Dutch Eredivisie.

    As for the rest, you said something I’ve been thinking: beyond depth, Jaqua isn’t such a big loss – and I used to like Jaqua plenty (I give Ngwenya more props, but that’s just me). And, you’re right, a ‘keeper seems more pressing given there’s, literally, “nothing but net” behind Onstad. Still, find a couple solid, steady backups up top and the Dynamo plows on. And maybe swapping DeRo upfront and Holden to replace DeRo will work just fine. I think the tough thing in all that is the apparent likelihood that you’re going to find out in real-time when the season starts.

  7. MLS Rumors actually did report the Martin Liguera rumor on the 26th.

    http://mlsrumors.blogspot.com/2008/01/incoming-martin-liguera-to-red-bull-new.html

  8. Figured as much. Thanks for keeping the record straight.

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