Posts Tagged ‘waived players’

MAJOR ROSTER MOVES LEAD UP TO FIRST KICK

March 27, 2010

MAJOR ROSTER MOVES LEAD UP TO FIRST KICK

TFC SCRAMBLES

Many Major League Soccer teams made moves in the last minutes before their 2010 First Kick this weekend, none more than Toronto FC. The Canadian side acquired midfielder Nick LaBrocca and a third-round MLS SuperDraft pick in 2011 from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for defender Marvell Wynne. LaBrocca appeared in 29 matches for the Mile-High club, while Wynne was touted as future US National team regular, but has struggled to shed the ‘all speed’ accusation levied on him by critics.

Toronto FC is desperately in need of some cap space but also has to fill some roster spots, moving Wynne will solve some of the teams budgetary concerns, no doubt shipping Welsh midfielder Carl Robinson and Goalkeeper Greg Sutton to Red Bull also helped, but the team didn’t stop there.

In more Goalkeeper moves, TFC then signed stopper Jon Conway, and waived goalkeeper Brian Edwards. Conway who was the first MLS player to be banned for substance abuse was put on waivers by Chivas USA earlier this week and is looking to resurrect his career.

Finally (or possibly not, there are a few minutes until kickoff after all) Toronto signed 30 year old Argentine midfielder Martin Saric. Saric (see if you can follow me on this one)  was born in Argentina, carries a Croatian passport, played most of his career in Romania and spent last season at a Slovenian Club. How TFC scouts found him I’ll never know, but Red’s fans can’t complain that the team isn’t LOOKING.

Though Toronto FC dominated last minute roster moves, they weren’t exclusive to them.

UNITED BOLSTERS BACKLINE

D.C. United addressed all complaints regarding it’s defense going into the season, signing three defenders in the lead up to First Kick.  Juan Manuel Pena, Carey Talley and Barry Rice.

Experience was obviously the watchword for First year United manager Curt Onalfo. That is exactly what the 37-year-old ex-Bolivian international Pena brings.  His 35 Bolivian Caps as well as over 14 years experience playing in Spain should have him rival anyone in the league for experience.

Carey Talley not only brings 12 years of MLS experience, the 33 year-old was a member of DC United’s championship era, having made 120 appearances for United form 1998-2001 and winning MLS Cup with the team in 99. Talley was acquired after being waived by Chivas USA and now gets a chance to return to the team he started with.

Rice, who attended the University of Kentucky and was a member of the venerable Chicago Fire Premier, joins the club after training with DC United in the preseason as a camp invitee.

REVS MANEUVER – BARRETT RETIRES

On Friday the New England Revolution re-signed midfielder Khano Smith who made 85 appearances for the club in 2005-08. Since then, he has tried to catch on at Red Bull New York and at English League Two side Lincoln City, but he returns in 2010 to the team where his pace helped both himself and the Revs to their most successful seasons.

Steve Nicol also made a move that won’t manifest itself for a few weeks in brining in Marko Perović on a free transfer from Swiss club FC Basel.  The 26 year-old Serbian midfielder still needs to work out visa concerns

To make room on the roster/cap New England cut Costa Rican midfielder Gabriel Badilla. Rev’s fans will not weep. I don’t believe Badilla played a minute for the team in 2009.

In some sad news Houston Dynamo defender Wade Barrett officially retired as a player, on Thursday.  He was a regular for my Fantasy Team in the early years and he will be missed.  Not all sad faces though as Barrett will step into an assistants role as of immediately.

FIRE WAIVE BUSCH – GUARANTEED CONTRACT FALLOUT?

March 23, 2010

FIRE WAIVE BUSCH – GUARANTEED CONTRACT FALLOUT?

‘Be careful what you wish for…’ This might be the sentiment many Major League Soccer players have swirling around their heads this week as the implications of the new CBA are hurried into place before the start of the 2010 season.

Guaranteed Contracts were an issue for the players in the CBA negotiations but now it is the League and the teams who have to make that practice work by meeting the roster compliance deadline of Wednesday at 5pm ET.

The biggest and in some ways most surprising casualty so far has been Chicago Fire dropping Goalkeeper Jon Busch.  Busch was a regular starter and reliable leader for the Fire and was an essential element in their run to the Eastern Conference finals in 2009. It is possible that he could not fit in to new manager Carlos de los Cabos’ system, but a more likely scenario is that the Fire were looking to make a signing at the ‘keeper position sometime this season and didn’t want to be saddled with his guaranteed salary for the entire season.

Most teams have to make tough choices to get in under the cap, but more often than not there is some warning, as in the case with Kevin Hartman.  It is clear on SOME level that a team is going to move in a different direction.  That is what makes the Busch issue so distressing.

The CBA negotiations put many front office decisions on hold, but just days before the start of the season the Fire are about to leave the goal mouth protected by a kid with one MLS start in Andrew Dykstra and a rookie backup besides.  This does not have the ring of a long-term strategy.  Busch played many minutes in the pre-season and, according to Soccer Insider, he was shocked at his dismissal.  Makes you wonder why Chicago didn’t hang on to Dominic Cervi last season if they felt Busch was not the answer and I certainly do not believe the Jerzy Dudek rumors.

Busch is not the only example, as D.C. United has waived John DiRaimondo and the San Jose Earthquakes dropped Simon Elliott. All these players are proven MLS talent.  Both Elliott and Busch are great locker room leaders and great people besides.

The more important question: Is this going to be a trend? Are MLS teams going to start dumping mid-level salaries and experienced players? Will there be a ‘middle-class’ player vacuum in Major League Soccer?