It's like a forcible, watered-down trade deadline day! Gird thy loins, ye heathens. We get to pick over the carcass of MLS' B-Team!
Fourteen players were reassigned on Friday. Some, like Chad Barrett, drew choruses of "mehs" that rippled across the skies. Others were a tad more wait-and-see, like Stephen Keel's possible pairing with George John in Dallas. Others still were more solidly positive and easier to digest now. Here's who made out with some goodies.
In: M Colin Clark, GK Will Hesmer
The skinny: It was always odd to me that Edson Buddle never seemed to settle on his LA return, but Robbie Keane stole most of his thunder. Buddle looked hurried for much of his tenure, and so LA decided to deal him to Colorado on re-entry draft day to free up some space for what they did next. Much as they were during the season, the Galaxy were the aggressors and traded up with Chivas to the second spot so they could snag Colin Clark before they picked up Hesmer for depth. Clark didn't play much of a role on the wings for Houston, but that shouldn't set off any alarm bells. Houston was loaded on the wings with Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis, which didn't give him much chance to shine. The techinically-gifted midfielder should get a run-out in LA.
He can help cover for Beckham, Donovan and Juninho, who nearly didn't return to LA last year before the Galaxy procured the Brazilian on a last-minute loan in February that, at one point, looked fairly unlikely. Negotiations with Brazilian sides being as they are, Juninho's return can't be guaranteed, though Bruce Arena did say he's trying to make that happen. In the meantime, LA picked up some much needed depth in the midfield.
In: F Conor Casey
The skinny: I endorse this pickup, which comes on the heels of the Union's swoop-and-snatch of prodigal son Sebastien Le Toux. Casey's checkered injury past is impossible to ignore and, to be frank, they hang over this deal like a glinting guillotine. But if Casey can stay healthy, he gives Philly's midfield a meaty option to locate off the bench. If Le Toux and Jack McInerney spend most of the season paired together, Casey becomes an essential but dispensable tool to throw into the fray. And who knows? Maybe Casey rediscovers his form and becomes the 2013 model of the 2012 Kenny Cooper? It's not an outlandish idea, and sometimes all it takes is a scenery change to spark a career to life.
The naughty list
F Juan Pablo Angel, M Julian de Guzman, D Ramiro Corrales, GK Kevin Hartman
The players listed above were not chosen. Teams passed on their picks a total of 19 times, never once pulling the trigger on JPA or de Guzman, perhaps the biggest surprise as a former DP player who was dealt from Toronto to Dallas last season (and he was not happy about it). Corrales, the last remaining player from MLS' foundation, is the sentimental favorite here. At 37, I'd think this is the end of the road for Angel, who is years past his due date as an effective striker. Hartman, who is still a very effective keeper, should land somewhere if he decides he still wants to play at 38. As for de Guzman, I think he should be shipped back to Toronto to serve out his icy penance.
- Will Parchman