Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Winter Mid-Terms (Pt. 3)

There's been a lot of pat-standing at the top of the East up to now, but one team is loading up to take a run at them in 2017. Anywaaaaay, by now you know the drill. Let's get on with it.

New York Red Bulls

Best move so far: Normally, as a true winger-phile, I'd be all over praising the capture of Zeiko Lewis with the 17th pick of the SuperDraft. However, given that the Red Bulls already have four capable flank men, it seems like too much of a good thing. Being that they've hardly done anything else, that leaves the free agent re-signing of defender Aurélien Collin as the plum maneuver.

Biggest hole left to fill: This defense clearly needs a hearty dose of depth.

Mid-Term Grade: D

New York City FC

Best move so far: Shot-stopper Sean Johnson is an excellent upgrade for a team that tends to give up fast breaks.

Biggest hole left to fill: Yes, the back line can certainly be improved, but what NYCFC still needs more than anything is an energetic destroyer to guard the center backs and take work off of Andrea Pirlo's shoulders. I'd go so far as to say it's totally worth using their empty DP slot to grab a star defensive midfielder.

Mid-Term Grade: C

Toronto FC

Best move so far: While I would normally congratulate any team who got Brandon Aubrey with the 21st SuperDraft pick, in my opinion, he doesn't really fit their system from a defensive standpoint. Any way you slice that, my money says re-grabbing starting netminder Clint Irwin for a fringe defender counts as good business.

Biggest hole left to fill: If Steven Beitashour and/or Justin Morrow goes down, the Reds would be in trouble. As with a few MLS clubs, the doctor is ordering some wingback depth. Stat.

Mid-Term Grade: C-

D.C. United


Best move so far: Though deals were widely expected, it's tough to choose between making Luciano Acosta transfer permanent and adding Ian Harkes. So why bother?

Biggest hole left to fill: If Alhaji Kamara and José Guillermo Ortiz can take some of the scoring load away from Patrick Mullins, there isn't much missing here. They would do well to get another able depth piece for the left side, though.

Mid-Term Grade: B+

Montreal

Best move so far: I've already written about the smooth criminality of selecting traffic director Shamit Shome so late in the SuperDraft, but it says here that underrated right back Chris Duvall is a terrific pick-up.

Biggest hole left to fill: The Impact could make good use of another top-notch center back to pair with Laurent Ciman and a versatile attacking midfielder. Take your pick.

Mid-Term Grade: B

Philadelphia

Best move so far: I'm naturally inclined to give Earnie Stewart benefit of the doubt on his personnel moves, but must admit to not being overly sold on most of their offseason additions to date. I do like the potential of Homegrown signing Derrick Jones.

Biggest hole left to fill: Having a fit and in form Maurice Edu solves a lot of Union problems, so fingers crossed on that. Even if he's now back for real, they still should take steps to replace Tranquillo Barnetta's big play capabilities in attacking midfield. And yet, I can't help but feel Philly most needs to add a reliable center back.

Mid-Term Grade: C-

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Tomorrow, we finish up with the very active top half of the wild, wild West.



- Greg Seltzer

2 comments:

Bernardinho said...

These are great Greg, keep up the good work!

Erik Salter said...

Speaking of NYCFC, what's up with your man Mix?