Thursday, January 26, 2017

Winter Mid-Terms (Pt. 4)

Let's wrap up this exercise with the top six from last season's West table. They also happen to be six of the best offseason maneuver-makers in the league.

FC Dallas

Best move so far: The Supporters Shield winners fared well with their SuperDraft picks, new winger Roland Lamah is an athletic handful and Aníbal Chalá could be a left back mainstay for years to come. But c'mon... grabbing Javier Morales to make plays until Mauro Diaz comes back was a stroke of brilliance for a team that left one bit of business unfinished last season.

Biggest hole left to fill: They could definitely use another seasoned center back and probbaly should have another piece of central park depth, but Ryan Hollingshead's unfortunate injury means they sorely require a new right back.

Mid-Term Grade: B+


Best move so far: Alan Gordon was a smart pick-up, no doubt about it. But, boy, are Rapids fans going to love Bismark Adjei-Boateng. He's a one-man counter machine who can do a little bit of everything, everywhere on the pitch.

Biggest hole left to fill: While the Rapids have no gaping voids, a back-up right back couldn't hurt.

Mid-Term Grade: B+

LA Galaxy

Best move so far: Jermaine Jones is the obvious choice, and a very good one on a team that waved goodbye to some experienced and influential cogs. But may I suggest that "K.I.S.S." midfielder João Pedro's arrival will unleash both Jones and Sebastian Lletget to play forward with abandon.

Biggest hole left to fill: If youth does not serve so well, the Galaxy may need another go-to striker. However, the more pressing need is capable depth along the back line.

Mid-Term Grade: B


Best move so far: Harry Shipp is a terrific addition and probably the best from a talent standpoint, but Will Bruin looks like the most important new kid on the block.

Biggest hole left to fill: It seems as thogh Clint Dempsey will back in the side, and that return would round out the attack nicely. As such, finding cover for Osvaldo Alonso and Joevin Jones rate as the top jobs.

Mid-Term Grade: A-

Sporting KC

Best move so far: I like the acquisition of Ilie Sánchez, but shifty new winger Gerson Fernandes gives them playmakers attacking from every direction.

Biggest hole left to fill: With their additions and loan returns, Sporting are very well covered all over the depth chart. Of course, you can always upgrade positions - especially if only one striker bothers to score.

Mid-Term Grade: B+

Real Salt Lake

Best move so far: Despite two SuperDraft steals and a pair of shrewd free agent signings, there's no contest. Albert Rusnak has arrived to star.

Biggest hole left to fill: Like Sporting KC, they're outfitted everywhere. And as with their Western rivals, nobody at Rio Tinto would turn their nose up at cover for their top (read: only) scorer up front.

Mid-Term Grade: A

- Greg Seltzer

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