Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Top Dogs

Though there's still plenty of time left in this offseason, the MLS SuperDraft is now in the books and camps are opening across the US and Canada. As such, it seemed a fine time to gauge the winter work done by personnel departments across the league.

We'll start with the four conference finalists and go from there until we reach newcomers LA FC - it'll be good to give them a little more time to fill their clubhouse.


Thus far: To be frank, the champs' most significant transaction events have been waving goodbye to their wingback depth with the departures of Steven Beitashour and Raheem Edwards. And Amando Cooper will almost certainly join that list soon. Fret not, though, as the club tends to make some of their best signings post-SuperDraft.

The biggest hole: Seeing as how the Reds are being linked a with Gregory van der Wiel move, we can safely say they agree with me that right back needs attention. Nicolas Hasler is a handy guy to have around, but he'll need some help over there (especially if thrown in the central midfield mix on occasion).


Thus far: Like TFC, there's been a couple hard farewells. They did grab Waylon Francis to take a little left back pressure off of impressive youngster Nouhou Tolo.

The biggest hole: Honestly, they shouldn't a great deal to contend again this year - a depth cog here and there, sure. I'm thinking, however, that they'd like to snare a goal-dangerous TAM attack piece.


Thus far: Not to sound like a broken record, but dealing away Ola Kamara for (no disrespect intended) reclamation project Gyasi Zardes has been the big move to date. Grabbing Artur on a permanent transfer would excellent business, but he's not technically an addition. Can young playmaker Eduardo Sosa show promise as an eventual replacement for Federico Higuain? Can Mike Grella regain the fitness needed to supplement the attack? Eight ball says: Outcast is cloudy.

The biggest hole: The Crew absolutely need a starting left back, that's obvious. But the Kamara trade casts new doubts on their ability to finish up top. And if Justin Meram also gets his trade wish granted, with a question mark of a return... oi vey to the offense.


Thus far: Capturing loan ace Alberth Elis on a full transfer is the big news, but Darwin Ceren is the best arrival so far. Arturo Alvarez returns to his hometown to add an experienced attack hand.

The biggest hole: While Ceren can solidify the midfield area, this team (who are missing A.J. DeLaGarza for a while) definitely requires a line-up caliber right back.

- Greg Seltzer

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