Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Upward Mobility? - Part Deux

Today, we sort through the West also-rans. At this juncture, only one of them has really wowed at the offseason market.

FC DALLAS

Thus far: Even at 32, Reto Ziegler is one smooth, cultured dude to be adding to the heart of defense. New left back Anton Nedyalkov is a good 1-v-1 defender and comfortable on the build. Pacy winger Francis Atuahene could be one of those SuperDraft picks that can contribute as a rookie.

The biggest hole: Nothing dire, but they could use a little midfield depth and a right back upgrade (unless they think Reggie Cannon is ready to start regularly at 19).

REAL SALT LAKE

Thus far: The Adam Henley pick-up may not instantly turn heads, could end up as a fine piece of business. Finally coming home to check out MLS, Shawn Berry offers athletic depth at no less than five positions. I'm not yet sure what to think of Alfredo Ortuño; he's a very streaky scorer coming off a career year.

The biggest hole: Hard to say, they are covered pretty well. I doubt anyone around Rio Tinto would sneeze at either a genuine All-Star lead striker or an impact central midfielder with plenty of miles left on his treads.

MINNESOTA UNITED

Thus far: They've reportedly been chasing big fish, but the catches to date may well be squad players this season. The Loons have really only added a couple of depth veterans for the back (Matt Lampson and Tyrone Mears). They did have a potentially fruitful SuperDraft, with talented position-enigma Mason Toye my pick to contribute first.

The biggest hole: Gosh, where do we start? They need a top choice center back and a quality #10, so Kevin Molino can stay wide. A fresh defensive midfielder option and various upgrades can follow those two prescriptions.

COLORADO

Thus far: The Rapids have been busy without pulling any of the star types. Tommy Smith and Danny Wilson can fight it out to see who partners Axel Sjöberg, while they'd love Edgar Castillo to shine in their new 3-5-2. Johan Blomberg is a solid two-way right midfielder, but we'll see how he and his production run in the high altitude.

The biggest hole: Colorado could really use a starting power forward, and a central playmaker to feed him while we're at it.

L.A. GALAXY

Thus far: There have been no devilish idle hands in the City of Angels, Carson district. Ola Kamara brings the goal monster they craved. Perry Kitchen returns to America to build up the #6 slot. Jörgen Skjelvik and Rolf Feltscher should ably form half the starting defense, while second overall SuperDraft pick Tomas Hilliard-Arce should offer late-game shutdown skills off the bat. David Bingham is the new keeper (for better or worse), and Chris Pontius returns to his hometown to provide wing depth. Thate's more than enough reason to believe they'll be back in the postseason this year.

The biggest hole: Their most pressing job left is to find some wingback depth.




- Greg Seltzer

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