|Follow the curls...now look into my eyes and see your future!|
(Photo credit: Pablo Maurer)
Did Colorado Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni twirl the ends of that glorious mustache whilst discussing the trade that brought Marcelo Sarvas from the Los Angeles Galaxy to the Rocky Mountain side? I imagine he did because this deal is weird enough going both ways to feel a little sinister...
...now, let us never speak of that mustache again. Don’t wanna get the vapors.
OK, first, who thinks Sarvas likes this trade? It’s enough to put a Brazilian in Colorado, but after a couple years in sunny LA? Factor in the slumming element of going first to virtually-worst and one has to imagine the man is packing one article of clothing at a time, glumly, and over the course of several days.
The deeper question, though, is how all this work on the field for both clubs.
For Colorado, this move brings in “winning” and with savvy to a shell-shocked club. Apparently, Sarvas will also cover an anticipated departure: I read somewhere (can’t recall where) that Spaniard Jose Mari is on his way out. So, far so good. The man has his fans among pundits I trust (Mr. Analyst; no, I don’t read super-widely anymore), but he’s one of those players I can’t get my head around. This suggests talents that are both efficient and unspectacular. As such, expect Sarvas to do the yeoman thing – e.g. to work to make his alleged betters better – but that introduces the issue of age. Sarvas ain’t exactly young, which begs the question of how he’ll hold up; that looms larger with each piece of physical/cognitive/emotional stone he’ll be asked to carry for the Rocky Mountain’s most grabastic club.
All the above is a long way of saying that I get what Colorado gets out of the trade, but, were I a Rapids man, I’d have wanted Juninho’s legs and long-range cannon..maybe Mr. Mastroeni twirled the wrong side of the ‘stache? (Ach, vapors! Swoon!)
With LA, this boils down to replacing one old-timing player (Sarvas) with another, higher-profile old-timing player (Steven Gerrard; say, anyone interested in a really colorless story about how he was acquired?). Now, I’ve heard it argued (somewhere in this podcast (hope that link works)) that fans/concerned citizens shouldn’t worry about Gerrard’s legs because he’d have Juninho and Sarvas buzzing around behind and/or around him. Well, there goes half that working theory. Appointing some younger legs to run in support provides the obvious solution, but no obvious names appear on LA’s current roster. Maybe Kenney Walker’s ready for that role? (And welcome to the limits of my knowledge of LA’s roster!)
In this blog’s short history, I admitted to not being sold on the Gerrard signing: I suspect that he’ll have just one well-adjusted year in a Galaxy uniform, by which time he will definitely be old. I get that LA wanted and/or needed a big name and that Gerrard can still ball...for now. Those of us of a certain age know how quickly, cruelly, and absolutely your body turns on you; in that scheme, two years is a long time. LA shipped Sarvas too early if you ask me...
To go the other way, lord knows Colorado needs composure - any team that collapses thoroughly as they did in 2014 needs layers of security blankets – but it’s hard to see what on-field attributes Sarvas brings to the club beyond that. If the legs aren’t able, your club has arguably just drafted an something closer to an assistant coach...but one who's on the field, taking up a spot...
So...did anyone win this thing? LA, but only if they bring in Sacha Kljestan (though that leaves open the question of where they play him).