Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Late Tackle, 12 14 2016: (Letting Someone Else) Wrap Up the MLS Expansion Draft, Player Moves, and an Apology

It's that time of year....
Working on tightening up these posts…because I wanna. So, quickly as I like…

Puzzling Out the Expansion Draft…
…is something I’ll leave for someone else, specifically Matt “Armpit Analyst” Doyle. The confusing stuff mostly surrounds the Clint Irwin/Mark Bloom situation, but, when it comes to MLS’s roster rules and accounting mechanisms, my shorthand for the whole is, “shit’s fucked up.” Doubt I’ll never do more than dip my toe into that tiny pond of minutiae; eyes glazed over while reading Doyle’s analysis. I did read long enough to see that Doyle shared my confusion that neither team picked up Jared Watts.

Happy for that Bloom kid, though. Players packed up for locales other than Atlanta and Minnesota United FC’s, of course. Some interesting stuff out there.

From the Swampy South to the Great White North
The Houston Dynamo sent right back Sheanon Williams to the Vancouver Whitecaps, and that feels like a smart move for the ‘Caps. If memory serves, savvy ‘Caps fans griped that their team let go of too many crucial players going into 2016, Steven Beitashour among them (no fullback, big cry?). Williams reads to me like one of those players who bounces around a bit, but who also always seems able to find work, if not the field. Probably leaves Fraser Aird wondering what’s around the corner for his career (exciting new opportunities? a demotion, but also a really great seat for watching ‘Caps games? so many potentialities!).

An Aging Star Arrives
Raise your hand if you figured Jermaine Jones to the Los Angeles was more or less a done deal the second they let word of the conversation slip. Whatever you thought, it happened. Because I doubted Jones when he moved to the Colorado Rapids, I’ll hold my tongue on this one…except to acknowledge that, in real terms, the Rapids did what they did this season without Jones. Going the other way, he was also the best player on the field in the second leg of the Western Conference Final. Put those thoughts together and it feels like the smart money goes on Jones doing Jermaine Jones things in LA, but how often?

On Sprucing Up the Place
Stray reports note interest in returning/coming to MLS from a couple of U.S. Men’s National Team “bubble boys” – e.g. Tim Ream and Greg Garza (respectively; did Garza ever play in MLS? Eh, better question is whether it was long enough to matter). Their personal motives notwithstanding, and even as moves like this can be interpreted a couple ways, player returns like this feel less like coming home with tail tucked between legs these days than a credible career step.

If you disagree, well, I guess I’ll have to fight you.

He Who Does Not Have Permission to Move
In Portland Timbers news, one site (just bookmarked!) reported that the Timbers message to Glasgow Rangers, and any other team that comes inquiring, to keep their filthy grasping hands off star striker Fanendo Adi. I view this as a good thing. Unless Adi’s quietly pissy about the whole thing. Anyone out there know him well enough to receive his confidences? No? Any psychics? Masters of Tarot? Messy tea drinkers?

Finally, to the Hundreds ofThousands of New Fans, Who Turned into MLS Cup 2016:

Sorry about that. MLS Soccer totally isn’t always like that. Can I forward you video from the Toronto / Montreal series?


  1. I do honestly think that Adi isn't happy as a Timber... He wants a bigger stage, and with Celtic probably throwing out there the Kris Boyd deal, you know they'll be angling to get a quid-pro-quo for Adi to go there... :(