Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Late Tackle 01 17 2017: Youth/Player Movements

Caleb! Yo, Caleb! I found one!

Don’t know of any news from PTFC-Land (wait, no; the team picked up another but I did find an interesting little nugget of thought in Four Four Two’s fly-on-the-wall write-up for the Superdraft (now, is it “Superdraft” or “SuperDraft?” Don’t make me like this up). Here’s that:

“The reality is because we’ve had now four years to build and get experience, for me it was the time to start to move some young players in. We have enough experience now. So, it was a decision, myself, (Portland general manager) Gavin (Wilkinson) and (team owner) Merritt (Paulson), to make that youth movement. We felt we couldn’t lose getting any of the players in the top four, so that’s why we wanted to get into the top four. And we did, and we thought we got pretty good value.”

That’s Caleb Porter talking. Encouraging? Not encouraging? Delusional? Looks like the opposite of what they’re doing? You decide. Getting younger does sound good, though.

Looking elsewhere...

Silly Seasons Turns Briefly Somber (but holy shit!)
Both the New York Red Bulls and the Los Angeles Galaxy reached into their respective chests to rip out its beating heart: the Red Bulls sent Dax McCarty to the Chicago Fire, while LA sent A. J. DelaGarza to the Houston Dynamo.

Looks like I missed all the hub-bub on DeLaGarza, but both The Armchair Analyst and SBI broke down the McCarty trade. For what it’s worth, I think they got it mostly right – e.g. New York has sound replacements, even if they can’t replace everything Dax brings to the table (leadership), and they sold at the right time (e.g. when his value was high). To offer my own thoughts on DeLaGarza, I’m not sure LA has a good replacement for him, but losing him constitutes a different kind of risk – e.g. how many goals will losing him shake out to by year’s end, whether directly (e.g. his replacement screws up), or LA finding themselves too thin when they need to plug holes back there.

To close where this started, most of my curiosity centers on the teams who picked off these players, and what it says about them. Chicago and Houston are trying to make noise in 2017. Hope the right people are taking note…

Did FC Dallas Just Find Its Missing Puzzle Piece
Don’t know jack about Cristian Colman, but he does fit the one clear need that just about all observers agree Dallas needs this year: a real, good-sized forward (young too, so there's the re-sale potential, too). The competition Dallas beat for his signature speaks to some kind of talent, whether fully-formed or projected, but sometimes the projections don’t land where they aimed to (see: Melano, Lucas).

I’m just gonna say this again: some teams are reloading; others, not so much.

These Are Our Toys, Yes?
A blog called Stars & Stripes FC dropped in on the youth academy for German club Schalke, where they found three young Americans on the cusp of joining the first team. Of most interest: where these guys play on the field (a center forward, a No. 6, and a No. 10). And the fact these are Americans, as in we get dibs. Yay, dibs!

All for today. Back soon.

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