- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On December 7, 2007
- 0 Comments
Naturally I know what most MLS Clubs want for Christmas. A better 2008 than 2007, even the Dynamo is included in that because they will want a repeat along with more hardware in 2008.
I had been trying to figure out a way to write up needs and wants in this off-season for each club and this seemed appropriate since it is the holiday season. Some things here include deals I think clubs should go for and others are just areas that clubs need to improve in for 2008.
Its a little long but each club got three things….
Defense: Letís face it, the weak point on this club is the defense, getting on strong defender that can start right away is something the Fire need desperately because their current options are aging fast and looking unproductive by the game.
Goalkeeper: Matt Pickets may be the answer for now but the Fire need a back up that can contend for a starting role. Iíd love to see Nick Noble be that guy (heís a WVU grad like myself) but I doubt he is there just yet. Maybe trading for one in the league or going out and using some allocation to get one would be a smart answer.
Offense: As long as their coach stays in Chicago this offense will be fine, but they could easily use one more attacking option to go along with Barrett and Rolfe and that Mexican dude named Blanco. I hear that Blanco is trying to convince a couple of his former teammates in Mexico to come to the MLS and play in Chicago with him. If that is the case the Fire will be much better in 2008.
Defense: Itís aging, and with recent dumps on the roster they have the money to get a solid defender or two either in the draft or in the transfer window. Maybe look at another keeper now that Burpo is gone and the fact that Guzan wonít be there too much longer.
A Latin Figure: Letís face it, they need a dynamic Latin player to draw the crowds in LA. Iíve said before they have the cap space to land one if they want to. This should be the year they get a good Latin player that can lead their club and put more butts in the seats at the Toolbox. Maybe Carlos Ruiz?
Offense: I think getting rid of Razov may be a smart thing. He still has some value and Chivas could easily get some good things in return. No reason to hold on him for another season and lose his trade value. Trade him away and add a big name striker with that open money.
Coaching: I know this is number one on most Rapids fanís wish list but I will not make too much of a deal out of it right now. You all know where I stand on their coaching situation.
Offense: The biggest thing the Rapids need is a goal scorer and one that can do it very often. The biggest thing that lacked was any sort of offensive power from the Rapids in 2007 and quite frankly their offense never scared anyone.
Midfield: I said it before; they need a strong central midfielder that is a two-way player with the offense and controlling the ball in the middle. That will help alleviate a lot of pressure in the back if they can land a good enough player in this position.
Offense: Just like Colorado and some teams, the Crew desperately needs a number one striker. They have a great midfield in my mind with Schelotto leading the way, but he has no real option up top to dish it off to. I think trading for Carlos Ruiz would easily be a smart option for the Crew, even if he is a headache.
Wing Play: Another area that the Crew could easily improve on is their wing play, I noticed a lot that when this club was successful in 2007, it was when they dished the ball wide and dumped it into the box. Wing play is very underrated in the MLS and the Crew could easily get a good midfielder to cover the wings and start the revolution.
Defense: Its aging, and fast.
Designated Player: This one will come soon with Juan Sebastian Veron. He may be just enough to get them over the hump in the east and get back to the MLS Cup.
Defense: Itís aging in some ways, plus the depth isnít there like it could be.
Christian Gomez: Let him go. Seriously, with Veron I think DC doesnít need Gomez, even if he is a MVP type of player. He wants a high contract and I honestly question if he is worth it in the long run. Transfer, trade him or let him go. Same for Jamie Moreno, he is old and is down to just scoring from a PK spot.
Defense: Word has it the Hoops are probably going to switch to a 3-5-2 next year, and that means they need to get more depth at defense. I like the move to that formation but I am still worried about their defense. They have the number two pick in the draft and maybe there will be value at that spot for a defender or defensive midfielder that they can use. If not they certainly have the cap space to trade for a solid defender. As much as they need another attacking option, defense is their primary concern in my opinion.
Designated Player: Not Denilson, which we all should figure will be on his way out next year. Unless they can convince him to stay on for a much, much lower salary (Iím talking like $150,000 at the most). No, Dallas will go back out on the market for a DP this off-season and will have to land a good name that actually will come to play. They got hit hard with the lack of play from Denilson that will make them and other clubs think twice about the DP spots on their roster.
Carlos Ruiz: I wrote an article about what to do with Ruiz. I still feel it may be best to trade him now before his value drops way down. Even if he does become productive elsewhere, that is all right by me; Dallas needs to get value out of him while they can.
Defense: I know, the leagueís best defense needs improvement? Yes, its aging more than most think. Getting more depth in the back will certainly help this club get back to the title game and become the leagueís first back-to-back-to-back Cup winners.
Locking Up Talent: I think some of the younger talent needs to get locked up, while continuing to draft the way they do.
DeRo and Ching: Honestly, I think trading DeRo to Toronto needs to happen soon, mainly because I know Houston can find plenty of value from DeRo and get an eventual replacement for Ching. Letís face it, Ching isnít as young as he used to be and this off-season they need to get his future replacement.
Kansas City Wizards:
Defense: Suring up one of the worst defenses will be a start, and getting a better keeper than Kevin Hartman will help as well. This defense was terrible in 2007, and so far they havenít given us any hope of being better in 2008.
Eddie Johnson: There has to be some transfer deal out there for him, and the Wizards would be stupid to not let him go. They need to get rid of him now before it becomes to late. Freeing up his contract space will allow them to get a quality player or three from South America.
Drafting Well: They got gold with Michael Harrington last year, but that was about it. They need to get more value out of their picks this year.
Draft Picks: They have plenty but I am very curious to see how they use them. They need more depth and they should be able to find some value with those picks. More than likely they will trade at least two of their picks for allocation or something.
Landon Donovan: Keep him or trade him? Honestly, Iíd trade him off and get some value for him and get some people to build around David Beckham. Landon is still a quality player but this past season was dreadful for any Galaxy fan. At times Lando never looked comfortable being the number two in the club.
Forwards: The Galaxy lack a quality scorer after Donovan and Beckham. Even those two guys arenít the top option at forward. With those draft picks they need to find some depth at striker and find a way to get value out of Buddle or go after another cheaper foreigner to play up top.
New England Revolution:
Twellmanís Running Mate: Letís face it, the Revs need a running mate for Taylor Twellman. He canít carry the load and that could be the biggest factor in improving this club for next year. They need more quality depth at striker other than Twellman. Cristman is a good young talent but he is still a year or two away from being able to consistently help Twellman and by then I believe it could be too late.
Defense: Sure the Revsí defense was good enough to get to the MLS Cup but they did give up a lot of multi-goal games this season. Also with Michael Parkhurst likely on his way out they need to get more quality defenders. Expect the draft picks to be defensive this year.
Designated Player: This is the debate among Revs fans. Get a quality striker or wing player as a DP or continue to build through the draft and not get a DP. I kind of believe that if the Revs donít get a DP this year, they never will. They need a quality star up top or on the wing. Plus they need a replacement for Steve Ralston.
New York Red Bulls:
Defense: At times the Red Bulls had quality defense and most of the time they did enough to get by. Story of the season I suppose. This club has the offense but needs the defense to back them upÖ
Keeper: You canít tell me Jon Conway is the answer? This club needs to spend the dough on a quality keeper.
Center Midfielder: If they Osorio as their coach they need to keep Claudio Reyna. If they donít they need to dump him off and get another quality DP at center mid or renegotiate his contract. Either way they need a quality center midfielder to control the pace of the game. When they were successful in 2007 they had quality control in the middle of the park.
Real Salt Lake:
Draft Picks: For once they need to get value out of their draft picks. Learning to draft is half the battle in the MLS. RSL hasnít gotten that down yet. This is a year they can do that with Jason Kreis at the helm.
Offense: They got Robbie Findley and they scored goals. Before then they got nothing out of no one. They must go out and get a quality striker in this off-season.
Defense: Another area they need depth at is defense. They havenít won in the past because of their defense and until they get depth in the back they will continue to be the doormat of the league.
Defense: Just like most teams this club needs defense. And plenty of it.
Healthy Players: I think if this club had been healthy in 2007 they really could have made a decent push for the playoffs but they werenít. If I were a Reds fan I would pray and hope for a healthy team in 2008. They have talent but they need health.
Depth: They have very little. Mainly because they were screwed around by weird restrictions that I think the MLS is loosening this year. They need to use the allocation and draft picks to stock up on some young talent. Mo is a good judge of talent in my book and he will find it.
San Jose Earthquakes:
Big Name Player: They need a real name to put butts in the seats and to put three points in the standings.
Draft Picks: They need more of them I think.