- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On December 16, 2008
- 14 Comments
- 2009 MLS SuperDraft, Christmas Wish List, Trades, Wants and Needs, Winter Transfers
‘Tis the season right? I thought about holding off this piece until next week but who am I kidding, I don’t expect to be doing a lot of writing over Christmas week (unless some big news comes down). So I am bumping this discussion to today.
Its a little list I put together last year for all the clubs in the league as each get set for a new year and a new transfer window.
We all know each club has certain needs and wants. I know it says “wish list” but it doesn’t mean I will be putting Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo on this list for every club. Still have to think practical when it comes to dealing with MLS clubs and the salary cap.
And of course I won’t be putting a better 2009 than 2008. That is just a given for everyone, including the MLS Cup and Supporter Shield champs Columbus Crew.
If you feel like you know what your club wants better than I do, just put it below.
Defense/Goalkeeper: Believe it or not they do need some upgrades on the defensive side of the ball. They are set to potentially lose both Wilman Conde and Bakery Soumare this winter. That’s two extremely big loses. Filling those potential holes will be tough but if they can find some talent to fill those gaps in either the SuperDraft or the transfer window they will be fine. Goalkeeping wise they should be fine as long as Jon Busch stays healthy.
Midfield: Some parts (Blanco) are aging, and other parts are still relatively young. Adding depth is probably their most important thing to do in this area. Maybe add another defensive midfielder and they will be set.
Forwards: Sure they have guys like Brian McBride and Chris Rolfe, but McBride is aging and Rolfe isn’t nearly as young as he use to be (though he’s still young in some comparisons). Patrick Nyarko could see 2009 as a coming out party but I think that may be a little soon. Going out in the transfer market for another cheap striker could be a wise move.
Stocking Stuffer: Strong showings in both USOC and SuperLiga. Also finding that next Chris Rolfe or Justin Mapp through the draft would be nice. Lastly, I’d sell Conde before he makes the offseason into a bigger headache than it already can be.
Defense/Goalkeeping: Probably their biggest area of concern. We know Dan Kennedy and Zach Thornton aren’t the best options for the long term so getting a young (and cheap) goalkeeping solution will be probably a draft day concern for the AmeriGoats. Adding some young defensive help will also be important as well. I see them as players on Draft day for some trades to get some added defensive help.
Midfield: Their potential loss of Sasha Kljestan is going to be too tough to overlook and overcome. I’m sure they are already preparing to plan for next year without him on the wings. So finding a replacement will be vital. Also finding a playmaker in the middle is really their top priority this winter (defense is big but this is a must for them!).
Forwards: I think this may be the winter they trade a few strikers away to get some value and be able to sign a decent striker this winter. I think Maykel Galindo is going to get traded unless he and head coach Preki come to terms with one another. I still kind of see Ante Razov getting traded this winter as well. Either way it should open the door for a couple new strikers to come in, which are needed.
Stocking Stuffer: Continue to draft well, even with the amount of picks that they will have (two or three pick total right now). Figure out a way to market the club better in the area.
Defense/Goalkeeping: Another club that needs to figure out their goalkeeping situation. They have options but I do kind of think they will draft one. Defensive wise they just need to add depth to what they started to find late in the year.
Midfield: What they do with Christian Gomez is really the question going into January. I figure he will be traded if not released from his contract to look elsewhere on his own. Either way they need to find the right playmaker for their midfield. Its already talented enough to do well they just need that playmaker, kinda like Gomez. Maybe their wish should be for Gomez to come around to terms with the club and stay. They’d be much better if he did.
Forwards: Adding some depth for one but still finding that go-to scorer may be the biggest must on their list. I know some will say Conor Casey is that guy but I need to see him be more consistent over a full year to label him as that guy. We only saw him stand out in the final month or so of the season. Before than it was just hit or miss…well mostly miss. Plus finding that main go-to guy will be huge for Casey.
Stocking Stuffer: Consistent play would be nice for more than a month. Starting to fill that lovely stadium would be even better.
Defense/Goalkeeping: Goalkeeping situation seems fine for now, but defensively they will definitely have to do some work to add depth with the added pressures of their 2009 schedule. Oh yeah and some guy named Chad is leaving and I hear he will be tough to replace. Thing is last year some guy that was suppose to be their best defender left and they seemed to do fine without him. Add a couple parts here like I think they will and we won’t see much change in 2009 out of the Crew’s defense than what we saw in 2008.
Midfield: Just keep adding depth. Maybe sign a solid defensive midfielder and they may end up with the best midfield in the league.
Forwards: Again, more depth is key here. Adding some help for Alejandro Moreno is probably right up there with finding a replacement for Chad Marshall.
Stocking Stuffer: Hard to figure out what to get the club that has it all right now but finding a way to continue to draft quality players is always nice. Or continue to sell some seats to fill that Wrigley Field of a soccer stadium would be even better in my opinion.
Defense/Goalkeeping: Goalkeeping department is in check with Louis Crayton on board. Defensive wise is another story. They will resign a couple guys but that still isn’t enough. They need to find that Michael Parkhurst type of guy for the center part of their backline.
Midfield: Let’s see a defensive midfielder is a start and possibly another winger would be nice too. Is Marcelo Gallardo going to actually return or not? Some rumors say not so if that is the case they will need a playmaking replacement. I just don’t know if they’d really lose their DP that way but never say never right?
Forwards: Luciano Emilio is still a good option right? Yes but he needs some help for sure (and yes I know Jamie Moreno is still there).
Stocking Stuffer: How about a new stadium huh?
Defense/Goalkeeping: Keeper department is pretty set with this club from top to bottom. Defensively they need work as we all know in the Big D. They get Drew Moor for another couple years but they really need a solid center back that is a game changer like Jimmy Conrad. Not just a fearless leader on the backline but someone that will be able to keep up with the speed on the forwards in the league. Possibly adding some another wing back wouldn’t hurt either.
Midfield: Probably the biggest thing for me is getting a solid attacking midfielder. A field general really, or just that typical playmaker that leads the club in assists but is able to tally his fair share of goals too. Also adding some depth on the wings would be a wise move as well.
Forwards: Keeping Kenny Cooper. Keeping Kenny Cooper. Keeping Kenny Cooper.
Stocking Stuffer: Other than keeping Cooper, I’d really like to see this club get marketed better in the area. It can be done but random billboards just don’t cut it.
Defense/Goalkeeping: Find a backup keeper through the draft, or transfer in that next keeper to lead the way once Pat Onstad hangs them up. Defensively they need to try and resign Bobby Boswell at all costs.
Midfield: The money is now there to sign some people. Get that DeRo replacement in the middle and find some help on the wings.
Forwards: Finally find Brian Ching’s partner and then add another couple striking options to the depths.
Stocking Stuffer: Figure out that stadium situation.
Kansas City Wizards:
Defense/Goalkeeping: Figure out the future in the keeping department because we all know Kevin Hartman’s time with the club isn’t going to be all that much longer. Defensively they just need consistency out of their young core group of players. Still, adding depth will be good for this bunch.
Midfield: Here’s the biggie for this club this year, find that true playmaker in the middle. They do have enough talent up top to score but they need someone to set it up better.
Forwards: They’ve traded for three or four strikers over the past few months. I don’t know if they really need any more unless one of them is trade bait (which I think is possible). Plus is Claudio Lopez really going to stay on as a DP? I think he will but at a cheaper rate because let’s be honest he wasn’t a DP-quality player last year.
Stocking Stuffer: Get that stadium plan rolled out and break some ground!
Defense/Goalkeeping: I don’t think I need to go into this one all that much because we all know this is an area that is the biggest of concern for this club. More than likely they will trade within the league for a defended (and possible a keeper). But look for Bruce Arena to draft defensively. I just don’t see them transferring in defensive help this year as it did little for them in the past couple years.
Midfield: It got better with Eddie Lewis but adding another part here and there would help.
Forwards: If they can keep Landon Donovan then they will be fine in this department. Even if he goes this winter they could still be fine.
Stocking Stuffer: Letting Bruce fix the problems and not canning him after a half of a season.
New England Revolution:
Defense/Goalkeeping: Maybe get a solid backup for Matt Reis and then find that replacement for Michael Parkhurst. Also adding depth to this area would be wise as some of the starters are aging.
Midfield: Well keeping this area healthy is big but adding some depth to the wings would be good. Possibly find that young (and cheap) replacement for Steve Ralston because who knows exactly how much longer his playing career will be.
Forwards: Figure out what to do with Taylor Twellman. Trade him, transfer him, keep him…whatever. If you keep him then find his go-to partner. Right now its just him and some young Gambians leading the offense. That won’t be good enough for the long haul.
Stocking Stuffer: Holding on to Paul Mariner for another year would be nice. Continuing to draft well and possibly figure out a way to sell more season tickets.
New York Red Bulls:
Defense/Goalkeeping: Is Danny Cepero the answer in goal? Possibly but get someone in place behind him to push him so we know if he really is the best option. Defensively they need work still. It was a weakness in the MLS Cup and until it is addressed it will continue to be.
Midfield: Keeping Jorge Rojas and Juan Pietravallo was not a wise move but if they can figure out a way to improve the midfield defensively between these two they could be fine. Biggest task though may be keeping Dave van den Bergh on the books. He’s the glue that holds this club together, just a shame he doesn’t get the pub that he deserves more often.
Forwards: Find a nice partner for Juan Pablo Angel.
Stocking Stuffer: Figure out ways to fill that new stadium when it opens in the fall. Well, first off make sure that stadium is ready to open in the fall!
Real Salt Lake:
Defense/Goalkeeping: Keeper wise things are good. Defensively its alright but there are always needs to upgrade on the wings of the defense.
Midfield: Adding some wing play would be great for this club.
Forwards: Find some suitable scoring. Sure Yura Movsisyan is starting to take the keys to the jeep in the scoring department on his own but he needs help. And consistent help at that. If this club wants to continue to improve they have to get quality scoring in 2009.
Stocking Stuffer: Continue to market the club in their area, gotta keep that new stadium as full as possible!
San Jose Earthquakes:
Defense/Goalkeeping: They need to sort out this mess with Joe Cannon first. No Cannon may equal no playoffs in 2009. Might not hurt to draft a quality keeper out of college if one is available. Defensively speaking just add more depth, it was pretty solid last year.
Midfield: Find a replacement for Francisco Lima, as it sounds like he will depart this winter. Keeping Ramiro Corrales healthy for next year is a must. But adding a playmaker in the middle to go with the dynamic wingers would really go a long way.
Forwards: Biggest area of concern. Got to add a go-to scorer for 2009.
Stocking Stuffer: Figuring out their stadium situation would be nice as well.
Seattle Sounders FC:
Defense/Goalkeeper: Keeper wise they are set. Defensively speaking on the other hand we really don’t know how well this group will be. If they can sign Jeff Parke they may have a good start (once his suspension is over of course). I suppose they will be drafting defensively in next months draft. Plenty of solid players to use that top pick on. Or do they pull a San Jose and trade it for a quality center back in the league? Might not be a bad idea.
Midfield: A little heavy in the middle of the field but no real playmaker in the middle. If Nathan Sturgis is healthy they will be solid in the defensive side of the midfield. Out wide they should be okay due to Ljungberg.
Forwards: Obviously they are off to a good start with Nate Jaqua and Sebastian Le Toux. But adding more parts to their attacking core won’t hurt a bit.
Stocking Stuffer: What else to give the new kids that seem to have a lot already?
Defense/Goalkeeping: Greg Sutton isn’t a bad option but his backline need some work. Adding a couple center defenders would really go a long way for this club.
Midfield: Not bad not that Dwayne De Rosario is in the mix. Keeping Carl Robinson is a must though. Add another winger or two for Guevara to link up with and they may be in business.
Forwards: Obviously we know they will still search for that one DP-style forward to pair up with Chad Barrett. Which is good. The question is, will they find it?
Stocking Stuffer: How about winning at home again? Removing the turf? Or should they just stick with finding that DP? Go with all the above.