The Missing Pieces

The Missing Pieces

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 9, 2009
  • 4 Comments
  • 2009 Summer Transfers, Trades

Brian McBride and the Fire have depth but could use more. (Getty Images)

All of today’s trades kind of got me thinking (I know, never a good thing). This has been something on my mind for a couple weeks here though and this deal kind of got me to at least put it down on pen and paper and now typing it out on the ol’ laptop.

What exactly are these 15 clubs missing here that will help them reach the post season, or almost for a couple clubs sake save their season enough that next year won’t be a total rebuilding season.

Most clubs are still at the same point this season and that is finding where they will belong in the long run. A few have seemed to figure it out but even they need a few more pieces to their own puzzle. Others at the bottom actually have too much work to really help them at his point I think.

I’ve also been saying for a while in regards to a couple clubs that they are missing some elements to their attack/defense that would really help them out. While I won’t go into which players I’d like to see each club go for this summer or deal for I will mainly stick to what needs fixed for the long run of this season.

Eastern Clubs:

Chicago Fire (currently 1st in east, 21 pts.):
For me the Fire have a lot of depth but at home there is an issue in terms of play. Defensively they turn things off at the wrong times at home and clubs are cashing in at Toyota Park instead of the Fire protecting their turf. Centrally their defense should be good but maybe a change there is needed. Also it wouldn’t hurt for them to add another wing player to provide depth behind Marco Pappa and John Thorntington. Finding some quick winger to bring on late would be a real boost.

Columbus Crew (currently 3rd in east, 16 pts.):
The defending champs just need depth overall still. I think adding another striker to go with Alejandro Moreno would be a big boost to their attack in the long run and to take pressure off Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Also adding another defender would be a smart move as well.

DC United (currently 2nd in east, 19 pts.):
DC is an interesting bunch in terms of what they need. Right now they are getting a lot out of Christian Gomez and Jamie Moreno as subs. I’d like to see them add more defensive help though here as they move forward this season. I think offensively they are set but defensively still lack a quality player that may be the difference of winning a MLS Cup or not.

Kansas City Wizards (currently 4th in east, 16 pts.):
This is a club I’ve been saying needs some work done to if they want to reach the playoffs. What kind of work? Either adding a go-to striker or shifting Josh Wolff to striker for good. If they make Wolff the go-to like they should I think adding a playmaker in the middle will help. I know they added Santingo Hirsig in the offseason but I haven’t been overly impressed with him thus far. Secondly I think adding a defensive midfielder would go a long way in helping their backline out. I like the KC defense but I think their midfield puts too much pressue on them to keep teams off the board.

New England Revolution (currently 5th in east, 16 pts.):
The Revs seem to have gotten over their injury issues from early on in the season. Thing is if it comes up again they could be in trouble. Mainly they are lacking some offensive punch still and if Taylor Twellman goes down I doubt they could make it to the playoffs. In other words they need another striker to be there with or without Twellman. They could also use some help on the wings too in the midfield.

New York Red Bulls (currently 7th in east; 9 pts.):
What doesn’t the Red Bulls need at this point? Biggest things that come to mind are a central defender in the back and possibly another striker up top to help Juan Pablo Angel. After that I’d maybe throw in a defensive midfielder and a midfielder on the wings. We saw how good they could be with someone like Dave van den Burgh on the wings for them last year but without him this season they have been lacking a lot of punch offensively.

Toronto FC (currently 6th in east; 16pts.):
Toronto is actively making moves as we speak. They’ve added some defensive help (Nick Garcia) and possibly some offensive help (Ali Gerba). Thing is will each of them be enough. I still believe they are one good striker away from being a big time player in this league.

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Western clubs:

Chivas USA (currently first in west, 27 pts.):
The AmeriGoats seem great but they still could use some help if they want to keep this lead in the standings here. Adding some defensive help in the midfield could really help this club I think in the long run here as well as adding another striker since I question whether or not Ante Razov will come back with this club when he is healthy again.

Colorado Rapids (currently 4th in west, 17 pts.):
I like the Rapids, right now they are a big dark-horse here in the league but they still need work. I’d love to see them add some defensive help, mainly on the wings in the back. I still really love to see this club get a playmaker in the middle of the field. I know the Christian Gomez experiment failed last year but someone of that mold that can control possession and create chances would really go a long way for this club.

FC Dallas (currently 7th in west; 10 pts.):
A lot needs to change for this side. Add a couple quality defenders to round out the defense and another scorer would help. I think some quality pieces are in place for this side already and some moves that Schellas Hyndman is making are working (like switching Jeff Cunningham to the wings and Pablo Ricchetti to center back).

Houston Dynamo (currently 2nd in west; 21 pts.):
Another side making changes here with a couple trades in recent weeks to beef up their speed (Dominic Oduro) and size (Cam Weaver) of their attack. I think rounding out some depth in the midfield would really set this side apart from others here.

LA Galaxy (currently 5th in west; 15 pts.):
This is still a very interesting bunch. Some how the pieces in place aren’t losing games but then again they aren’t winning a bunch either. Really not a lot can be done until they get the big contract of David Beckham off their books later this year. Until then adding some quality parts to the midfield will help them out, especially some parts on the wings.

Real Salt Lake (currently 7th in west; 12 pts.):
We’ve said for a couple weeks that Jason Kreis has a lot of work to do with this club. Moves need to start happening soon though if they want to return to the playoffs this season. Defensively the are in trouble this year and I thought the writing was on the wall last year with that. Secondly their play making in the midfield isn’t getting the job done but there is quality there. The big thing may be getting a striker to hammer home the goals. While Robbie Findley is scoring well it is not enough. Yura Movsisyan has been mostly a disappointment this season up top.

San Jose Earthquakes (currently 8th in west; 9 pts.):
Another club with a lot of issues that is actually doing something about them. Though shipping one of their better defenders off (Nick Garcia) is an interesting trade. Their main issue isn’t all in their attack, its in their midfield. No one is making plays and no one is really keeping enough possession to make any plays. And defensively they still need work.

Seattle Sounders FC (currently 3rd in west; 17 pts.):
I’m starting to wonder if the true expansion part of this club is starting to come out. Obvisouly injuries are a big part of this wonder of mine but it shows that their depth isn’t anything great. Defensively they are letting in goals that they weren’t at the start of the season and offensively they aren’t creating the same sort of chances. Adding some depth to the midfield would really help out here I think if this club wants to reach the playoffs this season.

  • Martin

    Your spot on with the rev's needing another striker of (at least) pat noonan quality. But i think they wing play is starting to sure up, Nyassi's dangerous on the right and his countrymen Mansally is finally getting starts at his favored position. Thompson can bring energy off the bench, and Chris Tierney is also a good option for the left-mid spot. Mo Castro, who started most of last season at the left, is still on the dl, and when healthy can deliver excellent service.

  • Martin

    Your spot on with the rev’s needing another striker of (at least) pat noonan quality. But i think they wing play is starting to sure up, Nyassi’s dangerous on the right and his countrymen Mansally is finally getting starts at his favored position. Thompson can bring energy off the bench, and Chris Tierney is also a good option for the left-mid spot. Mo Castro, who started most of last season at the left, is still on the dl, and when healthy can deliver excellent service.

  • Dan

    United fan here. Consensus in the D.C. blogosphere seems to be that Dejan Jakovic has performed above expectations, which were high to begin with. I'm not saying that D.C. would be above bidding for a player like Sol Campbell, who seems to be courting MLS rumors about now, but with Jakovic and Namoff having banner seasons and Burch shaping up due to competition with Avery John, I can't see United looking for another starting option for the back three.<br />
    <br />
    The midfield and offense are chock full of options, players being able to slot in just about anywhere they're needed. Even Rodney Wallace has had some time in center midfield. Offensively, if you're using Jaime Moreno as a sub late on in the second half, you must be pretty set. And I should think so: even with Emilio suspended, you've got Quaranta, N'Silu, Pontius, and Moreno who could all step in and start if need be.<br />
    <br />
    Goalkeeping used to be the most dire situation of United's roster, but Wicks has stepped up in a major way and Kocic, while still learning the MLS ropes, has more than enough talent to hold onto his role as backup. Rumor has it that United brass are so satisfied with Wicks and Kocic that Crayton is on his way out. Wouldn't surprise me.<br />
    <br />
    I'd say United doesn't *need* anything, per se, at this point in the season. I think their priority right now is to stimulate some better form from Fred and Emilio while sustaining the good form of Pontius, Wallace, Jakovic et. al. And I would rather see United conserve their allocation money and draft picks than pick up another Crayton or Peralta.

  • Dan

    United fan here. Consensus in the D.C. blogosphere seems to be that Dejan Jakovic has performed above expectations, which were high to begin with. I’m not saying that D.C. would be above bidding for a player like Sol Campbell, who seems to be courting MLS rumors about now, but with Jakovic and Namoff having banner seasons and Burch shaping up due to competition with Avery John, I can’t see United looking for another starting option for the back three.

    The midfield and offense are chock full of options, players being able to slot in just about anywhere they’re needed. Even Rodney Wallace has had some time in center midfield. Offensively, if you’re using Jaime Moreno as a sub late on in the second half, you must be pretty set. And I should think so: even with Emilio suspended, you’ve got Quaranta, N’Silu, Pontius, and Moreno who could all step in and start if need be.

    Goalkeeping used to be the most dire situation of United’s roster, but Wicks has stepped up in a major way and Kocic, while still learning the MLS ropes, has more than enough talent to hold onto his role as backup. Rumor has it that United brass are so satisfied with Wicks and Kocic that Crayton is on his way out. Wouldn’t surprise me.

    I’d say United doesn’t *need* anything, per se, at this point in the season. I think their priority right now is to stimulate some better form from Fred and Emilio while sustaining the good form of Pontius, Wallace, Jakovic et. al. And I would rather see United conserve their allocation money and draft picks than pick up another Crayton or Peralta.