The MLS Offseason So Far

The MLS Offseason So Far

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On December 17, 2013
  • 1 Comments
  • 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Re-Entry Draft, Coaching Changes, Features, Trades
Jason Kreis made headlines already this offseason by taking the NYCFC job. (Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

Jason Kreis made headlines already this offseason by taking the NYCFC job. (Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

This offseason has been a tad crazy already. From trades, retirements, coaching changes and drafts, this offseason isn’t even a month old and we’re already gearing up for a fun few weeks here with the holidays.

I know I’ve been in and out of writing on this space for the last couple of weeks. Its the holiday season, work is busier than normal and honestly I didn’t want to write full posts on everything this time around. So instead I’m going to do some recapping from time to time between now and the SuperDraft, a way to give my thoughts some time to marinate. 

Trades

1. Convey to NY. The New York Red Bulls recently traded for Bobby Convey from Toronto. That is a depth pick, though an expensive one for New York. Convey can cover the flanks either in the defense or in the midfield. On the flip side for Toronto, they’re freeing up cash left and right these days. Overall, I do like the direction the Reds are headed in for a change.

2. Chad Marshall and Kenny Cooper to Seattle. The Sounders also have been making headlines lately with trades. Landing two big veteran players in the process. Marshall rejoins Sigi Schmid and will likely be a key fixture in their defense. Cooper, if signed, will be the target man for Clint Dempsey. That is a partnership that I am very interested in seeing play out.

3. Stefan Frei lands in Seattle as well. Another smart move by Seattle. Frei hasn’t been playing a ton in Toronto since his injury a couple seasons ago. He still has the talent and will be able to show it in Seattle.

4. Eddie Johnson to? So DCU, Chivas and LA are apparently in the running here for Johnson. From the sounds of things last night, DC is the landing spot. Seattle will get plenty of cash in return, which is another smart piece of business on their part.

Retirements

1. Keepers hang it up. Man we had three great keepers hang it up so far this fall. Jimmy Nielsen opted to ride off into the sunset as a champion while Matt Reis put up his gloves and then decided to join LA as their keeper coach. Also, MLS record holder in the goalkeeper department, Kevin Hartman also retired. I have to say, I’ve missed talking to Hartman this past season after he left Dallas. Three good guys there folks.

2. Pablo Mastroeni finishes career. Another good guy decided to hang up his boots this fall. Mastroeni had a stellar 16-year career in the league, with one MLS Cup.

3. Brian Ching. I really wish I could have made it down to Houston for the Ching Testimonial game this past weekend. That looked like a ton of fun. Ching is another one of the good guys hanging it up.

4. The last of the 96ers. Ramiro Corrales was the last original player in MLS to play and it was good to see him finish his career on a good note late in the season. His teammates carried him off the field like Rudy.

Re-Entry Fun

1. Steve Zakuani a Timber? Wow, this was one of the best early stages in the Re-Entry draft since the league introduced it. Five picks but none may have been bigger than Zakuani trading Sounder green for Timber green. How long before Caleb Porter lobbies fans to change the name from the Timbers to the Zips?

2. Sean Franklin and Bobby Boswell to DC. The Black-and-Red made a couple smart moves in the Re-Entry Draft as well…smart but expensive. Franklin was the obvious choice for the best player in the Re-Entry pool and was always going to go early, but most expected his heavy contract would keep him around for the Stage 2 this week. United had other plans. Good plans if you ask me. Those two should help turn around a team that allowed 59 goals.

Coaching changes

1. Jason Kreis makes it all go crazy. We knew it would happen. Kreis opted for the greener an richer pasturers of NYCFC after losing in the MLS Cup final to Sporting KC. That move was always the true domino for the rest of the league that was waiting to see what he would do.

2. Carl Robinson expected to get it right. Vancouver wanted Bob Bradley but settled for Carl Robinson. Hey that worked for New York with Mike Petke. Sometimes settling works. Robinson is a smart guy but will have to make that transition from assistant to head coach in a hurry here.

3. FCD still in limbo. It has been almost two months since Schellas Hyndman announced he was stepping down as FC Dallas’ manager. The club has been linked with a lot of names but it seems that with each passing week another name is crossed off the list. Fans are getting impatient and the team continues to make roster moves without a coach.

 

  • frank

    I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb here in suggesting that Kreis and Porter are two of the best coaching prospects that the U.S. has ever produced. (I’m not saying they are the best, just the two with the highest potential ceiling.) They are also both intelligent, and seem to strive for that ‘next level’ in their respective careers. Assuming that both coaches would like to reach the highest level they can get to, and understanding that level is not ultimately in the States, what do you see as their next potential stepping stones? Would they be better served (of course if they reach sustained success in their current positions) progressing to a lower level in Europe and attempting to build from there? Or eventually taking over the National Team after a few more years in MLS, and building an international resume, to then get into a European coaching gig?