Friday, January 16, 2015

All-Star Game May Be Coming But Klute Is Gone

A couple of big new announcements this afternoon.  The off-field one first, then we'll get to the big story.

Soccer By Ives writer Franco Panizo tweeted this a few hours ago:
MLS has announced that Don Garber will join Colorado Rapids' Josh Kroenke in downtown Denver next Wed. for an "important announcement".
Followed by:
Those attending: Garber, Kroenke, Mastroeni, Lt Governor Joseph Garcia, Mayor of Commerce City Sean Ford, CEO of Visit Denver Richard Scharf
That combination of Commissioner, owner, coach, politicians, and city PR almost certainly means that Colorado is getting the All-Star Game this summer.  The only other thing that I could think would be the combine + draft next year, but why would you hold the combine in Denver in January?

This is an odd time for the Rapids to get the All-Star Game.  Its only been 8 years since we hosted the game against Celtic and with Orlando and NYCFC entering the league and San Jose opening a new stadium those would all be more logical choices.  The only thing that makes sense to me is that the opponent for the All-Stars this year will be Arsenal, which is owned by Kroenke, and the deal KSE hammered out with MLS was that Arsenal would come over and play the game, but only if they played it in Kroenke's stadium in Denver.  More information on Wednesday but if I were asked to bet I'd put money on the announcement being the ASG at the Dick against Arsenal.

The second bit of news was much less enjoyable.  During yesterday's draft the Rapids traded with the Crew to move up from #19 to #14 and in return the Crew got the #19 pick and "future considerations".  It turns out those future considerations were announced today as Chris Klute.  It was also revealed (after a few minutes of confusion and 3 different sources reporting 3 different version of the deal) that the Raids also got "significant" (according to the Rapids) allocation money as part of the deal.

This is a lousy trade.  I know Axel Sjoberg (who I'm going to start calling Axel Foley I think) was well regarded but there's only two ways this trade makes any sense.  He's going to have to become a starter by midseason or we're going to find out Klute had a huge escalation clause in his contract (similar to Omar Cummings between 2011 and 2012).  Otherwise this is a bad trade no matter how you look at it.  Yes, a chunk (or all) of that allocation money probably went to LA in the deal that got us Sarvas that still doesn't make it a good move.  I find it hard to believe Klute wasn't worth more than a Superdraft pick and allocation money.  This is a guy who a year ago was on the firnges of the National team.  I think we're going to regret this move.

So here's our roster at the moment (* = international).

John Berner
Clint Irwin
Zac MacMath

Marc Burch
Bobby Burling
Joseph Greenspan (on Naval duty through 2017 probably)
Michael Harrington
Zat Knight* (unsigned)
Drew Moor
John Neeskens
Shane O'Neill
Alex Sjoberg* (unsigned)

Marlon Hairston
Nick LaBrocca (unsigned)
Dillon Powers
Marcelo Sarvas*
Dillon Serna
Jared Watts

Deshorn Brown*
Caleb Calvert
Charles Eloundou*
Vicente Sanchez*
Gabriel Torres*

That's 20 signed players and 3 more likely to sign.  If they do we'll have 7 of our 8 international spots filled.  I'm sure Greenspan won't count against our roster/salary cap while with the Navy.  Suddenly we're deep at CB and weak on the flanks, we're going to have to find at least one more outside back I think.  We still need either a full-strength Torres or a difference-maker up front and a lot of depth in the midfield.

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