Friday, August 7, 2015

After Nothing Yesterday A Busy Day Today

Ok, lots going on today.  I'll break down what we did then I'll give my opinion on the moves.

  • Shane O'Neill was sold to Cypriot side Apollon Limassol
  • Sean St. Ledger was signed after having been cut by Orlando City last week
  • Maynor Figueroa was signed with Target Allocation Money (TAM), last with Hull City
  • Ben Newnam was cut
  • Dominique Badji's loan to Charlotte was made a full season loan with no option to recall
  • Allocation money was traded to KC in exchange for an international spot for the rest of the season
This leaves the team with 29 signed players and 10 internationals against an allowed total of 28 and 9.  We get around this because both Badji's and Berner's loans don't have recall options so that gets us down to 27 of 28 roster spots filled and 9 of 9 internationals.

Some brief information about our two new players:
  • Maynor Figueroa, 32 year old Honduran CB/LB.  Current member of the Honduran National Team playing in all of their Gold Cup games last month.  Played just 14 times for Wigan and Hull City in the 2014-15 season. 
  • Sean St.Ledger, 30 year old Irish CB.  Regular started for Orlando City this season before he was dismissed for a "serious breach of club policy", rumored to be getting into a bar fight in NYC after missing the team plane.  Prior to Orlando he played 10 times in 2013-14 for Leicester City and Millwall.
St. Ledger was making about 150K with Orlando and I bet we took on a similar contract.  The bigger hit is with Figueroa.  As announced last month the league has made TAM available to sign certain players.  From the details:
Similar to general Allocation Money, these funds may be be used to sign new or re-sign existing players. Unlike general Allocation Money, however, Targeted Allocation Money can only be used for players earning more than the maximum salary budget charge, which in 2015 is $436,250.
So we know Figueroa is on at least about 450K.  Depending on what his salary is and how much TAM we used (each team gets $100K/year for the next 5 years and can borrow ahead) he may or may not be a Designated Player.  Safe bet though that he's hitting our cap for 300-450K.

Shane didn't count against the cap as a Homegrown Player, but we get his 75K back.  Newnam was on the supplemental roster and didn't count against the cap but we also get his 60K back.

So the final result of all of this:

  • Going out: O'Neill, Newnam, Badji (for the rest of the season), allocation money, TAM
  • Coming in: Figueroa, St Ledger, international spot, O'Neill's transfer fee (some of which converts into allocation money)
From a roster perspective that's a 21 and 24 year old CB going out and a 30 year old CB and a 32 year old CB/LB coming in.

Ok, so that's all the facts, now my opinion.

W.T.F.  The second best defense in the league just got 17 years older by taking on a very expensive player and a guy cut from the 3rd wort defense in the league for breaking team rules.  Oh, and we gave up allocation money and the new Targeted Allocation Money to do it.

The Rapids problem isn't defense.  Its scoring goals!  How does this help with that?  Using our last DP spot (probably) on a 32 year old CB doesn't really leave us many options going forward.  Figueroa is either the second or third highest paid player (Doyle, Sarvas) and St Ledger is the 9th so presumably these aren't depth signings.  So what is our back line going to look like?  Moor, St Ledger, Figueroa, and Sjoberg/Burling/Watts/Greenspan?  I know I've been complaining about our back line but we have the pieces to fix it without investing in more.  Now of the 27 players available for selection 10 of them are defenders while we only have 1 true forward (Doyle).  Last season the Front Office talked about the youth movement.  Well right now our starting lineup is looking like an old-timer's game

In a vacuum these players, particularly Figueroa, are probably good pickups but they aren't anything close to what this team needed.   We need to figure out how to win games 2-1, not how to draw games 0-0.

Oh, and as a follow on note to yesterday's post I don't think any of these moves other than maybe the allocation money for international spot trade required the MLS transfer window to be opened.  These moves could have been made up until the roster freeze deadline since everyone was out of contract except for O'Neill which had to be completed before the Cypriot league's window closed.

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