A forward, a forward...
My kingdom for a forward!
February 22, 2006

A month ago, Mo Johnston promised that we will see players which we have not seen in MLS before on this year's Metros. With the Florida section of Metro preseason over, we are still more than a month away from opening day, but the identity of these mysterious players is still cloudy. As in years before, a cast of characters spent training camp with Metro; this year, we saw a Pole, an Icelander, a Portuguese, a Frenchman, and a Canadian. At this point, only the Canadian, international Adrian Serioux, and the Frenchman, little-known Elie Ikangu, look possible to stick with the team. Both are defensive midfielders. Neither are forwards.

The MetroStars have seven forwards on the roster: Youri Djorkaeff, who for all his wonders is not getting younger; Mike Magee, who had two braces so far, which is great as long as we remember it's preseason; Jordan Cila, an MLS journeyman, on his third team in three years in the league; Thiago Martins, an MLS journeyman, on his third team in four years in the league; Josmer Altidore and David Arvizu, Under-17 players with a lot of potential, and Abbe Ibrahim, who is yet to show up because of visa problems. Eddie Gaven has also seen some time up front, but that's a whole other story. Meanwhile, the one proven MLS striker, Ante Razov, has been shipped out to Chivas USA for Martins and cash.

So recently, while praising Magee, Johnston emphasized that the MetroStars need another forward (together with a midfielder and defender). But who? With Eddie Johnson traded from Dallas to Kansas City, the Edson Buddle for Gaven deal seemingly not moving forward, and Josh Wolff likely to stay with the Wizards, it doesn't look like the player will come from MLS. And we all know the problems from bringing in strikers from overseas, as their success rate in MLS is hard to predict; Johnston must be aware of that as he tightens his search. There're still 40 days until the regular season opens, but then again, there're only 40 days until the regular season opens. If Johntson knows any forwards the likes of whom we haven't seen before, it would certainly be nice to see them for the first time sooner rather than later.

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