RBNY to trade Kovalenko, cut Doe
February 22, 2008

The writing was on the wall. Juan Carlos Osorio was not a fan, and now Dema Kovalenko is a goner, shipped to Salt Lake for an undisclosed 2010 draft pick, reports Utah's Desert News. Also, in a more stunning development, Francis Doe, re-signed just two weeks ago, has been placed on waivers, reports BigAppleSoccer.

Let's deal with Doe first. Grandpa showed some flashes during his short time with Metro, but he also exhibited horrible decision-making skills. Reluctant to pass, the attack often died when he got the ball. Still, it's a bit surprising that Doe would be cut so quickly after his re-signing. Apparently, Osorio wants to go with only four forwards on the senior roster: Juan Pablo Angel, Jozy Altidore, Oscar Echeverry, and John Wolyniec. That leaves no place for Grandpa.

As for Dema, there have been rumbles out of training camp that he is a goner. Seth Stammler was re-signed to a bigger deal (then again, so was Doe), and draftee Luke Sassano looks to be a bargain in defensive midfield. Kovalenko, with his 190K salary, was deemed expendable. We understand the move, but we don't understand the timing, nor do we buy the reasoning or RSL's part of the trade.

For even though he was making 190K, Kovalenko arguably gave more on the field than any other Metro in 2007. We documented the team's struggles without him last year, and when he came back late in the season, his nose still healing behind the plastic mask, we couldn't help but applaud his courage. People say that MLS players don't care about winning and losing; Dema cared, even too much. During his time with Metro, he did what was asked of him, played all over the midfield, as well as in the back. When Kovalenko was on the field, you knew the team would not be pushed around. Is that sort of passion, versatility, and toughness not worth 190K?

Perhaps it is, perhaps not. But even before shedding Dema's contract, Metro was 300 to 400K under the salary cap, according to our calculations; more than enough space to sign one, if not two players. Now Dema is off the books, Metro is 500 to 600K under the cap... And what? Hopefully, those mystical players-to-be-signed will be walking through that door soon. And we hope that they care at least half as much as Kovalenko. Yet we highly doubt it.

Finally, the 2010 draft pick Metro is due to receive to Salt Lake. Is that really the best Osorio could do in dealing perhaps his only tradable commodity? At least Dema is going to Utah, and not to a hated rival like Chicago or DC.

So long, Dema. Thanks for caring.

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