The terrible mistake that is Khano Smith
June 16, 2009
For the past two seasons, Dave van den Bergh patrolled the Metro left flank. No, the Walking Dutchman was not perfect, but he sure as hell was as good a left winger as Metro ever had. The best crosser in team history, he formed a terrific partnership with Juan Pablo Angel, always seeming to find the striker in the box with a pin-point pass. And when needed, he came up big with a goal himself: the gamewinner in the Western Conference Championship in Salt Lake will never be forgotten.
Yep, Dave van den Bergh was not exactly chopped liver. But now, Dave is in Dallas, jettisoned because Juan Carlos Osorio did not think he was worth that he was asking. Oh, RBNY spun it in such a way as they were doing Dave a favor to be closer to his wife's family. That's obviously part of the equation, but if you listen to what van den Bergh said at the time of the trade, his first desire was to stay with Metro. No matter; Metro's best player from the best season in franchise history (smirk!) is in Texas. Moving on.
And moving on Osorio did. Now with a massive whole on the left (Jorge Rojas, a winger he brought in last year, is more suited to play centrally according to our master tactician), Osorio drafted Jeremy Hall, a high-scoring left winger from Maryland. But Hall is not left footed, so Osorio made him a right back, and a hole still needed to be filled.
Enter Khano Smith. The Bermudan, known for his erratic play, spent four years in New England, where he sent more crosses into the stands than into the penalty area. The Revs no longer needed him, and Seattle took him in the Expansion Draft. But the astute Sounders management tried to trade him almost immediately. And when Osorio came calling, Seattle answered. Smith was heading back East, with an allocation, supposedly worth 100K, going the other way.
Well, we got our chopped liver. For Smith, who, to be fair, did cause a Revs own goal in his first game for Metro, has been putrid. He made five starts early on, where he diluted stretches of ball-watching with shots and crosses that ended up 30 rows into the stands. Khano was benched; Khano bitched about lack of playing time. Then, as the Open Cup match in DC came, Osorio gave him a chance to start. A despicable 45 minute followed. He was taken off at halftime, and has not played a minute since. He often doesn't make the 18-man game roster.
And here's the kicker: RBNY gave Khano a raise, from 46K he made last year to 120K. Add the 100K allocation they spent on him, and that totals 220K. 220K for a player that can't make it off the bench.
The sad thing is that 220K is what van den Bergh is getting in Dallas (210K base salary, 227K with bonuses). Now, FCD is not exactly playing well, but that team is constructed almost as faulty as Metro, and van den Bergh is picking up his share of assists on the limited goals that Dallas is scoring. Now excuse us as we bang our head into the wall.
So where do we go from here? Well, contracts become guaranteed on July 1st. If Osorio and Agoos have any level of intelligence, they would dump Smith immediately. Trade him for a sack of magic beans. Failing that, cut him. Open the roster spot. Give Danleigh Borman a senior deal. Promote an academy player. Sign someone with potential from the USL. Anything. Anything is better than chopped liver that is riding the bench.
Of course, even if Khano is dumped, it'll most likely be filed under "too little, too late"... but that's besides the point.