Obscure Metro Files: Brian Kamler and Ted Chronopoulos
December 29, 2009
In case you missed it, Metro missed the playoffs last year. The last time that happened? Seven years ago, in 2002. That season's failure cost Octavio Zambrano his job, as Metro spiraled out of first place, lost its last three games, and finished a point out of a playoff spot.
The team who beat Metro in the season finale to claim the East and then ride the momentum to a MLS Cup berth? New England, who spent most of the season at the bottom of a conference before an idiotically massive six-player trade sent Diego Serna, Daniel Hernandez, and Brian Kamler from Metro to the Revs, and Mamadou Diallo, Andy Williams, and Ted Chronopoulos in return.
To say the trade shook things up is putting it mildly; Metro fans were now forced to root for the hated Diallo. But the Revs obviously got the best of it -- although Serna turned out to be a non-entity for them, Kamler turned out to be a key piece of the puzzle to their rise from the bottom of the barrel.
Brian Kamler: an MLS journeyman if there ever was one. He started as a bench player with DC Scum, went to Miami in 1999, became a starter in 2000, back to the Scum in 2001... and then an offseason trade to Metro for (wait for it...) Richie Williams, who was sent back to his original MLS team (he'll return a year later).
Too bad Metro did not check with Kamler before the trade. The left-sided defender/midfielder had no intention of leaving DC, saying he would rather retire than accept the move to the MetroStars. Exactly the type of attitude that is needed from your players.
Be it a desire for a paycheck or a smooth talk from Nick Sakiewicz, Kamler did change his mind. He reported, and became the team's starting left back, even scoring a goal in a 2:1 win in Colorado. Kamler played in eight games, started seven. Everything seemed settled... until Zambrano and Sakiewicz decided to include him as a throw-in in the massive trade.
And then something happened. Kamler, who had all of three goals to his name upon arriving to Metro, scored four for the Revs in 2002 alone, two of those during their playoff run. In 2003, he would find the net six times. He'd spend another year with the Revs before finishing out his career with expansion Real Salt Lake.
As for the player who directly matched up with Kamler in the trade, Ted Chronopoulos? A Revolution original, he even got capped for the US in 1997, subbing in a match against Israel for (wait for it...) Jeff Agoos. Coming off five-goal campaigns in 2001 and 2002, it seemed that Metro got the better between him and Kamler. Alas. 18 games, 16 starts, no goals, four assists (two of them in a 4:3 win against the Revs that saw Diallo, Williams, and Hernandez score), overall lackluster play, and a permanent departure from MLS once Bob Bradley took over. From there, it was three seasons with Charleston of the USL, and one indoor with the Chicago Storm.
Diallo and Williams were also dumped after 2002 as well, leaving Metro with nothing to show from the massive trade. Diallo's sale did create an allocation that allowed Metro to sign Amado Guevara... so maybe something good did come out from this lunacy.