The worst offseason
July 9, 2014
And to think, we applauded this past offseason. After all, the team stayed pat.
That's right, after years and years of constant roster turnover, the team did... nothing. They saw the quality that was 2013's Shield-winning side, and decided not to change it. Well, they tinkered a little bit. It's that little bit that became a problem. The few moves that did happen during the offseason backfired greatly, and currently have Metro mired in a muck that is rather difficult to get out of.
We will glance over the departure of Fabian Espindola, who clearly did not want to be here, and was scheduled to earn too much money if his contract was renewed. We will ignore David Carney's return to Australia, for Roy Miller has been above adequate in reclaiming his left back spot. Yet the departures of Brandon Barklage and S. Markus Holgersson still have us scratching our heads.
Barklage might not have been a perfect right back, but he was very useful. He had the ability to go forward, and, what's more importantly, counted very little against the salary cap. Holgersson, while he had his shortcomings, was a quality central defender, who paired extremely well with Jamison Olave. Yes, his salary was quite high, but not that high when one considers who he was replaced with.
Alas, Barklage was deemed not good enough, and Holgersson not physical enough, and in came the replacements: Richard Eckersley and right back, Armando in central defense, as well as Bobby Convey to help patch the left side. And each of these three signings has been a major, utter failure.
Convey has started at both left back and left midfield, and has been indifferent at best, awful at worst. At this point of his career, he has no ability to defend. He might be useful in central midfield... if he ever stayed healthy.
Armando is a hack, and we're not talking about the terrible haircut. We don't know what's worse, his magnetism for yellow cards, his constant diving, or his crying. Probably the crying.
Eckersley was beyond terrible at right back. We say "was" because he lost his job -- first to Kosuke Kimura, then to rookie Chris Duvall -- and now can't even make the bench. When he did start, his biggest contribution was the causation of penalty kicks.
The good news is that there are cheap, young. adequate replacements on the roster: Ambroise Oyongo for Convey, Matt Miazga for Armando, and Duvall for Eckersley. The bad news is that the offseason trio has become roster dead weight, taking up salary cap space that cannot be cleared. In fact, Mike Petke said that the team is currently capped out. All thanks to the worst offseason...