Ten Best: Metro trades (update)
December 26, 2014

So, we got a new Sporting Director. Ali Curtis has a tough road ahead of him, doesn't he? Perhaps he can benefit from in-league trades, although it will not be easy. We first looked at the best trades in Metro history back in 2008, and the list clearly needs some refreshing.

  • 10) 2nd round pick to Los Angeles for Steve Jolley, 2000
    Here is an Octavio Zambrano special: acquiring a player that he is familiar with. Here, OZ sent a future second rounder to his former team for Jolley, who was riding the bench on LA, but became a vital cog in Metro defense for the next three and a half seasons. That pick became Robbie Russell, who chose Europe over MLS.

  • 9) 2004 1st round pick to Chicago for 2003 2nd round pick (Eddie Gaven), 2003
    Bob Bradley strikes again, trading a future first rounder for a second rounder in 2003, and nabbing teenager Eddie Gaven with the pick. Gaven would make the MLS Best XI in his second season and score eight goals in his third... and then unceremoniously dumped by Mo Johnston to Columbus. That first rounder was traded to Dallas, and became Ramon Nunez, who was average at best.

  • 8) Kenny Cooper from Portland for 1st round draft pick and an allocation, 2013
    Is Cooper the best single-season player in Metro history? He tallied 19 goals in his lone New York campaign. The pick Metro gave up eventually ended up in Houston, and was used on a little-used player named Jason Johnson.

  • 7) Eric Alexander from Portland for an allocation, 2013
    Probably the best long-term move of the Andy Roxburgh era. Alexander might have his detractors, but the midfielder has been ever-present in his two years in New York, playing every position in midfield when needed. His partnership with Dax McCarty in the center of the field helped turn around the 2014 season.

  • 6) Daniel Alvarez to Tampa Bay for Daniel Hernandez, 2000
    And now we're back to Zambrano, who traded Alvarez, a draftee who failed to make the team, to Tampa for the former LA player Hernandez. Alvarez would never play a minute in MLS. Hernandez teamed with Jolley and Mike Petke for a terrific three-man defense. But it's giving up nothing for a solid player that vaults this trade up the charts.

  • 5) Jamison Olave and Fabian Espindola from Salt Lake for an allocation, 2013
    Salt Lake needed to dump salaries, and Metro pounced, acquiring one of the best defenders in league history, as well as a crafty forward, for cash. Both ended up scoring on their Metro debuts, in the 2013 season opener. Olave turned in two solid seasons at the club, and was named to our All-Time Best XI before returning back to Salt Lake. Espindola lasted a season, but contributed needed goals towards the Supporters Shield campaign.

  • 4) Brian Bliss to Kansas City for 1st round college pick (Mike Petke), 1998
    Talk about giving up nothing for something. Just prior to the 1998 college draft, Metro gave up former US national teamer Bliss, who spent a nondescript have a season with the team, for the 8th overall pick. That pick became Mike Petke, who would become a starter almost immediately. He ended up as the team record holder in games played, a Metro icon, and is now the Shield-winning head coach. Bliss played just three games in Kansas City, starting just one, and turned to coaching soon after.

  • 3) 2005 6th round pick to San Jose for 2004 6th round pick (Jeff Parke), 2004
    And we're back to Bradley again, who saw something that 59 previous drafters didn't see in Parke. So he sent his next year's 6th rounder for the last, 60th pick, and took the Drexel defender. Parke started and impressed immediately. In 2006, he became MetroFanatic's Player of the Year, before being idiotically dumped after 2008 by the Osorio-Agoos regime. The player drafted with Metro's pick in 2005? James Twellman, who never played in MLS.

  • 2) Dwayne De Rosario to DC United for Dax McCarty, 2011
    When Erik Soler initially made this switch, many believed it would end up on the ten worst trades list. Not so! De Rosario did have a good first year in DC, somehow managing to lead the league in goals. But it was all downhill from there. McCarty, on the other hand, took some time to fit into the Metro lineup, but for the past three seasons, has been the team's most consistent contributor. He looks to be a building block for years to come, while De Rosario drifts into early retirement.

  • 1) 3rd round supplemental pick to Kansas City for Dave van den Bergh, 2007
    Bruce Arena's tenure in charge of Metro saw one of the most inexplicable trades in team history, giving up Todd Dunivant for Kevin Goldthwaite. But he also oversaw the best hawl while giving us so little. Yes, it was a salary dump by the Wiz, but Metro gave up next to nothing to pick up van den Bergh. The Walking Dutchman was arguably the best crosser of the ball in team history, a member of our Best XI, and the scorer of the most important goal in team history in the 2008 MLS Cup semifinal. The worthless pick? Spent by KC on some guy named A.J. Godbolt.
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