Be careful what you wish for
February 25, 2017
For years, we've begged the club for one thing: stability. Or, if you want to break it down, for few things: 1) stop signing over-the-hill "superstars", 2) stop giving away young players, 3) build an American core. So, we should be pretty happy, no?
Let's see where our wishes currently stand. There have been no over-the-hill "superstar" signed since Shaun Wright-Phillips two years ago, and that was as a gift to brother Bradley. Check. The last young player that left was Matt Miazga a year ago, and there was a large transfer fee, so he was hardly given away. Check. An American core? With this increased emphasis on the academy, added to national team players Luis Robles and Sacha Kljestan, plus key veterans like Mike Grella and Connor Lade, that's an American core. Check!
And yet... Here were are, already a key game down, staring into 2017, thinking... is that what we really wanted?
We got our stability, didn't we? For the second straight season, the club mostly stood pat in the offseason. Last year, Miazga left and Gideon Baah came into replace. This year, Chris Duvall was lost, and Amar Murillo was a like-for-like replacement. Now, of course, the trading away of Dax McCarty wasn't exactly an example of stability, but it was done to give playing time for American academy products: Sean Davis and Tyler Adams! This is what we wanted, right? Right?...
Let's augment that definition that definition of stability, by adding what we thought was a given: 4) augment that core with international players in their prime. Where are these international players? But we got Gonzalo Veron and Daniel Royer, some are screaming! Yes, we do, although Veron has been given chance after chance and kept failing, while Royer was a straight replacement for Lloyd Sam, a theoretical improvement, sure...
Ask yourself, if this team better than the team a year ago? The simple answer to that is no. Even though Davis is capable, he is nowhere near as good a defensive player as McCarty is. And while every other team in the league has made attempts to make themselves better, Metro's best case is that it's on par with last season...
Is that what we really wanted?