Thursday Lunch: De Rosario, McCarty, Frings, and the Copa America

Posted: June 30, 2011 in conmebol, copa america, mls, professional sports, soccer, sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

By Evan Ream

 

DC United traded Dax McCarty straight up for Dwayne De Rosario, and I’m not really sure how to feel about it. DC started the year with a promising youth movement that included Dejan Jakovic (25 years old), Charlie Davies (25), Jed Zayner (26), Chris Pontius (24), Andy Najar (18), Dax McCarty (24), Ethan White (20), Bill Hamid (20), Chris Korb (23), Perry Kitchen (19), Santino Quaranta (26), and Conor Shanosky (19). All of these players looked to be promising contributors for the next 4-5 years at the very least. Many DC fans such as myself were excited that, while this year might not be the year to win anything, DC could build with all these young players and do something in the next three to four years, possibly become a dominant team. Then DC gave up on their 24-year-old captain and midfield fulcrum to acquire a 33-year-old player in the final year of his contract.

I know I should be happy; DC just got probably the third best player in league history (behind Jaime Moreno and Landon Donovan), but why do we want to sacrifice a player who could be a game changer for ten years for a player who will definitely be one for about six months and no guarantees after that? Does Ben Olsen think that DC can win MLS Cup this year? Dwayne De Rosario could definitely help us in the playoffs, but will we even make it? Right now, our starting lineup projects to be this:

 

Davies          Wolff

De Rosario

Pontius          Simms          Najar

Woolard          McDonald          White          Kitchen

Hamid

 

This is definitely a good starting lineup and it will be interesting to see what happens when Dejan Jakovic returns from injury, but is this team good enough right now? Davies is having a great season; Wolff has been so-so; and Pontius has been great as well, but I don’t think Najar, White, Kitchen and Hamid are quite there yet; maybe (hopefully) Ben Olsen knows something we don’t. That being said, if DC resign De Rosario, this will be a team to watch out for next year, but for now I have to pass judgment on this trade. I don’t know if this was the right move, but I’m excited to find out.

 

It should also be noted that DC acquired Brandon McDonald for allocation money earlier in the same day they acquired De Rosario. I love this move. Too often teams go outside of MLS to get unproven players who don’t pan out. McDonald is a proven player who can play center back and defensive midfield. The only reason San Jose traded him was that he was keeping Ike Opara on the bench, a player who needed to play. McDonald gives DC more depth and is still just 25. DC are also confident that they will be able to resign him when his contract ends after the season. DC also is apparently looking to make more moves this summer. They are only on the hook for roughly 1/4 of De Rosario’s contract (if reports are correct) and just waived a player. If they add one more piece maybe they could contend for MLS Cup.

 

Toronto FC:

TFC signed German Midfielder Torsten Frings and Dutch Forward Danny Koevemans yesterday as Designated Players. Both players will be first choice starters, but did TFC spend too much of their money while still ignoring their obvious faults (defense)? TFC will be a dangerous side with a front six that projects to be this:

 

Plata          Gordon          Koevemans

Tchani          De Guzman          Frings

 

But does it matter if you still allow 3 goals per game? TFC sits just 1 point out of the playoff picture, but they have played two more games than Houston (who has the tenth spot) and four more than both DC and Portland (who occupy 11 and 12). Will this be too much for TFC to make up? Possibly, but at least they signed players that will make the fans come. I still think TFC doesn’t make the playoffs.

 

Copa America:

 

The 2011 Copa America kicks off tomorrow with Argentina taking on Bolivia. Argentina are the host of the tournament and are looking to end an 18-year trophy draught. They have brought a strong roster to this tournament and should be among the favorites along with Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile. I don’t know much about South American soccer, but I expect to learn from this tournament. Here are my mostly uneducated picks for the tournament. Teams in bold advance:

 

Group A (Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Bolivia)

1. Argentina

2. Colombia

3. Bolivia

4. Costa Rica

 

Group B (Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador, Venezuela)

1. Brazil

2. Paraguay

3. Ecuador

4. Venezuela

 

Group C (Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Mexico)

1. Chile

2. Uruguay

3. Peru

4. Mexico

 

Quarterfinals

Argentina

Ecuador

 

Colombia

Uruguay

 

 

Brazil

Bolivia

 

Chile

Colombia

 

Semifinals

Argentina

Uruguay

 

Brazil

Chile

 

Final

Argentina

Brazil

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