The South American Invasion is on in DC! The Goffinator has the scoop as usual (Part 1 | Part 2), so I won't bore you with the same details you'll find (or, more likely, have already found) on the Insider or the already updated Wikipedia pages of our new boys (Gallardo, Niell, Martínez, Peralta, Carvallo - all five already listed as United players, you'll note). Besides the mandatory adoption of Spanglish as the new lingua franca of the United clubhouse, what other morsels do we have to consider about these signings?
Hand? Meet Glove.
So we've now entered the troubled and often unpredictable land of the DP with the acquisition of Gallardo. He certainly carries more international acclaim and honors than Gomez, but will he bring the same desire? If Gallardo comes to play, we're starting to look like even more of a force than we have been offensively, assuming he's still the player I saw turning out for River a few years ago. If not? Well, depends if you trust Rod or the Bard with the keys. Me? Not so much. At least Wikipedia gives us this reassuring note . . .
Nicknamed El Muñeco (the doll) due to his small frame (169 cm, 70 kg)Ah, the perfect fit for DC United, though the tiny Franco Niell (at 162 cm but seemingly smaller in person according to Goff) is perhaps stretching the bounds of our dwarf allotment.
Instant "D", Just Add Peralta
Out with Vanney and Boswell, in with Martínez and Peralta. Peralta better not suck, as he'll be wearing my old #2, which means I've already formed some kind of weird defender mind-meld empathic relationship mojo with the big Argentine. Wikipedia also tells me he netted 7 in 90 games for his previous club, which just might imply--gasp!--a threat from corners?
Of course, the swapping of some slow gringos for some faster (here's hoping!), upgraded latino models still leaves us with the same amount of proven depth we possessed last year--in other words, Devon McTavish. Is the front office happy that our draft picks can fill this void, or do they look for a cheap journeyman as additional cover? With the rights to Vanney and Gomez both on the table, do we use one of them as bait--possibly as part of a package with draft picks or allocation money?
So Carvallo's mom is the one to thank for landing a solid second keeper? God bless the finely-tuned MLS scouting machinery! Joking aside, this kid may be more than I had hoped for. 21 years old, carries a green card, no language barrier, has represented Peru at every youth international level, and has even been capped for the full national side? Maybe Wells doesn't have a lock on the starter's job after all? Heck, the bilingual Carvallo can actually communicate with our entire projected back line in their native tongues!
Exciting times, particularly since we seem to have assembled all of the major pieces so early in the pre-season. But is the front office done shopping yet? I'm still not seeing that wide threat I've been wishing for, though they seem to be trying with Gardner. He looked to be a decent player with a bit of potential when he was with the Gals, so maybe it's worth giving him a look.
God, how long do I have to wait to see this team take the field now? Do we really have to suffer through February?