Last year, the Gals managed to trade away most of their young talent while adding a ragtag band of geriatric vagabonds to surround Golden Balls. Now they're left with a handful of highly paid, quality players, a dubious supporting cast, and one year to make it all happen before the whole house of cards and the MLS salary cap structure collapse upon them with what, we can only assume (and hope), will be catastrophic consequences. Well, assuming the league doesn't change the rules to benefit Alexi's Abomination--that would never cross the minds of such upstanding and fair-minded individuals!
The upshot of those roster revamps was that a few unprepared rookies were thrown to the wolves. Few could cope as Yallop tried to keep the ship from crashing and burning, but from that smoldering pile of wreckage, defender Ty Harden somehow managed to creep past the laughingstock stage by the end of the year. Enough to give him (and his measly 30k cap-hit) a prime spot on this year's edition of the Abomination. So imagine their horror when he decided to walk and pursue opportunities outside of the game.
Such is the state of Cirque du LA that you almost have to feel pity for them.
Had they constructed a team with depth, they might have had someone capable of filling a Harden-sized void--something that shouldn't be particularly difficult as he was an inadequate to marginally acceptable solution at center back in the current MLS landscape. They do have a couple of promising rookies in camp who might deserve a shot, but this being the Galaxy, they've gone and done something stupid again in their attempt to field the most Methuselanian roster possible.
Seeming, perhaps, to believe that players are like fine wine and cheese, and are thus better with a bit of age (and perhaps thick growths of mold owing to their not getting about the pitch at such a rapid pace anymore), they've gone and traded promising youngster Quavas Kirk to DC United for the rights to Greg Vanney, a player surplus to requirements in the nation's capital.
Now, give me a moment to unpack this a bit. (1) DC doesn't need Vanney, (2) Vanney carries a hefty cap-hit for player who is competent at best, (3) LA is desperate to clear cap-space so they can acquire players to get down to the business of "sexy" football, (4) Kirk is Generation Adidas and thus doesn't count against the cap, (5) Kirk is young, versatile, and on the rise, (6) Vanney is old, slow, and on the decline, (7) one of the things Vanney can still do is strike a dead ball, (8) the Gals have an option in that department already, don't they?
So United trades away a player they don't need for a 19 year-old right-sided midfielder with size and pace, who doesn't count against the cap, and who addresses our biggest current roster gripe (lack of wide midfield depth)? Excuse me for a moment while I decide whether to praise the fella upstairs for giving us Kasper and Payne, or thank the man in the blast-furnace basement for dropping the A(lexi)-bomb on LA! With Olsen on the shelf until probably early summer, Kirk gives us a genuine right mid with a bit of MLS experience at the tender age of 19. Hell, unless he's been making waves about jumping ship for Europe, this trade makes almost no sense for LA.
Not that I'm complaining. I can't wait to see what they're ready to give us for Needham's rights. Maybe they can just dump the Toolbox on the banks of the Anacostia and call things even.
So welcome potential wide threat Quavas Kirk! If you pan out, the front office will officially have provided everything I asked for this off-season.