So Gallardo "clearly doesn't want to be" here, and Gomez "desperately wants" to come back. Well, that takes care of the motivation angle, doesn't it? But what about the other big factors? Namely . . .
- Salary! Gomez is pulling down $400k. Although ditching Gallardo saves the ownership over a mil in DP outlay, swapping Gomez for Gallardo would net us nothing against the cap, because only the first $400k of Gallardo's salary counts anyway. Basically, we'd be making a straight swap with no possibility of extra cash for more signings, unless . . . the cRapids take part of the cap hit. Given that they've already used a first round pick and a DP slot to get Gomez from us in the first place, and he did almost nothing for them, this is tantamount to kicking them in the collective nuts, going for the full atomic wedgie, and then shoving their half-naked body into the girls' locker room. Still, if any team deserved (and would put up with) such punishment . . .
- Contribution! Sure, I think we can all agree that Gallardo is the more talented player. But how does that balance against the dedication and the injuries? Is a Gomez that can only play 60 minutes a game, but turns out for the whole season, shows some fighting spirit, and is good enough to actually have been the league MVP, greater than, equal to, or less than a Gallardo healthy enough to participate in about a third of the matches, theoretically has the talent to be an MVP candidate, and may be less than dedicated to the cause?
- Chemistry! Gomez plays well as a part of this team, but did the manner of his departure poison any of the wells in the locker room? That's "wells" not "Wells"! (Although poisoning Wells might do him a power of good with the fans, it probably wouldn't please his teammates ;-) Whatever the case, Gomez' proven compatibility with the team on the field is more of a certainty than Gallardo's flashes of connection thus far.
- Formation! Remember all of that mental scurrying about I was doing to try and come up with a formation that would allow Gallardo to shine while still creating a sense of defensive solidity? That doesn't change much with Gomez. He needs just the same amount of cover as Gallardo does, perhaps more, as his tendency is to play a little higher and pick up the ball in the gap between midfield and the defense to start the break.
What do you think? Do you want Gomez back? Will you cheerfully wave bye-bye to Gallardo? Worried about that defense? Worried about the FO?