And that raises some questions.
- Do we need a playmaking midfielder? The consensus seems to be that if Gallardo goes, then we need to bring in somebody to fill the Muñeco-shaped hole in our roster. Why? Are we so conditioned by likes of Etcheverry and Gomez that we'd have phantom limb syndrome without one? What's to keep us from putting out two water carriers in central midfield and allowing Moreno, Quaranta, or hell, even Fred for that matter, to play beneath the other striker? Given the sorry state of our current central defense, it might not be a bad idea to clog the midfield ahead of them. Besides, doesn't it seem that teams clog the middle against us anyway? Why play into their hands?
- Where should the money go? Why should the $400k in cleared salary be filled with more attacking midfield talent? If anything, we need a solid defender or two and maybe a winger. Yes, we could play Fred or Quaranta as wingers, but are they really? Not in my book. Wingers aside, the big issue is obviously (and gods do I know I'm harping on this--sorry) the center of defense. We've got what? A USL-2 kid (Janicki) who may or may not pan out but looked promising in a handful of tough games down the stretch last year. A solid pro (McTavish) who fills a lot of holes as a utility man but isn't ideal in the middle. And a big body (Veris) on trial who wasn't exactly stellar in MLS or the Norwegian second division but "intrigues" the FO with his size and athleticism.
- Is age really the answer? Let's face it, Gomez wasn't a 90 minute player when he left last year, and another year doesn't do him any favors in the fitness department. If you put him and Jaime out there as starters, you've got to figure that they'll both need to come off at some point. That's a hell of a tactical limitation to be going into a game with, and Tommy's already got his own innate set of tactical limitations without having more foisted on his shoulders. Now let's consider how many years we think we can get out of Gomez. It seems to me that there's too much short-term planning going on. Rather than splashing the cash on "been there, done that" veterans, perhaps it's time to look for a little youth and hunger to build around.