With the SuperDraft only a SuperWeek away from SuperTakingPlace, I thought I'd collect some of the random bits and bytes dancing around the electronic ether, keeping DC United implications firmly at the fore. Let's get started with . . .
Mad Mo Ready To Rumble . . .
Why is conducting a mock draft in MLS such a pointless, masturbatory waste of reason and gray cells? His name is "Mad Mo", and he's ready to rumble.
With three first rounders (including #2 and #4) at his disposal, pressure to field a "playoff-ready" squad (read as: veteran, not a bunch of clueless, but "promising" rooks) to keep the loyal BMO hounds from baying, and the pesky job of leading the sole band of Canucks in this particular pond, Mo Johnston's wheelin' and dealin' of years past may pale in comparison to what's going to happen next week.
With Seattle scuttlebutt being focused on Steve Zakuani, Mo's trump card is the #2 pick, which various defensively inept clubs will be scampering to land in hopes that they can grab 6'5" monster back Omar Gonzalez, but . . .
The Thing About Omar . . .
Of course, United, already frail at the back and hemorrhaging Gonzalos, has to be counted amongst the Omar-hunters. The problem is: what does United have to give up in order to get that #2 pick? TFC isn't looking for picks--they're looking for players who can contribute right away. What do we have to offer them, and will our offer be stronger than those potentially coming from LA and Dallas?
Also, 2008 fiasco-evidence aside, the FO isn't foolish enough to take a big gamble on giving up proven quality for a draft crap-shoot. Given the number of defenders with "potential" in the draft, what we take with the #6 or #7 pick has just as much chance of panning out as Gonzalez at #2. Now, if Opara is on the table . . ?
The GK That Wouldn't Die . . .
Is it just the incestuous nature of MLS journalism, or does somebody with an inside line hear something from the United FO? Why are we being persistently linked to Cal netminder Stefan Frei? Last I checked, we just signed a new deal with backup Wells and are fairly happy with Crayton as the starter. Are we looking to deal one of those guys? Would anybody want Crayton's salary or Wells' tarnished reputation? Even if he's cap-exempt, why would United use an international spot on somebody who might not see the field and potentially tie up well over $300k of salary in goalkeepers? Strange . . .
Building The Shortlist . . .
Let's add Wake midfielder Sam Cronin to the growing list of players who have been inked in as possible United picks. Ives claims we'll trade up to get him, a move I wouldn't make, but taking a two-way mid for depth wouldn't hurt if he's available when our picks roll around. Speaking of folks who might still be hanging around . . .
The Great Forward Exodus . . .
The 2009 forward pool was shaping up as one of the deepest in memory, but now it looks like Tracy and Grella are thinking about crossing the pond for greener pastures (greener in that they'll be filled with the money they won't see as MLS rooks). United has been burned by this particular bug (Jacobson, Robles, etc.) before, so here's hoping they keep their wits about them on draft day. Of course, you could always take the chance that they'll crash out in Europe and return, à la the Revs and Videira, but that's a mighty big risk to take, unless they're available still in the second round . . .
So that's about it for now. If you're hankering for some numbers (and the poll says that a few of you are), go on over and visit Jeff Bull for some draft numerology.