On the face of things, swapping out Wallace for McCarty is a straight-up win. Wallace had a decent rookie year as a wide midfielder, was hit or miss in the center of midfield, and was a work in progress at left back. McCarty is fresh off a terrific season where he really came into his own as a two-way midfielder and hasn't even entered what should be his peak years as a player yet.
On the other hand, the trade happened just after United lost Jordan Graye in the expansion draft. Now I'm not going to make the assumption that Graye would be a starting outside back for us, and he certainly had his troubles this past year. But he also showed excellent athleticism and a desire to get forward that promised much for his future use as a wingback. In one day, we went from having two promising wing-backs (Wallace and Graye) to zero. What if whatever coach the FO finally brings in wants to play with wingbacks? Poor sod is left with Burch, Zayner, and McTavish, only one of whom, to my mind, is a competent fullback, much less a wingback. And wasn't fullback depth one of our severe problems last year? Praying that everybody stays healthy doesn't strike me as a solution for lack of depth.
And while we're hovering tangential to the great coaching hunt, Goffster says we may be back to square one. You remember, the guy that Payne said wasn't ready? Coming on the back of getting rejected by their top candidate last year and the insistence that we'd be going for an experienced, possibly foreign candidate this time around, I've got to figure that (1) potential candidates are taking a look at the club (including the ridiculous posturing and poor personnel decisions of a front office likely to stick them with a roster full of shlubs, an owner shopping for financial help, and a decaying stadium with no replacement in sight) and saying "thanks, but no thanks" (ergo, this) and/or (2) Payne/Kasper's willingness to blame anybody but themselves is a huge turn-off for anybody jumping into what looks a risky rebuilding project.
Does McCarty fix any of this? Not in isolation. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that a two-way central mid would have been about fourth or fifth on my wish list for next season, well behind such obvious needs as defensive depth, attacking speed, and reliable finishing. There may be some master acquisition strategy that the McCarty trade is but stage one of, but I'm going to hazard a guess that that's just not likely. Pardon my cynicism, but I've seen this scattershot, promise much and under-deliver approach one time too many. I'm strapping on my leaden shorts in preparation for Disaster 2.0.