MLS Hot Stove: Trade talk galore ahead of draft

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There may not be a busier time of year for trade talk than early January, as teams posture and prepare for the MLS Draft. Teams all over the league are talking about deals involving draft picks and veterans they want to unload.

A lot of trades won't be made until after the MLS Combine and just before the draft, but here are just some of the tidbits (some new, some old) I have come across in my conversations with the league's movers and shakers:

FC Dallas has a surplus of young players and is trying to unload at least a few of them ahead of the draft. With rosters trimmed from 28 to 24, and with the Hoops holding three of the first 18 picks, you can expect Schellas Hyndman to ship off one or more of his better young players.

Dax McCarty is one of those players. He has been offered around to multiple clubs and could be a part of a draft-day deal. The LA Galaxy were among the teams offered McCarty, but Bruce Arena may be waiting to see who he grabs with the No. 3 overall pick before pulling the trigger.

The Galaxy has been busy shopping its own players, with Ante Jazic and Mike Randolph among the players on the discount rack.

One player the Galaxy appear interested in is Mike Magee, who is on the way out of New York. You may recall that Arena called Magee into his national team camp in the past and coached him in New York.

Real Salt Lake is looking to move up in the draft and will try to offer up one of it's collection of fullbacks to do so. With the exception of 2008 first-round pick Tony Beltran, don't be surprised to see any of the RSL fullbacks deal. That includes recent U.S. national team call-up Chris Wingert, who sources tell me isn't happy with his contract.

All the talk about the Chicago Fire losing multiple players during this winter break appears be nothing but hot air. The club is close to finalizing its loan agreement with Marco Pappa and have all but completed Cuauhtemoc Blanco's contract extension. As for disgruntled defender Wilman Conde, the club is open to listening to offers for the Colombian center back, but has yet to receive any concrete offers from foreign clubs.

Another team identified among the clubs looking to move up into the early part of the first round of the MLS Draft is the Kansas City Wizards. No word yet on who KC would be targeting, but Wake Forest midfielder Sam Cronin is believed to be a candidate.

D.C. Unitedis trying to shop its two Gonzalos, Martinez and Peralta, but not finding much interest. D.C. is especially looking to move Martinez, who is 33, seeking a high salary, and not in the team's future plans, but the club doesn't look like it will score something for nothing for a second straight off-season (after dealing Christian Gomez to Colorado last year when D.C. had no intention of re-signing him).

Seattle still might have a chance to land defender Jeff Parke, one of its Expansion Draft picks. The former Red Bull defender was set to test the waters in Europe, but is apparently open to discussing a move to play for Sigi Schmid and the Sounders.

One player who may not wind up playing for Schmid is Khano Smith, who sources tell me has already been offered around by the Sounders after having been selected in the Expansion Draft.

Reports that Toronto FC has already closed the door on signing a designated player before the start of the season are not true, team sources told SBI. With plenty of allocation money on hand to fit a DP salary onto its salary cap, Toronto could make a DP signing this pre-season if the right player came along, but a summer signing is still probably more likely.

That's all for now. What do you think of the above developments? Share your thoughts below.

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62 Responses to MLS Hot Stove: Trade talk galore ahead of draft

  1. Why is Seattle shopping Khano Smith after drafting him in the expansion draft? BOGGLE.

  2. Ed says:

    Wonder why Seattle picked Khano if they had no intention of keeping him and without a concrete trade offer from another team…

  3. Meese says:

    Didn’t DC score big with the Gomez trade to Colorado including a DP spot and a lot of allocation money?

    Also – the year before with Adu to SLC – a ton of allocation money?

  4. Bonji says:

    How is it that the Rapids are so quiet they can’t even get into the scuttle butt on blogs? Christian Gomez has to be a name on some lips in terms of trades, no?

  5. Paul says:

    Very typical of expansion drafts, get some players that you need and get some players that other teams may covet. If you recall TFC’s expansion draft please tell me how many of those guys were on the opening day roster?

  6. Ives says:

    I haven’t heard much about Colorado but I would imagine Christian Gomez is being shopped around hard.

    As for Khano Smith, I’m not sure what the deal is there.

  7. mEtRo bOy TilL Da dAy i DiE! says:

    i reallly wont mind magee goin to la mike magee has like 2 gg’s a year… we need some1 who can come in game every game and play at least decent not some1 who will jus play good for like 2 games

  8. kpugs says:

    I will be extremely happy if RBNY can get rid of Magee. He has had two short stints of awesomeness in his career.

    Outside of those two small windows, he spent his time being a selfish player who shot at any opportunity. That normally doesn’t bother me. But in Magees case, 99% of those shots were hideously shanked. I’d love to see him playing for bottom-table L.A.

  9. hank the yank says:

    not surprising there is ZERO talk about the Revs

  10. fenel says:

    remember Sigi Schmid was not the one who chose khano smith. The draft took place before he was hired. However, I agree with both of you. I hate it when that happens to a player; it decreases their value and confidence.

  11. Ives says:

    Hank, I wouldn’t say Zero talk. I wrote yesterday that the Revs are looking to move up. They are definitely talking trade. What they’re looking to do exactly is what hasn’t come to light.

  12. JL says:

    Any thoughts on Colorado selling off Gomez to someone at a steep discount? I am under the impression he is very much on the outs there with the new staff. I would imagine he could be an option for FC Dallas if the price was significantly reduced, ie Colorado picking up a big chunk of his salary, after hearing Hyndman saying he was looking for an A-mid and one option was currently in MLS.

  13. Ives says:

    Yes Meese, and that was my point. D.C. has done a good job of scoring big in trades of guys they didn’t even want. It doesn’t look as though they’ll pull that trick off again this winter. Then again, they still might, but it’ll be much toucher with the trade bait they have now.

  14. brooklyn_crew says:

    I guess it’s going to be a quite off-season for the Crew. Adding some depth to defense is about all they really should do, right?

  15. HIncha Tim says:

    The RSL note is interesting. First of all, Wingert IS underpayed at $65,000 but if he is traded how would he get paid more?

    The other fullbacks available from RSL are Borchers (I don’t see them trading him), Olave (off limits), which leaves Robbie Russell (I don’t see them wanting to trade him, he is too versatile and played well at the end of last year), David Horst and Ian Joy. Of all of them, I would say the team is trying to shop Joy, who has a relatively high salary ($120,000) and did not have the speed that a wingback needs in Kreis’s 4-4-2 narrow diamond system. I think Russell is going to be first choice at the right back position.

    I know Ante Razov has a big salary ($255,000) but if RSL could fit him in under the cap, he would just what RSL needs (a proven finisher). I have heard reports that Chivas is looking to move him.

  16. CACuzcatlan says:

    Why is the Galaxy looking to trade Randolph? He has been one of the few bright spots over the past two seasons

  17. Shmenge says:

    McCarty would be a great fit for L.A.

    But Magee?

    He’s too small to get on the end of Beckham crosses, too slow to stretch the D and he’s not a great passer of the ball.

    He’s a poacher, that’s it. And a poacher needs to be on at team with lots of possession around the box (see: Rolfe in Chicago)–L.A. doesn’t have the personnel for that.

  18. lakaix15 says:

    I think RBNY will be a big contender in the trading market and will be the suprise of the trading block….

  19. The Athority says:

    If Red Bulls could get Jazic or Randloph for MacGee I would be doing cartwheels.

    And I don’t even think Jazic is that good.

  20. Barry Jive and His Uptown Five says:

    Isn’t Mike Magee something of “a poor man’s Donovan”? Aren’t both best suited to the CF spot?

  21. Aljarov says:

    If Jazic is going cheap and Mo doesn’t pick him up I would level it as yet another case of negligence on his part.

    Then we could deal Dunny, who although serviceable, is comign off an injury and is foreign and we need to have 2 less internationals this year.

  22. Roberto says:

    I agree with that and I have a feeling RB will go after C Gomez and maybe Wingert cause they sure need a Right back

  23. matt c says:

    Agree that a Dax (aka..ankle-biting-Richie-Williams-type) move to LA would be great to for LA, whom i think got rid of that fat guy in the middle…Pirlo.(no, not the Italian)..something like that. Plug Dax in and a central defender (Boswell?) and new keeper and LA, despite other deficiencies, wil have improved dramatically.

    With the addition of DeRo at TFC, TFC doesn’t need to do anything bold…at least not in preseason.

  24. NONAME says:

    Wingert for VDB!

    Please no Ante in SLC.

    RSL, please don’t trade to move up in the draft….

  25. brian says:

    with the crew not having a first round pick at all, do you see them playing a significant role in this year’s draft? do they trade anyone in order to get a future impact player? or just sit pat and draft some nobody?

  26. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    For all you folks wondering why Seattle is shopping Khano Smith, keep in mind TFC kept exactly ZERO players from their expansion draft.

  27. lakaix15 says:

    noname, are you crazy???? RBNY trading DVB the best player on the red bulls for wingert…. lol…. its like saying ill give you magee for morales….

  28. Richard, UK says:

    Some of Seattle’s picks in the Expansion Draft are truly mind boggling. You can analysise it all you like, but there’s no good reason for some the picks. Khano Smith being one of them.

  29. cbr says:

    christian gomez to the redbulls with Colorado eating up some of his salary would be perfect

  30. MattC says:

    Please RSL, don’t trade Wingert. He is so versatile and underrated. He can play left or right back and is the best that RSL has at sending balls into the box. I hope that when you said shopping fullbacks, you were refering to only outside backs. RSL’s central defenders are awesome and should be untouchable.

    Unfortunately, you can’t get something for nothing. Joy and Russell are good but I would be willing as a fan to shop them for a chance at a good young striker or winger through the draft. However, they are not as attractive as Wingert who is better and gets paid less.

    With all that said, it would be a shame to give up Wingert even for guys like Tracy, Hall or Zakuani. He is just too versatile and defense is too important in this league.

  31. MattC says:

    Ives, Do you have any idea who RSL is trying to move up to get? I am wondering if they have some specific targets and who they are trying to trade with.

  32. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Note to Bruce. If you can nab Dax for Jazic, make the trade…but hold onto Randolph. Left footed backs with speed are hard to find. Yes, he needs work. But point out a left back in the MLS who doesn’t.

    Dax adding a center midfield bite would improve the Gals dramatically. Pull the trigger ,forget the draft.

  33. arena futbol says:

    “pirlo” = A. Pires. He was already waived.

    Gals need help everywhere. Bad roster even with LD and Becks, worst in the league if one or both is gone for good. They should be doing anything they can to acquire a few players who are at least average-MLS-starter level.

    Ricketts might get them to a decent level at GK. Dax would be a decent starter too. If B. McDonald gets better (a big IF), then you have a decent shot with:

    Lewis-Dax-BMac-Becks

    At least that more promising than their awesome backline of:

    ?-?-?-Franklin

  34. Matt says:

    I’m curious if Houston is looking to do anything with their allocation money or to pick up some young talent. Hard to maneuver much without any high picks to work with, but cash is cash.

  35. Voodoo says:

    Shmenge,

    Rolfe is no poacher. He has technical skill, can provide assists, and creates quite a few of his own shots.

    The prototype of an MLS poacher is Brian Ching, or Taylor Twellman. Those two score the vast majority of their goals in the 6 yd box on volleys and one-timing the ball. That’s what poachers do.

  36. Heffe says:

    As an RSL fan, I don’t like the idea of Razov coming here. I would rather see a younger talent come aboard, or a freakin winger who can cross the ball. We brought players like Deuchar here, but then it was later admitted that Deuchar can score….when the ball gets to his head…but nobody on the wings can get the ball to his freakin head!

  37. The Athority says:

    Barry,

    Comparing Landy and MacGee is boarderline criminal…..even if you are saying poor man’s.

    Landon is by far the best player the USA has ever produced, while MacGee is about the 4th choice striker on a weak RB team. Sitting behind the likes of thirty-something John Wolynic who scored a grand total of zero goals during the regular season.

  38. madmax says:

    It will be interesting to see if Seattle keeps it’s pick and goes for defender Gonzales, or the attackers from Akron or Wake? My guess is that Sigi will go for defense either way, hope not.

  39. Eugene says:

    Draft fever burning up. Want a NY player? Pay full price or more, otherwise buzz off

  40. eric says:

    It would be so like Arena to give up on Randolph, just like he tossed away Wynne in NY because he was unpolished. That sure worked out great.

  41. Barry Jive and His Uptown Five says:

    Pancho,

    Gonzalo Segares doesn’t need much work at all.

  42. Mike from linden says:

    Why is Magee leaving the Red Bulls?

  43. Brandon says:

    What about gomez to KC? They are looking for a attacking/creative midfielder. He could come right in and play unlike getting a gen. adidas player that might be able too.

  44. revguy says:

    ‘but there’s no good reason for some the picks. Khano Smith being one of them.’

    Khano was picked because of his small salary, he is hard to handle, has good speed and at times dangerous. However as most revs fans know, once he is near the 18 chance are the ball will end up in the stands or side netting.

  45. arena futbol says:

    Seattle took Khano Smith when they could have taken Pat Phelan or Chris Tierney from the Revs instead. While neither Phelan nor Tierney has seen as much PT as Khano, both have shown some solid ability and look to be more steady and reliable than the maddeningly inconsistent Smith.

  46. Typical that my beloved Rapids trade away all their early picks and then watch in horror as this draft stacks up to be the deepest in years.

    I would LOVE for Dax Mcarty to come to Colorado. That guys at a great level: good enough to be a standout in the MLS but not so good that he’s headed to Europe in a year of two. Ask Chivas fans how they feel this year once Sacha K. is in Europe and nobody can get the ball up the field.

  47. madmax says:

    I’d like Seattle to trade first pick to Toronto for player, money, allocation, etc. then pick either Zakauni or Tracy with second pick.

  48. MVK says:

    “What about gomez to KC? They are looking for a attacking/creative midfielder. He could come right in and play unlike getting a gen. adidas player that might be able too.”

    ? Arnaud seemed to work well, I would think they would be looking for someone to play that LM where they were playing Souter; to my knowledge they are keeping Lopez so you would think it would be Lopez and Wolf.. But I guess Arnaud or Gomez (if he comes) could both play that spot…

  49. lou says:

    Shmenge, ur a completw idiot, magee has bags of speed he just has been injured, the few times he wasn’t he has beaten players, some of his goals this year prove that. I;ve always been a fan of magee but u can’t even put him and rolfe in the same catagory, rolfe is a great player. Neitehr of these guys r poachers, do ur homework before u talk.

  50. Ethan says:

    In defense of poachers:

    Positioning is a huge part of playing soccer, and if a player scores a lot of goals through “poaching,” this shouldn’t be an insult. Instead, the player should be credited for knowing where to be. van Nistelrooy is a great player with loads of skill. He scores a lot of “poaching” goals, and that is okay. A poached goal is just as valuable as a bicycle kick or a dazzling free kick. Nothing wrong with poaching.

  51. Shmenge says:

    Ching is not a poacher–your definition is completely wrong.

    If Ching’s a poacher, Brian McBride is a poacher, and we know that isn’t the case, they’re aerial specialists. There’s a difference, idiot.

    Twellman IS a poacher, and a much better version of it than Magee will ever be. Twellman can at least hold the ball up, as well.

    Magee has “bags of speed”???? Ha! I bet I could name 30 faster players in MLS without even trying.

  52. RonS says:

    Seattle won’t trade away the first pick. Having the top pick of the draft on your roster has potential marketing value and will help draw fans to the see the new team.

  53. Voodoo says:

    Ethan,

    I wholly agree with your post. My reason for correcting the cognitively challenged, or “Shmenge”, is that there are a variety of ways to characterize any position. Just because Rolfe is a striker (or midfielder depending on the formation) who has scored a few goals through smart positioning, does not make him a poacher. He participates a lot more in the build-up of the attack.

    You’re absolutely right in citing Van Nistleroy. He fits the classic definition of a poacher, and he’s obviously an excellent player.

    I took exception with the original post because the poster clearly doesn’t know what a “poacher” is from shinola. Poachers are good. They rack up goals. Having said that, Ching, and McBride are poachers. Rolfe is not.

  54. Michael F. says:

    What r the rbny planning on doing, ives? Haven’t heard a peep. Our D is still in shambles and no creative mid.

  55. Voodoo says:

    arena futbal,

    While I agree with you that Smith is maddeningly inconsistent, he’s a flank mid. Phelan is a defensive mid, and Tierney has been used as an outside back when he’s played for the Revs.

    Smith has little defensive ability ( unless you count accumulating cautions as a result of stupid-overzealous tackles as ability). Smith’s role with the Revs has been to take the ball up the left flank and cross it.

    I assume Seattle chose Smith knowing what they were getting, which I agree, is puzzling. Otherwise, they’ve figured him out recently, and are looking to peddle him and cut their losses.

  56. TR says:

    Maybe Smith just put up a fuss over moving to Seattle, and Seattle figured to just move him now?

  57. Dave Clark says:

    Maybe since this draft is deep Kh.Smith and the 3rd round pick might net some allocation dollars.

  58. The Athority says:

    Wake up guys.

    Not every guy you select in an Expansion Draft you are looking to use for your team. Look at the hsitory, very, very, very few of player taken in Expansion Drafts over the years ever contribute.

    A guy like Khano Smith was taken because he is a chip a lot of teams could use. Seattle could get a pick, an allocation or another player.

    Smart business.

  59. zed says:

    athority dude, have you been reading these posts? the point people have been making over and over again is that Khano Smith is just not that attractive of a chip. he’s got a shaky history and is too much of a gamble. there won’t be many if any teams interested.

  60. marel says:

    I can’t wait to see Mike Magee gone every time he touches the ball i put my face in my hands because he doesn’t know what too do with the ball. A player can be right beside him, be open and he still won’t pass him the ball. A young player can make one mistake and he’s right there yelling at them but he doesn’t see himself making mistakes all game that why he’s not a starter.

  61. Ethan says:

    Voodoo:

    Right on. I agree with you that Rolfe is more than a poacher. I also agree that McBride and Ching are more than poachers as well. I think among Rolfe’s many strengths are his versatility and his positioning. He can poach pretty well, but he can also create for himself and others.

  62. Sam says:

    As far as the wizards go, Lopez seemed to me to be most effective when playing on the wing this year. What the Wizards really need is a proven goalscorer, somebody who knows how to put the ball in the net. Lopez and Wolff are too similar to play together as strikers, but that’s just my opinion.