MLS: Old Faces in New Places Part 2
Old Faces in New Places Part 2
In the ever so fitting words of the Wu-Tang Clan, the saga continues.
This week has been another active offseason for many Major League Soccer teams. D.C. United was again busy as well as the Seattle Sounders. Big name players will be wearing new jerseys in 2014, as well as some role players and aging, but popular, veterans.
Dwayne De Rosario has officially left D.C. and returned to Toronto FC, placing the Canadian national team player back in his home country for the second time in his MLS career. U.S. national team member Eddie Johnson brings his goal scoring ability along with his reputation of possibly being a poor locker room presence and teammate. Johnson did get the money he was after and now will simply need to prove he was worth it.
United also added Fabian Espindola, who joins an ever growing cast of new faces for the Black-and-Red. Espindola should help take some of the pressure to score away from new teammate Eddie Johnson. With so many new faces in ONE place (D.C.), chemistry should be priority No. 1 for head coach Ben Olsen.
Seattle sees another player leave the Emerald City, as Mauro Rosales was sent to Chivas USA. The 33-year-old midfielder should help set up more scoring opportunities for Chivas since he set a Sounders club record with 13 assists in both 2011 and 2012.
The action taking place during this MLS offseason has fans dreaming of a successful season to come!
Check out another group of players on the move in New Faces in Old Places – Part 2.
Dwayne De Rosario
De Rosario expressed his unhappiness with the lack of respect he believed D.C. United gave him near the end of the 2013 season and when he was leaving the facility. Remember, though, that Dero also left Toronto in 2011, expressing displeasure with his lack of a contract, which led to his departure the first time around. Not saying he has a pattern of burning bridges but...
The Montreal Impact have named former Chicago Fire head coach Frank Klopas as both their head coach and director of player personnel. His record is good as a head coach in MLS, winning 39 games, giving him a winning percentage of 42 percent over three seasons. Montreal made the MLS playoffs in just their second season in the MLS and are hopeful that Klopas will help them become a true title contender coming out of the Eastern Conference.
Fabian Espindola had as many goals last season (nine) with New York as the top three scorers for D.C. United. The addition of both Espindola and Johnson to go along with a young core of players, including Chris Pontius and Nick DeLeon, should open up the offensive attack for United in 2014. In seven MLS seasons, the Argentinian national has netted 44 goals in 153 games.
D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper has been one of the more active general managers in MLS this offseason. Kasper called the addition of forward Eddie Johnson "really a big coup for the club." Fans are surely hoping he is right and the move pays off for United. Johnson can be an exciting player to watch and should get plenty of opportunities to impress the faithful fans at RFK.
With so many players leaving Seattle, it could have easily been overlooked that the club picked up forward Chad Barrett via the Re-Entry Draft Stage 2. Barrett will be joining his fifth MLS club of his decade long career. Barrett will most likely provide depth for the Sounders, seeing as his goal scoring ability has been on the decline since his 2011 season with the Galaxy.
Since leaving the Red Bulls in 2012, Ballouchy has seen his playing time decrease rapidly due to injury. During the 2013 season with San Jose, Ballouchy only logged 118 minutes during five games. The midfielder will be looking to return to form (baring injury) and will be playing under former Red Bulls teammate and new Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson.
Some offseason moves are easily foreseen, others... not so much. Another "former" member of the Seattle Sounders, Adam Moffatt was taken "completely by surprise" according to an mlssoccer.com article discussing his trade to FC Dallas.
Maybe Moffat shouldn't have been so surprised since he had only played six games for Seattle late in the 2013 season after leaving Houston. The bearded Scotsman will be a welcome addition to the Dallas midfield.
Another player joining the large list of former Seattle players will be midfielder Mauro Rosales. Rosales spent his entire MLS career in Seattle before being sent south to Chivas USA. Though his numbers did see a decline in his third year with the Sounders, Rosales has proven he has the ability to help set up goal scoring opportunities -- twice having tallied 13 assists in a season.