Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kljestan/Eskandarian for Emilio/Wells

Would you make this trade?

This will be the first in a series of posts this offseason with trade suggestions for DC United. I'll try to post one every other week or so. It's your chance to act as the GM and voice your opinion about what roster moves the team should make this offseason. All the trade proposals will be fairly balanced in a way that could conceivably help both teams. Of course you can feel free to argue for or against each trade in the comments section.

Sacha Kljestan and Alecko Eskandarian
While calling the playoff match between Chivas and RSL, one of the FSC commentators said something I tend to agree with: Sacha Kljestan appears ready to take the next step and join the national team elite. This is an element that's been missing from DC United for many years now, with the brief exception of Olsen's participation in the World Cup. We don't have any standout American players. With Kljestan, we would be gaining an experienced and talented winger who earned 5 goals and 7 assists this year. With the return of the journeyman Eskandarian, we would have another option at forward ahead of Khumalo. Of course the downside is that we would have to count on missing both of these players at some points during the season: Kljestan for national team duty, and Eskandarian for his regular bouts with injuries.

Luciano Emilio and Zach Wells
After being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs each of the last two years, with a total of only 2 goals in 4 games, Chivas USA is bound to be in the market for a proven attacking player. And after the departure of Guzan, they should also be looking to add another goalkeeper who can compete with Kennedy and Thornton for the starting job. In Emilio, DC would be losing their top scorer from each of the past two seasons. But as we've already noted, maybe Doe should already be starting ahead of Emilio, and with Eskandarian, we would have a quality backup to step in whenever Doe or Moreno needs a rest. Wells wouldn't be a big loss since he's already lost his starting job to Crayton, and Thorpe just might be a good enough backup for us.


Jeremy said...

Eskandarian may never have had a great scoring touch, but he always brought a burst of energy to the field. Having him and Tino on the field at the same time would be great for the team.

Add to that a real quality central midfielder and that is a great trade. Not sure how to organize the midfield if we can't get rid of El Muneco...

Shatz... said...

J- If you make this trade, I'd rather put Kljestan on one of the wings opposite Fred, and leave either Gallardo or Quaranta in the middle.

We might also want to consider the long term implications of this trade though. Is Kljestan likely to play in the MLS past the 2009 season? Is Emilio?

Fullback said...

The big problem with Kljestan is that I don't expect him to be around for the start of next season in MLS. And I think you're putting a lot of faith in Khumalo/Doe to bag goals. They're both adequate options off the bench or for rotation, but I'm not convinced that they're starter-quality, 10+ goals per season guys. I suppose with Esky added to the mix, you could depend upon scoring by committee.

I'm with Jeremy though, Gallardo is the big tree we're doing the landscaping around in midfield. I don't think we can get away with him + Simms alone in the middle, nor do I think that he'll be particularly effective out wide. I'm not sure we can afford having three creative attacking types (Gallardo, Fred, Quaranta, or potentially Kljestan) with just one worker-bee holding the fort.

If Gallardo is back, I wouldn't mind seeing us try a 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-2-2 with Gallardo + Fred/Quaranta/Moreno ahead of Simms + Vide/Olsen (ankles permitting!)

Shatz... said...

FB- I actually don't like Khumalo for much production at all. But I think a Moreno/Doe starting lineup would bank a good number of goals, IF we had more support from the midfield, and a quality reliever like Esky when needed.

Fullback said...

I'd prefer a season of halfway decent production from Doe before I hand him the starting job. Also, I'm not sure how many more 10-goal seasons we're going to get out of Jaime. I'm thinking we'll see more rotation next year with Tino (and possibly Gallardo if we're going to tinker with the formation to get him farther up the pitch). Of course, I thought the same last winter prior to the excellent numbers (and number of minutes) he posted this year, so what the hell do I know? ;-)