Wednesday, December 31, 2014

5 Offseason Moves I Really Like

Here's five moves that have been made this offseason that I think will pay dividends in 2015:

1) Kei Kamara to Columbus - Kamara averaged 10 goals and 6 assists a year for Kansas City between 2010 and 2012. He went to England in 2013, but after stints with Norwich City and Middlesbrough, he returned to MLS in October where he was picked up by the Crew. While this technically isn't an offseason move, I'm going to count it anyways because Kamara wasn't eligible to appear for the Crew during the 2014 season. Kamara is 6'3" and even at the age of 30, he's been a contributor for Sierra Leone's National Team scoring against the Ivory Coast in September during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. He'll be a nice complementary piece for the Crew offense alongside Justin Meram, Ethan Finlay and playmaker Federico Higuain.

2) Dan Kennedy to Dallas - Kennedy has spent the last seven seasons with Chivas USA and in his four years as a starter, never saw his club win more than 9 games or place higher than 7th in the Western Conference. That said, Kennedy is a tremendous goalkeeper, and now that he's on a winning franchise, he really has a chance to do some big things. Dallas must have confidence in him because they're letting go Peru's National Team Keeper, Raúl Fernández, who was an all-star in 2013 and allowed just 25 goals in 20 starts last season.

3) Erick Torres to Houston - We talked about this the other day, but I think Torres is a huge addition for Houston. In 2014, Torres scored more than half of Chivas USA's 29 goals this past season, and will be an immediate upgrade for Houston who had only two players, Giles Barnes and Will Bruin, score more than 4 goals in 2014.

4) Bernardo Añor to Kansas City - Añor was traded to Sporting a couple weeks ago after turning in a career year for the Crew in which he scored 6 goals, 2 of them as a substitute. With Sporting losing midfielders Lawrence Olum (21 starts), Sal Zizzo (13 starts), and Antonio Dovale (14 starts), and the fact that those three combined to score just three goals, Añor has a chance to step in and immediately provide some help to the offense. 

5) Robbie Findley to Toronto - Robbie Findley scored 12 goals for Real Salt Lake in 2009 and turned that into a spot on the U.S.'s 2010 World Cup squad for whom he made 3 appearances. Since then, he had an unsuccessful stint in England for Nottingham Forest and Gillingham before returning to MLS in 2013. He made just 16 appearances and 8 starts for Real Salt Lake last season and saw just 25 minutes of action in the postseason. Despite the concerns of his career being in complete decline, I think playing with Michael Bradley and potentially alongside Jermain Defoe could work out really nicely for him and TFC. At worst, he's a credible striker with some pace that can come off the bench. Finally, with Toronto's perennial struggles, bringing in someone who's played for a winner and scored in an MLS Cup Final (that his team went on to win) could go a long ways to changing the culture in the clubhouse.

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