Friday, August 6, 2010

8/6/2010: Jed Zayner Traded, Francis Still A Bit Away From An Actual Starter Looking At Last Night. What's Going On?

You know that defensive depth that the Crew are always flaunting around that they have?

Well, that depth got a whole lot less today; As the Columbus Crew traded Jed Zayner to D.C. United for a bag of balls for the most part... The Crew also threw in their fourth round pick for next season's draft in exchange for D.C. United's second round pick in the 2012 draft. Wtf?

The 25-year-old Jed Zayner looked fantastic in 2009 filling in for the oft injured Frankie Hejduk. But, this year Zayner has barely seen the field even when Hejduk was injured. Your guess is as good as mine?

Maybe the Crew don't like bloggers, :-). Zayner wrote a popular blog in preseason that kept Crew fans updated on the happenings of the club during preseason training. However, during this time Zayner let loose that the Crew were signing Sergio Herrera and the Crew were not too happy about it and made Zayner shut the blog down.

Maybe the Crew gave Jed the snub ever since, as the club runs a tight lipped ship for the most part and may want players that fit that mold as well. That would seem an odd, trivial reason... You would think it was Zayner's play that led to his transfer. But, Zayner played well all of last season and also played decently well when he got on the field this season. And it's not like Warzycha was a new coach in 2010 unaware of Zayner's abilities. Zayner was one of the most consistent players for Warzycha and the Crew in 2009.

Further, I would have held on to Jed before a couple of our other defenders including Iro, Francis, Brunner, and maybe Gino and Frankie because of their age. Also, I feel like I have a pretty good read on Crew fans and I'm sure many would share my opinion on that.. Many have been kind of baffled on why Zayner hasn't played this season. However, since the Crew have still been getting the results there hasn't been huge unrest over it.

But, why trade Zayner for absolutely nothing? Jed is an inexpensive, talented young defender who showed his worth in 2009. It makes absolutely ZERO sense... Unless, unless the Crew have something big planned for that second open roster spot.. Like an Andres Mendoza and an insanely talented Rafael Marquez-type defender.

Still I think they could of gotten a hell of a lot more for Jed.. And he was nearly the last defender, after Marshall and O'Rourke, that I would have put on the chopping block.. But, I guess we will see what develops.

Speaking of defenders.. For the love of god, why is Shaun Francis still starting over Gino Padula? I know Padula doesn't have the speed of a Shaun Francis, but Padula's technical ability and positioning makes up for Francis's speed ten fold. And the speed argument is like saying Dilly Duka has more speed then Guillermo so he is a better player and should start as well.

It isn't the fault of Francis, he's unpolished, a NAIA defender (similiar to how Lenhart was a NAIA forward) and he needs a year or two to develop by getting small minutes now. I think Francis has ability, but it just isn't fully there right now. Francis's howler against Chivas USA, when Francis whiffed on a ball allowing the Chivas striker free reign on Hesmer's net, was the decisive second goal early in that game. That game ended in a 3-1 surprise loss for the Crew.

Last night, Francis whiffed on a few balls.. But, the most dangerous was near the 75th minute when Francis whiffed on a clearance in front of Hesmer, which led to a fracas in the penalty box forcing Hesmer to pull some magic out of his ass to keep Philadelphia from tying the game. It was a mistake that 9 times out of 10 would have cost a team the three points and Hesmer was obviously not pleased by Francis's miss and Hesmer let it be known.

Further, Padula has been an excellent soldier for the Crew.. He never looks labored on the field.. He gives his all. It is very odd how some players are in Warzycha's doghouse one year and then starters the next year for every game.. And vice-versa.

Last year, you couldn't get Warzycha to take Zayner, Padula, and Brunner off the field. This year, Warzycha is more likely to recall Rusty Pierce then give any of those three a start.. Although, two out of the three (Padula and Zayner) should be the starters or in the case of Zayner should at least be a competitor for that starting role.

Two odd, baffling decisions in defense. But, we've been lucky and hopefully we continue to be lucky, and were not penalized for these mistakes.


  1. I agree mostly with your thoughts on Francis. If IRC, Padula has been out with a knee injury; add in that Moffat is also injured and RW's insistence on playing 2 defensive-minded CMs (hence Danny there against Philly), there was little other option for LB.

    On Zayner, I think this trade was more about the roster space (and cap space?) than anything else. He's been about as impressive as Francis this year anyways, while having a higher salary.

    It's a little short-sighted, but I wonder if this trade allows us to sign Nyamekye as CB depth on the cheap, with Chad possibly needing a knee scope, and freeing up more cap space for Mendoza.

  2. I am tired of Francis all ready. It seemed time and time again when the crew screwed up, id say "who did that?" I often times remember it being francis!

  3. I would love to see Brunner go. He is such a liability on defense. Talk and lanky doesn't cut it. At least he is riding the bench now.