Wednesday, December 14, 2016

12/14/16: Thoughts on Crew Offseason.. A Month In.

12/14/16: Thoughts on Crew Offseason.. A Month In.

Well, more like a month and a half.. Needed a Crewless thought paradise.. A good break. After that disenchanting, unremarkable, soul embarking season.

But, let's see what's going on. If we dare.

1. Backline: Michael Parkhurst Gone, Alex Crognale In

Almost like gaining an entirely new person in height.

Alex Crognale is 6'5. Michael Parkhurst is what 5'8? 5'11. Ok, if you say so Mr. Wiki.

It's no secret that the majority of Crew fans weren't enraptured by Parkhurst. I figure it's a win-win for Columbus, well at least their fans, and for Parkhurst.

And maybe a win-win-win.

For Parkhurst: Interesting new experience, team.
For Atlanta: Experienced, decently solid CB. Veteran.

Atlanta could shape into a first expansion side to be playoff good in their first year in MLS. They've been busy.

In addition...

Got a savory feeling that Crognale, in the next five years, will have the biggest impact as a Crew HG. Not Ben Speas (well anywhere in soccer, I know you're shocked), or Ben Swanson, or Wil Trapp.

Bigger impact than MLS All-Star Wil Trapp? Well, if you can be decent on the ball, make good decisions, and you're 6'5. Chances are you'll be okay. Look at Matt Miazga.

Sidenote: Perhaps now we could have a captain that speaks on the field? A personality. That someone might be afraid to let down... No disrespect. Parkhurst was good at times. Just not a Captain.

2. Backline: Corey Ashe's Option Not Picked Up As Well

Some people have made the point on message boards, quite accurately, how the hell are we leaving Waylon Francis and Gaston Sauro unprotected, but protecting Higuaín in the expansion draft?

As well as protecting Hector Jimenez and Adam Jahn.. Which is just for laughs right?

Well, in my opinion, luckily for Columbus Francis didn't get picked in the expansion draft, Mo Saeid did.

On top of that, Waylon Francis must have good sorcery this offseason as Corey Ashe's option wasn't picked up either.

I don't think Corey Ashe was bad, but not better than Francis at all. So, I'm relatively okay with his option not being renewed; as I would like to see Waylon Francis's career in Columbus.

Guy is only 26.

Yet, last year was one to forget and not really his fault.

Berhalter got into this thing (I guess?) where he wanted to prove his astoundingly acute purchase of Ashe last offseason. So had to sit Francis quite a ton more to prove it to himself. :-)

Or more likely the issues were all at center back and got redirected to Francis's position somehow.

The middle was so weak, so Berhalter conjectured he needed someone to stay back more on a wing, while Afful ran amuck.

Hopefully, Sauro, Naess, Crognale as a sub will do better in the middle, so Francis can run down the wings, get his assists again.

He started 28 games in 2015, had 7 assists. Columbus goes to MLS Cup. He starts 13 in 2016 and well.

3. Not so fast for Steve Clark though? And thus maybe Ashe.

On November 23rd this sounds like goodbye from Steve Clark:

"I would say that I’m definitely happy with my three years in Columbus. There was a lot of success, some ups, some downs. But in the end, Gregg and I sat down and for the betterment, I feel, of myself, it was time for me to make the change. We’ve made such a great home there. But this is a business and for me, and also I think the Crew, too, it’s a good time and a good year to separate.”

It's unlikely anyone is going to be too enraptured in chasing this, in MLS.

Winner of Not Top 10's

Think he's a great guy. Had some great saves and great games. But, there is no way he is downplaying that MLS Cup in this league so has to find another.

I figure next challenge is Iceland or Albania?

If he's lucky back to Sweden? Norway? If he's really lucky somehow wiggles his way back into Columbus? :-)

Berhalter on November 30th:

“Steve’s option number was higher than we were comfortable with, so we simply declined the option. It doesn’t mean the door is officially shut on him coming back to Columbus. That needs to be clear.”

Gregg Berhalter is like the girlfriend/boyfriend that can't say goodbye. Parkhurst would still be on the table, if he wasn't signed by Atlanta.

Signing Corey Ashe after declining his option now would make more sense, compared to protecting Hector Jimenez for that position. Wth? The door being opened to Ashe again would make more sense than Clark.

Crew will make out no worse with Zach Steffen. Even perhaps Stuver. Honestly. But, wish Clark the best. Truly.

In the next few days, I'll delve into Higuaín and some others.

Tomorrow. Who I would take a look at in free agency.


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