Thanks and apologies.
Thanks to the stellar crew of writers that have helped keep the site streaming with good content while (apologies) I’ve been taking care of my newest product, a baby girl.
The other night I tweeted that I can’t see Jay DeMerit headed to the Vancouver Whitecaps (at least not yet by far) and I can’t see Roque Santa Cruz–as one wild rumor suggested–heading to DC United.
Thought I’d quickly follow-up:
I find the Jay DeMerit situation rather puzzling. Here’s a player (and his agent) who knew they were playing out their Watford contract last year and rolling the dice on a solid World Cup to pump his value.
In essence DeMerit’s agent could begin negotiating with teams–or at the very least–selling his agent’s wares to clubs way back in January 2010!
That DeMerit, a noted good teammate and battle-tested veteran, is still without home is mind-boggling and for him must be concerning.
Unfounded tabloid rumors (apologies for picking these up on our site) had him going anywhere from Wolfsburg to Everton.
While those clubs might be stretches, it is also concerning that neither a club with injury troubles (Wolfsburg) or a club with huge defensive issues (Everton) has taken a flyer on DeMerit.
Now, Jay and his agent are probably angling for more than a year deal, but at this point–with the season aging–it perhaps would be best for DeMerit to just take an offer to keep his name–and play–in the media.
That hasn’t happened.
I’ve tried to reach DeMerit’s agent a number of times–I do not have a rapport with him, but my guess is that back and eye issues that have trouble DeMerit are also troubling clubs from giving him any more than one year deal, if that.
….and that also makes DeMerit a poor selection for the Vancouver Whitecaps as a designated player.
A look around the league shows a near flawless pattern of MLS teams sign designated players help–read: dominate–in attack.
It’s not rocket science. Bringing in an accomplished attacker (most recently: Henry, NYRB and SJE with Geovanni) makes sense because scoring in any league is at a premium.
Heck, even the Red Bulls have used their 2nd D.P. signing Rafa Marquez further up the pitch than his predominant pedigree to allow them to push attackers further up the field.
DeMerit–in this interview–suggested he wouldn’t look to MLS until the January window, but Vancouver would not be wise to spend their top D.P. dollars on him.
First, the Whitecaps have given up the least goals in the USSF D-2. Their challenge at a higher level next year will be–surprise–on offense, not defense.
They’ve got a cohesive unit in the back with Nelson Anwari and D.C. United vet Greg Janicki fronting established keeper Jay Nolly and in their reserves they got up-and-comers Ethan Gage and La’Vere Corbin.
I’m not saying DeMerit wouldn’t strengthen that group, but spending D.P. dollars on a player that is arguably more marketable in the States, has a history of injury problems and adding him into the chemistry mix in area of the field that is already a strength is probably not the best choice for the Whitecaps as they enter the league.
A wild rumor got floated the other day that D.C. United were perhaps looking to procure the services of one Roque Santa Cruz–the rumor was floated by the same source that said Freddy Adu would make the 2010 US 30-man World Cup roster mind you.
Color me beyond surprised if Santa Cruz were to jump to MLS.
While Santa Cruz would be an offender that could possibly dominate–in short he could be a good target–his game (post-ups, headers, etc.) is not specifically suited to MLS domination. Injuries have taken a toll on his pace and scoring in MLS favors players that combine speed with skill. (Note, all I’m saying is that his game is not specifically suited for MLS….you bet he would still be leading scorer.)
Whoa…I’m getting ahead of myself.
Santa Cruz is still only 29-years-old and only two years removed from being the top scorer in the EPL. With a premium placed in the EPL on target strikers–and those strikers proving to play well into their 30′s (Emile Heskey, John Carew, Jan Venegoor of Hesselink (last year), etc.), I can’t see Santa Cruz moving his career to MLS pastures just yet. He’s still too valuable.
Continually, Santa Cruz has a brother who is coming up through Blackburn’s ranks and has never played club ball outside of Europe.
Don’t see this one materializing. I see Santa Cruz joining Mark Hughes at Fulham in the January transfer window.