MLS: The Benny Feilhaber Sweepstakes

Take your shot.

Where to today?

Available: 26-year-old US National and World Cup vet fresh off a sparkling season in Denmark’s 2nd division complete with a host of assists.

Solid in possession and at best when attacking in a free-flowing system. Occasionally lacks focus on the field and has more than an occasional aversion to adhering to the defensive system.

Has spent time growing up in Hamburg’s solid youth-reserve system.

The allocation order for the rights to procure the Irvine, CA’s services for the rest of the year and-or trade him is as follows: Chivas USA, Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution, Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC to start.

The price tag? At a premium. Around $335,000 for the right to Free Benny.

Our odds:

Chivas USA: (10 to 1) Robin Fraser’s first year and the former RSL coach values defense and defense. He hasn’t been afraid to clean house and is focused at integrating his system as oppose to integrating a specific player (witness Justin Braun moved to a wide forward position and now to the bench.) While Feilhaber hails from nearby Irvine, a better chance that Chivas passes for now.

Philadelphia Union: (15 to 1) Piotr Nowak’s crew is flying right now and with Sebu Le Toux firmly entrenched as the offensive catalyst and Brian Carroll now rounding out the midfield, Feilhaber’s addition is not critical and might upset the balance for the Unionista.

My hunch is that Union only take Feilhaber if they intend to deal. They’ve got the development of Mwanga and perhaps–if they can somehow secure him long term–Roger Torres from América de Cali who they’ve spent time developing

New England Revolution: (5 to 1) Despite adding forward Rajko Lekic to the striker corps, the Revs–who didn’t find the answer in Fred–still need a complement for Shalrie Joseph in the midfield. Feilhaber would be a heck of a splash, but does a fiscally frugal management team open up the wallet?

Houston Dynamo: (4 to 1) The ill-advised Geoff Cameron experiment continues in the middle.The Dynamo just picked up Koke to play up top, but the investment in Feilhaber would be a minimal one as insurance against filling the forthcoming stadium.

I could see this happening.


Seattle Sounders (4 to 1) The cap room and the need for a catalyst to play in Zakuani or Montero every other possession. Given that the Sounders dropped Blaise N’Kufo before season’s beginning and that they’ll likely lose Zakuani or Montero at the end of the season, this seems like a good gambit.

They’ll likely need a trade though.

Los Angeles Galaxy (20 to 1) If only Feilhaber had played for the US natties in 2002 or 2006, Bruce Arena would be doing everything possible.

Your thoughts?

26 responses to this post.

  1. […] Shin Guardian gives 15-to-1 odds on the Union picking up Benny Feilhaber. More likely destinations include: Chivas, New England, and […]


  2. Posted by Art on 2011/04/19 at 7:50 AM

    Nice job with your odds. You imply 12-1 that some other team gets him other than the ones offered.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/04/19 at 7:52 AM

      That’s the way it’s supposed to work, right


      • Posted by Art on 2011/04/19 at 11:37 AM

        I just mean that more often than not, people toss out odds without considering what they add up to. I have seen people at espn and si do it. Assigning odds is done haphazardly more often than it is not.


  3. Posted by Jorge on 2011/04/19 at 8:08 AM

    I’m not sure I see Houston signing him after picking up Koke.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/04/19 at 8:53 AM

      Yeah, that habit can suck up all your cash.


    • Posted by Mike on 2011/04/19 at 8:53 AM

      I agree w/ Jorge, at least from a financial point of view. Koke and Je-Vaughn Watson (midfielder) both were just signed. From the articles I’ve read, we are still pursuing a DP. Not sure if we have the funds.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/04/19 at 9:14 AM

        Where there is AEG and a new stadium there is a way.

        You’ve got that stadium to fill and Brad Davis is getting older and Geoff Cameron wants to go abroad.

        I know from a financial management perspective it’s not a match, but I do think should it slip to them Dynamo would think very hard.


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/04/19 at 9:41 AM

            Doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to move. Trialed at Nottingham Forest this winter.


            • Posted by Mike on 2011/04/19 at 9:45 AM

              so did Danny Cruz.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/04/19 at 9:49 AM

              He may want to move, but he won’t unless it’s on a free.

              European teams so far have only been willing to pay transfer fees for MLS players who are: young and (preferably) attacking. Geoff Cameron, at 25, is pretty old for a young player and isn’t really an attacking player.

              (The Nottingham Forest thing was sold as just a training opportunity, like Teal Bunbury at Stoke.)

          • Posted by Mike on 2011/04/19 at 9:44 AM

            Player acquisition has been high priority since last season, so I am confident front office and Dom will be thinking hard on this. Geoff Cameron did resign. Davis is getting older, but still has some years to give, he looked great last Sunday. So if a deal is to be had, Benny would be a great addition.


        • The Dynamo FO has done some great business lately, getting Koke signed not as a DP is pretty brilliant (and I think involved some creative allocation dollars). I believe they could get this deal done and may be lower on the cap than we think.

          While I’d love to see Benny in Houston, Chris Canetti commented on Glenn Davis’ show last night that they’ve been in discussions with Chivas but he doesn’t think it’s going to happen. But we’ll see, stranger things have happened when the MLS and Chivas are involved.


    • Posted by Kevin on 2011/04/19 at 1:55 PM

      Koke is an attacking midfielder.

      Canetti on said yesterday that they were looking into it, and his sources say that Chivas will take him, but they are unaware if they will be willing to trade. Clearly Houston wants him.

      Nowak has said he doesn’t him.


  4. Posted by John Henry on 2011/04/19 at 8:40 AM

    Please don’t come to come to New England. That’s all.

    Oh, and TSG, what if you did a kind of round-table discussion about MLS single entity and the organization of the league? I think you guys are independent enough to do it objectively and honestly.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/04/19 at 8:48 AM

      Thanks for the suggestion. A little deluged right now, but it’s a worthy topic.


  5. Posted by joe on 2011/04/19 at 9:24 AM

    Matt as a Sounders fan I just don’t see us getting him. Montero just signed a new contract at the beginning of the year, as did Asvoldo Alonso. Plus the signing of Montero in the offseason shows that Seattle is willing to spend money to keep their great players. Also the midfield is packed with Evans, Friberg, Alonso, Zakuani, Fernandez, and Rosales, all fighting for four spots. The only way that Seattle gets Feilhaber is if they first deal Fernandez. That would ease some of the congestion in the mid and allow for signing Zakuani as a DP in the offseason if necessary.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/04/19 at 9:42 AM

      I think it’s a stretch. Sadly it looks like Seattle–perfect fit for Feilhaber–might have jumped gun on Friberg who just doesn’t seem to have consistency at least not yet.

      Maybe they move a player, but one thing for sure in Seattle — they need to shake that roster up.

      Fair points on your side.


      • Posted by Joe on 2011/04/19 at 11:45 AM

        I also forgot to mention that Zigi has a man crush on Evans in the center with Alonso so if they did get Feilhaber they would not only would they have to deal Fernandez but Evans would most likely be on his way out as well. Can’t see Zigi parting with Evans. I don’t think there is a footy fan in the states that wouldn’t love to have a mid line of Zakuani, Feilhaber, Alonso, and Rosales. Wow just speaking that gets me excited. With Friberg as the ready spare in case someone needs a break. I really wish it would happen though


      • Posted by Kevin on 2011/04/19 at 4:43 PM

        Houston is a better fit for Feilhaber than Seattle in my opinion.


  6. […] We begin with the pressing question- will the U go for Benny Feilhaber, returning international and potential key to an offensive Renaissance?  Philly Soccer Page sums up the case for doing whatever the eff it takes to get him in a Bimbo shirt, stat.  Our own poll suggests the people agree.  But this bit from the shin guardian offers an outsider’s perspective- why bother when you’ve got people like Torres on hand already? […]


  7. Posted by crow on 2011/04/19 at 7:15 PM

    I was at the Union/Red Bulls game and the game completely changed when Torres and Mwanga came in (and I’m not just talking about the goal). I know Nowak doesn’t want to “rush” Torres and Mwanga, but he needs to stop messing around and get those guys on the field. Nakazawa, Daniel (although he is playing well but he just came from USL-2 for goodness sake), and Mapp aren’t cutting it. And Miglioranzi is a shell of himself. AND it is almost sacrilege to say- but Le Toux hasn’t been playing as well as last year, even if that is a really hard standard to live up to.

    Sorry for the rambling- but can’t Feilhaber play an advanced central MID role as well as wing? The Union finally have worked out their defensive issues, yet there are creative issues in the attack. Even with Torres being used, there is still room for Feilhaber.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/04/19 at 7:53 PM

      You can say that again, especially about Nakazawa. A real mystery of the universe, he is. Some teams play Nakazawas–your Chivas USAs and Columbus Crews–but they don’t have better options so it makes sense. The Union have players who are better RIGHT NOW than Nakazawa, without considering questions like “upside.” I just cannot see it and wonder what I’m missing. I think the Union would’ve been much better now if they’d let Torres take his lumps last season.

      As to Mwanga: he hasn’t been the same since his shoulder injury last year. Too bad–he was utterly dominant in the games before that. So he’s not quite as good as last year, and Carlos Ruiz combines better with teammates at this point, so not using Mwanga makes sense to me.


      • Posted by crow on 2011/04/19 at 8:54 PM

        I agree that Mwanga is definitely not at the same level that he was last year (when he hit that “rich vein of form” lol). However, he was a #1 pick and he has played decently enough to start. I think the Union are better off with Le Toux playing more of a creator in a “midfield” role. What I really want is the Union to get a replacement for Miglioranzi. That’s what I was hoping Feilhaber could be, although I know he mainly plays on the wings. Caroll can certainly play the holding role, and Okugo has looked strong. Le Toux and Torres on the wings, and Ruiz and Mwanga up top. I’d also like to see a bit more of McInerney this year.

        Congrats to the Revs by the way. I know alot of Revs fans and I hope Feilhaber helps them become more competitive again- not at the Union’s expense though:)


  8. Posted by FutbolAmerica on 2011/04/19 at 8:27 PM

    Off to New England he goes. Can’t say I’m either disappointed or happy to see him with the rev’s; I’m just glad to see him in MLS where he’ll show a lot of quality in a league that can always use more of it.


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