The Washington Post covers the Freddy Adu trade fall-out with a big piece on the front of your sports section this morning. The headline "It's a win-win for Adu and United" is shockingly optimistic. In my opinion, Adu does come out of this deal as the clear winner, but I'm not sure that either United or RSL (carefully left out of that headline) did the right thing. Again, while I have no problem with trading either Adu and/or Rimando, both of whom had value, I feel like we don't know that we'll ultimately got as good as deal as we could have gotten for either, let alone both as a package. Of particular note in the Post story is a sidebar graphic on United's previous use of allocations, a good idea (seen here yesterday) made better by expanding it back from 2004 to 2002. And when you do that, United's track record looks even worse. As much as it pains me to acknowledge that the RSL Front Office got anything right, this seems accurate:
Real Salt Lake chief executive Dean Howes was not concerned about whom United would acquire with the allocation, saying: "Allocations don't score goals and don't keep the ball out of the net. . . . We'd rather get a proven player and let the other teams spend the money to take chances on players who may or may not be successful in this league."
I think there's a lot of truth in that. United has had success with some allocation moves, but also a lot of failure. We've bought cap room and the tools to do something with the cap room, but success in using it is not a foregone conclusion. If we had traded Rimando and Adu for known commodities within MLS the deal might not seem as valuable, and we would not have the same flexibility, but the deal would probably carry considerably less risk. Kevin Payne and DC United have gone for a big move that they think they can execute, but we've been hopeful about such things in the past.
And now, for old-times sake, your last "Freddy to Europe" transfer update: Manchester United is reportedly concerned about his temperament and will not offer him a deal anytime soon. Plus ça change...