The Ex XI
One of the recurring tropes heard during the transfer season is "Trust in Payne." And while there have certainly been great acquisitions in our history masterminded by the Front Office, exactly how good is United when it comes to making trades? As a game to test the theory, let's put together a starting line-up of players that United have either traded to another MLS team or outright released but then played for an MLS team, and see how good a team we can create. We're going to consider the players as they are today. Players that transferred directly overseas are not considered, since we'd all like Ryan Nelsen back, there wasn't much choice in letting him go. Accordingly, here's the team I can put together.
- GK Nick Rimando (traded 2006 to Real Salt Lake)
- LB Brandon Prideaux (traded 2007 to Colorado)
- CB Mike Petke (traded 2005 to Colorado)
- CB Bobby Boswell (traded 2007 to Houston)
- RB Chris Albright (traded 2003 to LA)
- CDM Brian Carroll (expansion draft 2007 to San Jose)
- LM Dema Kovalenko (released after 2005, signed with New York after time in the Ukraine)
- RM Justin Mapp (traded 2003 to Chicago)
- CM Freddy Adu (traded 2007 to Salt Lake)
- CF Alecko Eskandarian (traded 2007 to Toronto)
- CF Jaime Moreno (traded 2002 to New York)
That's my list, and yes, I cheated in using Jaime, but I think the point stands -- They realized they could get him back after trading him, and they got him back. Of the rest of that list, the only player that I might want back and instantly start is Chris Albright (who converted after his trade). That seems perhaps the big mistake player that's out there. I might also be interested in seeing Rimando to push Wells, Petke for defensive depth, and perhaps Justin Mapp and Esky as potential sub options.
But the point remains -- I wouldn't swap this team for the team we have right now, and this could have been the team we have right now if you don't make certain moves (okay, you can't have both Dema and Mapp, since they were traded for each other, but you get my meaning, right?)