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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 11/26/2010

Expansion draft: United lose Graye and Wallace, gain McCarty

By Jeff Maurer

Where's Wallace at, String? In Portland, because this went down...

Portland took Dax McCarty with the first pick in the expansion draft, then traded him to DCU for Rodney Wallace and a fourth-round pick. I like this move, but don't love it. As is required of me as a blogger, I'd like to focus on the negative.

The negative: Wallace is a good prospect. True, none of us have seen him post-broken leg, but pre-broken leg he showed size, strength, pace, work rate, and skill. He's also left-footed - a natural left back. It's also not completely clear to me where McCarty plays in our setup: he's more of a box-to-box midfielder (or even just a regular D-mid) than a top-of-the-diamond attacking mid (he only has five goals in 93 appearances for Dallas). One of the things he does best is to serve as the midfield fulcrum, linking defense to offense. Isn't that Clyde Simms' role? What about Boskovic? Somebody's going to have to play out of position.

But on the balance, I like this move for one simple reason: Dax McCarty is good at soccer. He's just a good player. A lot of times, we obsess over physical tools, and potential, and what a player might become, and that causes us to overlook the bottom line: is he good at soccer? I've seen a lot of McCarty, and he has good instincts, a good touch, is a good passer...he's just good at soccer. He's probably only available because he clashed with the Dallas front office (and was not the first player to do so). Plug him in and it will work.

Also worth mentioning: trading Wallace solves the "what do we do with Marc Burch?" question. 

Sixteen picks later, United lost Jordan Graye to Portland (does Portland not have Direct Kick? Why do they want all of United's fullbacks?). That sucks; Graye is raw, but he might have a future in this league. And five picks before that...

The man who started at striker for the U.S. in every game for which he was eligible during the last World Cup was selected with the eleventh pick in the MLS expansion draft!!!!! (punches wall) That's right, Robbie Findley was selected seven picks behind Atiba Harris, six picks behind Adam Moffatt, and immediately AFTER Alan Gordon. (kicks dog) Oh, sure, I know...he's going to Europe. Brondby. Sure. That'll stick. Robbie Findley will be a big hit at Brondby and Running Wilde will be a big hit on Fox (both things I wish would happen but will not). You really can't blame Portland for taking that bet...although what do they get if they "win"?

By Jeff Maurer  | November 26, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Jeff Maurer, United  | Tags:  Jeff Maurer, United  
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A bigger chip on their shoulder when they play us than Sounders fans? ;)
Didn't like Graye myself. Saw him leave the field a few too many times with what seemed like minor injury. If you can walk off the field only to be replaced by our very own BAD M*THERF*CKER Julius James, you just aren't cut out for the role son.
Keep it up Jeff. Hopefully you'll dig up some fun stuff in this long off season.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 27, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

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