Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

Orozco to Union, Ralston Leaves Revs, John to Fire

*The expansion Philadelphia Union, which traded the top slot in the allocation order to D.C. United a few weeks ago, returned to the first position in a trade with the New York Red Bulls today and claimed defender Michael Orozco, 23, a 2008 Olympian who has been with San Luis in Mexico since 2006.

New York had moved up to first after United used the No. 1 place to acquire goalkeeper Troy Perkins. In today's trade, the Red Bulls took Union's No. 6 slot -- acquired from DCU -- and also received allocation money.

*Midfielder Steve Ralston, MLS's all-time leader in games played and assists, will not return to the New England Revolution after eight seasons, club officials confirmed. Ralston, 35, was out of contract and decided not to re-sign with the Revs. He is attempting to come back from an ACL injury late last season. Is another MLS club prepared to trade for his rights or is retirement in store?

*Following up our exclusive report from two weeks ago, former Fulham forward Collins John is on his way to Chicago Fire training camp, club officials confirmed. John, 24, paired with Fire striker Brian McBride at Fulham before playing for four clubs the past three years, most recently Roeselare in Belgium, which terminated his contract last month.

By Steve Goff  |  January 29, 2010; 2:52 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Friday Kickaround
Next: Saturday Kickaround

Comments

Steve Nicol has really got his work cut out for him. Losing Ralston means that the only player he has with vision, technique, and smarts in midfield is Shalrie Joseph, and he's already going to be busy doing extra defensive work due to the loss of Larentowicz.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

DC United, in exchange for the first allocation pick to grab a player they really wanted (Perkins), gave up a good player who has under-performed, but may turn it around in a new setting, and their separate first round draft choice, potentially a future MLS superstar.

Philly, in exchange for the first allocation pick to grab a player they really wanted (Orozco), gave up some allocation money.

Did the DCU front office get hosed on the Perkins deal or is Perkins that much better than Orozco?

Posted by: jofij | January 29, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Saw Ralston go down with that knee injury, and wondered if he'd ever play again. If anyone deserves to never play another home game on that god awful pitch it's him. I wish him luck and strength in his rehab, and if he does make it back, I hope he can finish off his career on his own terms and on a proper playing surface.

Any chance Shalrie wants to abandon ship and come play for DCU? ;)

Posted by: DadRyan | January 29, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Future MLS superstar??

Posted by: Steve Goff | January 29, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@jofij,

Perkins = Stud

Orozco = still developing talent and the allocation $$$ was probably substantial so that Red Bull gMbH can go out and go bonkers this weekend before the window closes and attempt to buy Pompey and relocate them to Harrison, NJ

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 29, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Did Perkins go to Europe and all of the sudden became awesome? Because he wasn't all that when he played here.

Posted by: BigBubba1 | January 29, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to look at the two trades (Perkins for Fred/1st rounder/$ and Orozco for $) and say that DC United might have gotten hosed, but I also agree with VBB that the situations are totally different. As long as we as fans are content with the Perkins trade, then there's no reason to go comparing it to other trades. More likely it was NYRB that got ripped off, because they have the tendency to do that.

On paper, Michael Orozco and Danny Califf could be one of the best defensive pairings in the league. Add to that some competent role players like Shavar Thomas and Jordan Harvey and PU might actually have a pretty good backline. Things that look good on paper don't always turn out though...

Chest, you're going to have to update your post about the Revs on blackandredunited.com now eh? ;)

Posted by: DCUMD | January 29, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Sad news about Ralston. He's been racking up games and minutes in MLS since the league started and, at least until his injuries in recent years, had become something like the Cal Ripken of the league.

He deserves a good send off if this is really retirement for him.

Orozco should become a pretty good MLS defender and may push for Natl team minutes some day. MLS and the US are deep when it comes to central defenders (that seems to me his most natural position), but Philly seems to have bolstered itself pretty well with the arrival of Califf and Orozco.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 29, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I thought Perkins was excellent when he was here. MLS GK of the year as well. That became a shot in Europe and caps for the MNT.


That's a fair amount of support for the opinion.

Posted by: JkR- | January 29, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Perkins is better than Orozco, most likely will not try to leave the area (he's here to raise his family) so he could be our starting keeper for 10 years if need be. Orozco has about the same number of potential playing years, but needs to develop to be the single impact player that Perkins is for United. 'Keepers are the most important position on the field...

Think of it this way - if you were watching DC play and we had a back line of Namoff, Jakovic, Orozco, and Wallace with Wicks (or Kocic) in goal, would you feel comfortable that we could deal with anything coming at us? Could we defend crosses in the box? Would the defense stay organized and keep track of their men and step when need be? I, for one, would not be comfortable with that, even with the central defense tandem having a lot more skill with Orozco than James.

Now, if we have a back line of Namoff, Jakovic, James, and Wallace backed up by Perkins, suddenly we have a 'keeper than can control the box, cut out crosses, actually organize the defense and command their respect. Even with James and Wallace being a potentially weak combo on the left, our team can play with some authority knowing that if the ball goes towards our own goal, it will most likely be stopped. We didn't have that last year and it showed in how shaky the defenders and even midfielders played when in our half of the field.

Perkins was worth it to us in both the short and the long term and will be the lynchpin of our defense. The Union get what could be a great partner for Califf in the center, but not the team's most important defender. Orozco could end up a fixture with the Union, but the smart money is on another big league down the line if he does well. Both teams did well.

Posted by: TassieTiger | January 29, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

@BigBubba1 He was goalkeeper of the year in 2007, and consistently one of the top 4 or 5 GKs in the league. I'm not sure what your definition of "all that" is, but he's absolutely a significant upgrade at a position that has been a weakness for us the past 2 seasons.

Posted by: DCUMD | January 29, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Is another MLS club prepared to trade for his rights or is retirement in store?

-------

For the most part, I'm with the league on the CBA issues. Here is one situation where the Player's Union has a point. If the player is out of contract, why shouldn't he have the right to sign with ANY team in the league without compensation to the Revs?

He's a classy player and I hope he finds a way back onto the pitch this year. Is number 14 available in black and red? :-)

Posted by: SoccerVA | January 29, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

blasphemy from SoccerVa. ha.

as for the trades, it would seem that the RedBulls got hosed (again). id hope it was a good chunk of allocation dollars to move down 5 spots, especially with some of the players who could be coming back to the US this summer.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 29, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

In all honesty, I think SoccerVA is spot-on on this point, and I wonder if Ralston is holding back and waiting for the CBA to be finalized - if the final CBA does away with the silly "perpetual rights to a player out of contract" trade rule, some teams might be willing to try to pick up a proven veteran who is coming off a major injury and is 35 years old. I'm not sure how many teams will be willing to give up anything to the Revs to take a chance on a player like that though.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | January 29, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Man that top allocation slot sure does get, around doesn't it?

We can sit here and analize who got hosed and who was the smarter, but the only relationship between DCU and PU's trades is that "very friendly" No. 1 slot and that dirty allocation cash that seems to be changing hands with it.

We had a need and filled it. The Union had their need, which they have now filled. PU did not need Perkins (no nock on his skill set it's just that they have their starter). Just like we did not need Orozco be cause we have no need at...wait a minute... Anyways, re. Orozco v. Perkins - it all comes down to how their clubs perceive them and what they are willing to give up for them - which is what both of them just did.

As far as the "whole who won a trade" measuring contest goes I lost interest in that when we were beating our chests here a few years ago when we looked to have gamed the Rapids and a certain Argentine National Team midfielder was headed our way from Europe.

Posted by: Kosh2 | January 29, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

It isn't either/or. I'd have to agree that the Red Bulls probably sold the top slot too cheaply -- I'm trying to remember...did Dallas pass on Szetela, or did DCU trade? On the other hand, DCU did give up too much in the Perkins trade. Yes, Perkins is more valuable than Orozco, but DCU still got fleeced.

Does it matter? Kind of -- if DCU could have gotten away with just dealing Fred and swapping allocation choices that would have meant the team could have drafted a player with real talent. I don't see dealing Fred as a salary dump, since DCU had just decided to pick up his option. Personally, I think that DCU probably did need to give more to make the deal happen, but probably could have wrangled a swap with the Union's 2nd rd. pick. -- still a decent player in a deep draft.

Posted by: fischy | January 29, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@ TassieTiger -

I don't recall seeing Barcalona going nuts to keep Victor Valdez. Last I heard when he bluffed about walking if he did not get the ridiculous sum of cash he wanted I believe Barca put him in his place.

DCU is not Barca and stating so would be exaggerating (at best). But then so is saying that "Keepers are the most important position of the field". As Joe Cannon - one of the top MLS keeprs - will tell anyone, he would have loved to have a better team in front of him.

Let's not kid ourselves here, is Perkins a bump up from our last selections? Yeah. But is he the guy who will stand on his head to win us 10 to 20 points with a mediocre D in front of him? Maybe. Perhaps this new Perkins who went out to the world and brought back many, mant fine learnings can do it. But if it's the guy I remember? No.

Orozco has to prove himself in MLS. Yeah, I know, I know he's from that better league south of the border. But I've seen a few dudes from that way get a little shellshocked at what they walked into when playing in MLS. That said, would I have loved to have Orozco on this team, heck yeah!!

This team's D has been so soft for years that you can have Casillas back there and I would still cringe everytime the ball starts to make its way towards of defensive thrid. Maybe this is the year I can regain my belief in our D again.

Posted by: Kosh2 | January 29, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Unless you know the allocation money that changed hands in both deals I don't think you can really fairly compare the two trades. Philadelphia probably had a lot of allocation money available. If they are done dealing they could have given NYRB a lot of allocation money that NYRB could use and get one or two quality players or be able to fill their 2nd DP spot without taking a huge cap hit. I would give the comparative train analysis an incomplete grade at this point.

Posted by: csd1 | January 29, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

For the most part, I'm with the league on the CBA issues. Here is one situation where the Player's Union has a point. If the player is out of contract, why shouldn't he have the right to sign with ANY team in the league without compensation to the Revs?

Posted by: SoccerVA | January 29, 2010 3:49 PM |
------------------------------------------------------------

OK -- I'm confused. On which points do you stand with the league? This is probably the most fundamental of the players' demands. I guess you think contracts shouldn't become guaranteed before midseason? I personally think the latter is one the league might give on. If you make the team roster at the start of the season, why not guarantee the contract then? Freedom of movement -- always the big sticking point in sports deals here. Someday, the MLS will probably go the way MLB has, where free agency depends on length of service in the league -- but the league will want to put off that day as long as possible. Look at it another way -- teams invest draft picks and limited # of roster slots in a player. They want to reap the benefit of the that as long as possible. Of course, the reality is that players should have some right of free agency -- it's hard to justify not allowing them to sign where they want. Then again, no one seems to have much trouble with the draft. Maybe, the draft looks worse in MLS, where players cannot move on later.

Posted by: fischy | January 29, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

train = trade

oops

Posted by: csd1 | January 29, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

@csd -- Are you sure "allocation money" can be applied to DPs salary cap hit? I assumed that allocation has the meaning in both cases -- that allocation money is used to bring in players via the allocation list. If that's so, then I suppose it would be available for USMNT players brought back to MLS as DPs. The presumption is that NYRB will be using their 2nd DP to bring in a foreigner -- most likely Thierry Henry. If the money can be used for his salary then it's a big addition for the Bulls, and the move makes some sense for them. If it's only for allocation players, I don't see much chance that the Bulls will even get to use their allocation slot.

Posted by: fischy | January 29, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

fischy:

Dallas passed on Szetela in anticipation of grabbing Heath Pearce.

I don't believe allocation money is tied to the allocation list. It's just the unfortunate use of the same word for 2 unrelated things. Allocation money can go towards a bunch of things: Transfer fees, extending a team's salary cap (commonly framed as "paying down a salary", which I think is a confusing way to look at it), trades within MLS, or paying the cap-exempt part of a DP's salary. For example, if Leon asked for a fee for Castillo's loan period, we could use allocation money for that. Or, if DC signed Juan Roman Riquelme as a DP, we could use the money to make our cap (for this year only) large enough to fit that $400K salary in with the rest of the team.

Kosh2:

I agree that keeper isn't necessarily the most important position on the field (every team is different and as such has a different key man). However, it was the position DC United was worst at. Would Orozco have been a good acquisition? I think so, though I feel like his one cap and presence on the Olympic team has overinflated his actual ability. I don't know if he'd be a spectacular fit for us (like Bocanegra, he's caught between being a center back and a left back), but he'd be able to start over James or Wallace at either position right now (in that alternate universe, I'd bet on Wallace being the left back and James seeing the bench).

That said, I'm happier to upgrade from Wicks to Perkins than I would have been with Orozco over James. Wicks is further from being a starter on a good team than James is, and Perkins is a better keeper than Orozco is a defender.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 29, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

"if DC signed Juan Roman Riquelme as a DP..."
------------------------------------------------------

What do you know?

Posted by: fischy | January 29, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

@Kosh2

The goalie IS the single most important player on the pitch at any given time. Sure, Joe Cannon would have loved to have a better team in front of him, but that's because a team is only as strong as it's weakest players and in San Jose's case, half of their team was terrible. What other player on a team could single handedly have the same impact as a goalie...a striker? There are plenty of people aiming for the back of the net and a single striker wont be on the end of every opportunity. A goalie, on the other hand, interacts with the ball EVERY time it goes to goal, even if he doesn't touch the ball. The goalie's positioning and ability to control the box change how every player on the opposing team approaches goal and the only times a goalie doesn't have much of a chance to affect anything is if he had no chance on the shot (brilliance by the other player) or if he's left out to dry (lack of skill/work by his players).

The amount goalies get paid is an entirely different thing, especially at the top end. Creative players put butts in seats, they create the buzz, they will always make more. Valdes is an amazing goalie, but who buys his jersey? Not only that, but field players need to mesh with the rest of the team more. A great 'keeper can play for one team one week and another team the next without altering his or either team's game very much, while field players that don't settle (and I agree about Orozco, I never said he'd be an instant winner) often crash and burn.

Posted by: TassieTiger | January 29, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Did Perkins go to Europe and all of the sudden became awesome? Because he wasn't all that when he played here.

Posted by: BigBubba1 | January 29, 2010 3:42 PM

I agree. Perkins is garbage...His final year here was terrible. So much so that they let him go for Zach Wells...And so far, it looks like Philly will be spanking us this year.

Posted by: alan19 | January 29, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

fischy:

Well, I know that it would be totally awesome if I hadn't just pulled that out of my idle daydreams.

Isn't that the lot of an MLS fan? My daydreams aren't about Messi, they're about a 30+ guy no longer being called into his national team.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 29, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Chest -- At least, he used to be a star of a top national side. We've come a long way from dreaming about 2nd division players signing on as DPs....

Posted by: fischy | January 29, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

the Union are too spoiled. something tells me they will do as well as/ better than the sounders. what happened to the days when expansion teams (in every sport) were terrible?

Posted by: andrew23 | January 29, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

And so far, it looks like Philly will be spanking us this year.

Posted by: alan19
-------------------------------------------
Based on what? Philly has put all their eggs into defense their first year. I don't know how any team could be scared of opponents whose entire attack consists of Fred, A. Moreno, and Mwanga. That trio isn't enough to instill fear in anyone.

Posted by: jason1551 | January 29, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

57 days until United's first match!

Posted by: Curious99 | January 29, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

umm if anyone cares or has the moeny someone on eBay is selling a 1996 mitre ball with all of the signatures of the 1996 team.

$100, reserve, 12 ship!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | January 29, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

http://www.sportsfeatures.com/presspoint/pressrelease/51015/wps-memorabilia-to-benefit-the-michelle-akers-horse-rescue-now-available-on-ebay-for-bidding

As previously announced, Women’s Professional Soccer is auctioning off game day items from its Inaugural Season to benefit the Michelle Akers Horse Rescue (MAHR), a farm founded by soccer legend Michelle Akers to protect, heal, and provide a happy home to hurting, unwanted, and problem horses. After unprecedented levels of rain during the fall, the farm came under intense flooding, and extensive repairs were made necessary from water damage. Horses were kept safe at nearby stables as temporary quarters and estimates at repairs range upwards of $50,000.

Posted by: Reignking | January 29, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Any horse I'm riding is a "problem horse."

Posted by: b18bolo | January 29, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

jason 1551 should review the 2009 MLS stats before ripping into the Union attack. FYI, amico, no MLS team averaged better than 1.50 gpg. They all lack attacking efficacy.

Posted by: juke2 | January 29, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys, you were on fire in the last thread and it really helped me through the last hour then extra hour of work. Thanks guys.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | January 29, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

the Union are too spoiled. something tells me they will do as well as/ better than the sounders. what happened to the days when expansion teams (in every sport) were terrible?

Posted by: andrew23

Expansion worked so well for Seattle last year that they are pretty much staying with their same team as last year. The great way with the way Phili has done it is they don't look they have spent that much money on players and I am guessing they will get rid of Fred and Moreno after this year and they would go into 2011 with some serious cap space and what appears to be a solid young team.

Posted by: csd1 | January 29, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"Perkins is garbage...His final year here was terrible. So much so that they let him go for Zach Wells"

Very selective memory. Perkins had played well for a couple of years, even finding his way to the edge of the MNT pool. DCU wanted to keep him, but they knew he would command the type of salary he is going to get now if he went to Europe. The team was already pushing its salary cap limits Perkins left them for the cash. And who can blame him.
Wells, on paper, looked like he could develop into the real deal as a keeper. Unfortunately, he could never translate his physical potential into game skill. And it was Boswell, who was traded for Wells, not Perkins, who had the really poor year.
I think the Union is doing pretty damn well in putting together a team. I give Novak a lot of credit, but DCU needed a keeper in the worst way to move forward.

Posted by: rcdwriting | January 30, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

I honestly can not believe the amount of backlash that DCU is *still* getting for signing Troy again. I don't understand it. We got a guaranteed star between the pipes. What more could he have done to prove to you people? He's gotten national team playing time and was actually really good when he was here before. How short some of your memories are...

Posted by: jamsesh | January 30, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@alan19 I agree with rcdwriting -- your memory is quite selective indeed.

Posted by: jamsesh | January 30, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@ Goff

I think who jofij meant as a superstar was Okugo. From what I have read about the guy he seems to have a very high ceiling. I really believe that allocation money and Fred should have been enough to acquire Perkins. DCU did not and should not have had to give a first round pick.

Posted by: no_recess | January 30, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall seeing Barcalona going nuts to keep Victor Valdez. Last I heard when he bluffed about walking if he did not get the ridiculous sum of cash he wanted I believe Barca put him in his place.

Posted by: Kosh2

Valdes is an amazing goalie, but who buys his jersey?

Posted by: TassieTiger

Not really related to the discussion but i had to comment on this. The reason Barca didn't flinch with Valdes was because he had a couple (or more) major screw ups and single handly blew a couple games for them. He was the weak link on that team several times. So amazing he's not. Not necessarily about the worth of the keeper position. But i will say DC has won championships with less than stellar goalkeeping.

That said, DC got screwed on their deal even if they did a sign and trade with Fred instead of letting him go. But trades are all a matter of how bad do you want it. And Philly correctly gauged how bad DC wanted Perkins.

Posted by: Brian76 | January 31, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company