Carlos Bocanegra is officially back in MLS as he has agreed to join Chivas USA as the club continues a major overhaul of their roster. Bringing in the former American National Team captain represents a major change for their recent pattern of loading up on Mexican-American players but the addition of Bocanegra should bring some solidity to a back-line that is in need of help. No one will be happier about the former Rangers player's arrival than Chivas' starting keeper Dan Kennedy who has spent many years now being left exposed by poor defenders.
Before Chivas could bring in the American international they had to find their way to the top of the allocation order. To do so they had to work out a deal with Toronto FC who held down the top spot thanks to finishing dead last in MLS in 2012. As a result of the deal Toronto FC gave up their first place in the allocation rankings in exchange for Chivas' 14th spot, a first-round draft pick in the 2015 SuperDraft, and an international roster slot.
By adding Bocanegra to their team Chivas are now at the bottom of the ranking while the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders move up to 1st and 2nd respectively. By sliding down to 14th in the ranking Toronto FC are unlikely to be able to add any players through the allocation rakning this season unless they make a move up the order at some point or bring in a player that other clubs are not interested in. Earlier this season D.C. United did manage to land Carlos Ruiz through allocation despite being ranked 17th so it is not impossible but by moving down the order it is a clear sign that TFC are focused on other methods to rebuild their roster.
On the Toronto FC side of the deal they have managed to add a first round pick in the 2015 SuperDraft which is some way off so it is hard to tell where it will fall in the draft or even what kind of quality will be available in that year. It is a nice chip to add as first round picks do still have some value in the league and considering Chivas' track record there is a decent chance it could turn out to be a fairly early pick.
The bigger piece of the deal from a Toronto FC perspective is adding another international roster slot. It is clear that the team is shopping for another DP and some more South American talent plus they already have Alvaro Rey on trial so they will likely have that roster spot filled in the coming weeks. By adding another international slot it could save Toronto having to get rid of players currently on the roster to clear space for incoming talent.
In the short-term Chivas come out as the winners of this deal as they add a talented CB who could bring that much needed solidity to their back-line. They are currently sitting 12 points back of a playoff spot in the strong Western Conference so the addition may be too late to turn this season around but the club will be hoping that the 34 year old can stabilize their defence beyond just the 2013 season. Like TFC it seems that they are focusing on rebuilding their defensive group as the first step in yet another major overhaul of the roster.
TFC are now in position to begin what should be a very interesting month of July. With another minor rebuild in store there are sure to be plenty more moves to comes. With the action already starting on July 1st it could prove to be a very busy month for the club that we all follow so buckle up.