The SuperDraft is just 6 SuperDays away and all the league executives, Technical Directors, GM's, and coaches (well, not all the coaches, congrats on the point against Tottenham Ryan) are holed up together at the combine down in Florida. Seems like a good opportunity for trade talk, and you've got to think, with the 1 and 3 pick in their pockets, Kevin Payne and Fran O'Leary won't have to buy themselves a drink at the bar now, or in Indianapolis when the whole show moves up there for the draft itself.
Rival GM's probably aren't salivating as much as they were when it looked like Earl and Paul would be in charge, but that press conference showed there's still plenty of room for crazy at TFC, so best to make some offers and see what happens. Nelsen's uncertain arrival time suggests TFC are more focused than ever on 2014 and beyond rather than this season, but ironically enough, the way all that went down took away a lot of benefit of the doubt and increased the need to show signs of progress sooner rather than later, giving an added importance to results in 2013
There's plenty of talk of trading one or both of those picks, so let's look at what options are out there and guess at what sort of deals might get made. It's obviously a very inexact science and any deal that does get made is probably going to have allocation money, or international spots, or maybe draft picks coming back, but for the purposes of this exercise, I'm trying to find the one or two players on each club who'd be closest to the value of one of those picks, that wouldn't need too much to be given either way to balance it all out. This is what i came up with. Please be aware this is just me getting self indulgent and making a full post out of some random thoughts, there's no rumours or inside info behind this in any way, if anything close to any of these actually happens, I'll be as surprised as you are. Having said all that, let's go, and feel free to propose your own trades, comment or just laugh at mine in the comments section
Chicago Fire: Dominic Oduro. The speedy Oduro would work fairly well in with any of the 3 big strikers that TFC have if we went with 2 up front. Can also play as a winger/wide midfielder. Chicago have recently signed Maicon Santos and Joel Lindpere and Oduro's never really lit it up for them. I'd say TFC would need to be getting something extra, but Oduro and allocation money could get the 3rd pick.
Chivas USA: Ben Zemanski. Chivas don't seem the patient build over a few years kind of club, so given they already have the 2nd pick, any trade here is unlikely, but hey, that's the purpose of the article so...Zemanski's the type of player TFC need, good young defensive/box to box midfielder. If Chivas sweeten the deal somehow the 3rd pick could work. Another option, Nick Labrocca. Showed what he could do with an MVP 2011 season, but if Chivas are going to ramp up their Mexicanness again, is boring old Nick Labrocca who you want in the number 10 shirt/position?
Colorado Rapids: Jeff Larentowicz. The world's unlikeliest sounding redhead has been the subject of plenty of random trade chat so far this off season. A MLS veteran with the work ethic to fit in with what Ryan Nelsen's looking for, I'd say he's more or less worth the 3rd pick, throw in something extra, like say their 6th overall pick and you can maybe bump that up to the 1st.
Columbus Crew: Nothing that really jumps out at me here, but original TFC expansion draft pick Danny O'Rourke could do an ok, unspectacular basic job in midfield. They'd need to add something to it, but could maybe make it work for the 3rd pick.
DC United: The club Payne knows more than any other, who might he go back for? Dejan Jakovic? If I was DC, I'd be dangling him, seeing if the Canadian factor gets a little more than he's worth. I'd say straight up for the 3rd rounder, if DC adds in their first rounder and some allocation, could get the 1st.
FC Dallas: Nothing really jumps out here as being a great match, but let's say Ugo Ihelemu and Dallas' 2nd round pick for the 3rd pick.
Houston Dynamo: Finally we make some progress through the alphabet, and here after the signing of Omar Cummings, Calen Carr stands out as good trade bait. Won't ever be a superstar but a good MLS level complimentary player, I'd go straight up for the 3rd overall.
LA Galaxy: Mike Magee, very similar to Carr. Probably has looked better than he is these last few years due to Donovan and Keane getting so much attention, so I'd be looking for a little extra to make it worth the 3rd pick.
Montreal Impact: Davy Arnaud. Might the signing of Andrea Pisanu and last year's resurgence of Patrice Bernier make Arnaud expendable? An experienced MLS vet that can score plenty of goals from midfield might be tempting, especially if Montreal throws something extra in, say their 8th overall pick for the 1st, 18th overall for the 3rd.
New England Revolution: Again, not a whole lot that jumps out. Let's say Sainey Nyassi their 1st rounder (4th overall) and maybe some allocation or an international spot for the 1st overall.
New York Red Bulls: Dax McCarty. Similar to Arnaud, a good box to box midfielder who might get displaced by a foreigner, this time Juninho. Would need to give a bit extra to get the 3rd pick.
Philadelphia Union: A Farfan would do nicely, Michael seems more talented, but Gabriel can play left back as well as in midfield, which is handy. Let's say Michael for the 3rd pick, or how about both of them for the 1st and some allocation money going to Philly.
Portland: Will Johnson. Just the type of player TFC need in their midfield, defensively responsible and hard working just like Ryan Nelsen likes, I'm still jealous Portland picked him up. I'd swap him straight up for the 3rd.
Real Salt Lake: A bit too late here, they've already had their fire sale, but they definitely have the squad to give a rookie time to develop. They picked up plenty of allocation money in the off season, how about some of that, on top of defender Chris Wingert for the 3rd pick?
San Jose Earthquakes: Sam Cronin. I actually saw someone talk about this, i think as just random chatter rather than any kind of serious rumour. Like Will Johnson, just the type of player we need in the midfield, I like Preki seemingly more than everyone, but there's no defending giving Cronin away. I'd take Cronin for the 3rd pick and a little bit extra, maybe a small amount of allocation money, or their 2nd round pick.
Seattle Sounders: The Sounders, or at least their supporters seem anxious to push on and compete now, so would be unlikely to make a trade for a player who theoretically might be good in the future, wouldn't want to give up an important player, and are probably looking to hoard allocation money and international spots for a big name player of some kind, so this makes the least sense out of any of them. Anyway, let's go with Patrick Ianni, their 1st round pick, 16th overall, and a chunk of allocation for the 3rd pick.
Sporting Kansas City: Bobby Convey. Has the Payne connection from his time at DC, and SKC have signed a bunch of good players already so would probably be eager to get rid of a highish contract on someone that hasn't played all that much for them. Would have to throw in allocation to help pay his salary, enough of that could make him worth the 3rd pick.
Vancouver Whitecaps: Well they got our 2010 first rounder (8th overall) for Nathen Sturgis, our 2014 first rounder (? but probably pretty high) for Eric Hassli, what might they get for a 2013 pick? There's no really good fits, I'd say Martin Bonjour if we hadn't already picked up Danny Califf, let's go with Jun Marques Davidson and their 1st round pick, 10th overall, and some allocation money, for the 3rd overall.