Tuesday, August 4, 2015

McInerney Fills Need (at a cost)

Goals are not cheap. Look anywhere in the world and you see the highest paid players are the one's who are able to fill up the archaic box score with easy to understand stats. Watch out for simple figures like 36 goals in 138 apps today (or any day) as they paint a woefully incomplete picture.

Rumor rumblings last night have made way to facts this morning. Six year MLS player Jack McInerney (23) is indeed on his way to Columbus to inevitably be the first goal scorer off the bench for Crew SC in Gregg Berhalter's current system.

McInerney fills a need for Crew SC but it's one that surely wasn't the most pressing. Finding an upgrade to Aaron Schoenfeld and Adam Bedell who, outside being part players thus far, are redundant between themselves as target guys. McInerney brings a different type of player and isn't a direct sub for Kei Kamara in that he'll be able to work next to him in open play game situations, whereas previously the team was more looking to get a set piece goal with added height.

What Crew SC are getting with McInerney is a more creative, confident and durable player. His Goal + Assist per 90 rate is slightly better than replacement at 0.46 (replacement is around 0.30 to 0.40) for his career but looking at his last three years with both Montreal and Philly it has dropped back to 0.38 (worth noting that those two teams were pretty bad when he was there).

Filling this team need likely comes at a cost higher than expected but, again, this type of player comes at a cost. Looking at the current Crew SC wage bill it appears that one of the "$60k" guys (like Barson or Bedell or George, etc) will be dropping off the 1-20 budget list (1-20 hit the cap) and McInerney and his $334,167 salary will be jumping on (3rd highest on the team but likely prorated rest of this year).

+ $334k Jack McInerney
- $60k Guy
+ $274k hit to budget (or a Net -$274 to budget number)

Were this the start of the season it would put Columbus at $3.4m base and $3.7m guaranteed. MLS reported budget cap is $3.5m for this year, so the Crew, who are a one of the 14-15 teams that have to live by the Cap, are fairly maxed out unless they make another move with one of their 1-20 players.


Columbus is taking on water in defensive positions. Notably at Right and Center Back but there also signs that Michael Parkhust is slowing down. That leaves, basically, Waylon Francis at Left Back as the one to solidly hold down the position for a couple more years. Making matters worse is that there are no replacements to bring in or any young prospect outside Sergio Campbell that the Crew have to try out.

Despite winning 10 points from their last six games the Crew have given up the 3rd most goals in that time (13). Entertaining maybe and strange to be sure but the defense needs to be sorted if they want to do anything worthwhile in the MLS Cup later this year.

Secondary window closes August 6th. Columbus is currently one player over the 28 man limit. It is thought that Kalen Ryden will be cut loose. Ryden had been playing regularly down in Austin before being called back to town this summer.

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