Friday, December 11, 2015

Klute to Portland, Roster at 20

Things are moving fast since the MLS final last Sunday. We've seen a new list of free agents (of which my EA FIFA 16 campaign still continues) and a re-entry draft (or two?) and increased levels of Target Allocation Money (TAM!).

Earlier today Columbus let go of 25-year-old Chris Klute. Chris is a good player that was driving airport cars around Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta when he was given a chance by Eric Wynalda's Atlanta Silverbacks. From there Klute was loaned out to Oscar Pareja's Colorado side where he became one of the better defenders under 24 in the league.

All that seems like a lifetime ago, however. When Pareja left and Pablo Mastroeni moved in, development in Colorado stopped and a couple promising young careers jumped off the tracks. It was frustrating when the league and MLS media became infatuated with Mastroeni's damn mustache because it was clear that everything Pareja had done to turn Atiba Harris, Dillon Serna, Dillon Powers, Deshorn Brown, Shane O'Neill, Clint Irwin and Chris Klute into some of the most promising young players in the league would all be undone. Sure enough... we are two years later and exactly that happened.

Back to now, though. The start to the season was a bumpy one for Klute in Columbus. He didn't look quite right, but as the season went on he grew into the role. All in all he was a nice contributor to a Cup final season for Crew SC. +800 minutes and 16 (8 starts, 8 as sub) appearances at right and left back.

Today's move sends Klute to Cup winning Portland Timbers side for general allocation funds, where it looks like he will back fill the spot left by 26 yo. Jorge VillafaƱa. You'll recognize Jorge's name as the guy who shut Ethan Finlay down. A performance that likely helped along his $1 million dollar transfer to Santos Laguna in Liga MX (not a bad bit of business for Merritt Paulson's side). Villafana has a amazing career story up to this point as well. He's a great example of one of those kids in LA that do nothing but play soccer in their free time and why you'll hear some in the know say that MLS teams couldn't beat rec teams in Southern California.

Klute's move leaves the Crew SC roster at an even 20 players.

With that, I'm going to put % likelihood of each of those 20 players leaving between now and next season, as the situation stands right now. It's certainly possible that all will be back but considering what we heard earlier this week combined with October's revelation that Wil Trapp is working on picking up a Greek passport, Crew fans could see a couple more move on.

% Chance Player leaving
51% Justin Meram
51% Ethan Finlay
51% Ben Swanson

49% Wil Trapp
49% Kei Kamara
49% Romain Gall

25% Waylon Francis
25% Harrison Afful
25% Federico Higuain
25% Tony Tchani
25% Gaston Sauro

0% Michael Parkhurst
0% Hector Jimenez
0% Brad Stuver
0% Chad Barson
0% Sergio Campbell
0% Cedrick Mabwati
0% Tyson Wahl
0% Steve Clark
0% Mohammed Saeid

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