Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ola out, Zardes in (Meram stays)

Gregg Berhalter grants Ola Kamara's wish to play on the coast with a trade for Gyasi Zardes.

Kamara's role will not be easily filled by Zardes, whose career started with a bang but has drifted south since his second season (2014) where he notched 16 goals in 32 appearances. That said, with a Berhalter coached team, he will get many more chances directly in front of goal next year.

What Berhalter likely see's is his ability to finish chances throughout his career when taking the longer view (xG stats, save for last year, are good). The style of play helped both Ola and Kei Kamara jump to the top of the league in terms of scoring.

Zardes is a sort of made man in terms of salary. In March 2016 the LA Galaxy tripled his wages to $458k due, in part, to the desire to keep him in MLS and not see him head out to Championship side Reading. That figure puts him in line with what Kamara is making ($500k).

Important to note that Zardes' contract is up at the end of this season so Columbus will likely see quite a bit of effort from him.

All-in-all it is a bit of a gamble to believe Zardes can produce the way both Kamara's did for the Crew.


On Meram. Berhalter has made it clear that he wants him to be part of the 2018 Crew plans, even though the player has expressed a desire to move out.


The Crew roster is sitting at 24, with salaries equalling around $6 million.

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