Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Minnesota United: A Quick Look, Opara

After giving up more goals than any other MLS team over the last two seasons, Minnesota United added a needed piece to their team yesterday in Ike Opara.

Opara is a decent center-back who has spent the last six seasons working his way into a starting role with Sporting KC. While not a game-changing player, he does add some stability to an otherwise shaky back four.

In order to acquire Opara, Minnesota had to give up about a million in MLS Allocation $. While it's still a little early to say exactly what allocation money is worth, I think if you need a position filled... you need a position filled.

Another quality defensive player was recently added as well, Romain M├ętanire (Stade Reims, France), who appears to be filling a right-back role. On top of that, they picked up Osvaldo Alonso (CDM) from Seattle this year.

These moves fill huge holes, but I'm not sure it's enough as I think a lot of this comes down to the way the team plays. You can't just through players at a problem and expect it to be fixed. That said, I do think this gets them off the mat and into the middle of the pack if they stay healthy (starting XI is old with only 2 players under the age of 28).

Here is how they stack up against the teams in the East that have been evaluated:

Player Ratings (avg)TransferMarkt Value (000)
1ATL71.066.7$ 66,429$ 14,484
2TFC70.565.4$ 25,027$ 3,502
3NYC70.564.6$ 16,303$ 4,470
4DCU69.756.6$ 21,934$ 2,990
5NYR69.764.9$ 20,192$ 3,745
6MIN69.657.1$ 13,800$ 4,470
7MTL69.665.2$ 13,410$ 4,876
9CLB69.366.2$ 24,671$ 4,180
9NER68.764.5$ 13,278$ 5,115
10PHI68.256.5$ 9,933$ 5,529
11FCC68.164.3$ 11,420$ 4,790
12CHI67.863.7$ 17,022$ 3,955
13ORL67.262.2$ 10,365$ 3,309 

You'll notice that their bench is still suspect and they have average value in their starting XI.

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