Thorrington came to MLS in 2005 with an impressive resume, having spent his youth in the Manchester United system, as well as Bayer Leverkusen. Thorrington was a regular for Huddersfield Town in the lower divisions of England before arriving in MLS with the Chicago Fire, where he earned eight goals and two assists in six seasons. The 31-year old midfielder was selected by the Whitecaps in their expansion draft prior to the 2011 season. He’s made 23 appearances for Vancouver in the last two years. Thorrington was born in South Africa but is an American citizen so he will not take up an international roster slot. He’s made four appearances for the U.S. National Team between 2001 and 2008.
Thorrington’s contract was worth $170,000 last season, but due to the nature of this stage of the Re-Entry process, United will have the opportunity to negotiate a lower rate. The biggest issue with Thorrington though is his injury history. He’s played more than 20 games only once in his eight-year MLS career, and has missed time due to injury in all of at least the past three seasons.
In Thorrington, United will be getting a smart and scrappy midfielder that fits the style that Ben Olsen employed for much of the 2012 season. At best, he’ll compete with Marcelo Saragosa for a starting job in central midfield in those cases when United uses the bucket midfield formation. At worst, he’ll miss most of the season with an injury or won’t agree to a pay cut and won’t be signed.
While we leave today with a rather underwhelming feeling, let’s remember that this was a draft of players who weren’t good enough to stay with their previous teams. United is aiming to be the best team in MLS in 2013, so taking on the scraps of other teams wouldn’t be a wise way to build our roster. With several of the more attractive players leaving the board earlier in the draft (Conor Casey and Paulo Jr. for example), Thorrington was deemed to be the best option by Olsen. And we trust him, right?