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Mid Season Review part 3: Trades

So now that we've already reviewed and analyzed DC United's acquisitions and departures since the close of the 2008 season, let's take a look at the trades. Basically just one big one, and a couple players swapped for late-round draft picks.

1. The biggest offseason move was DC United trading Ivan Guerrero, Colorado's own designated player slot, and a 2010 2nd round draft pick to the Rapids for Christian Gomez and goalkeeper Mike Graczyk. And of course the other player impacted, although not directly involved, would be Marcelo Gallardo, who had previously occupied that DP slot for United. If you're interested in some light reading for additional context, take a look back at my 2008 Gallardo/Gomez analysis, my 2009 Gomez/Gallardo analysis, and some additional analysis of the Gomez trade. The last post provides some real interesting insight into the frame of mind we were all in following this trade. Of course there were concerns about whether Gomez would be closer to his form from 2007 or from 2008 (verdict: 2007). There were also a lot of fans (including myself) who thought Guerrero and a 2nd was too much to give up (verdict: nope, Guerrero didn't play a single game for the Rapids in 2009 before returning to Honduras). And as inconsequential as the Graczyk acquisition was, this was the first sign that United was not pleased with its current set of goalkeepers (Crayton and Kocic). But the biggest outcome from the dual DC/Colorado swaps of 2008 and 2009 might be that the first trade got us the draft pick that turned into Chris Pontius, who is set to make a lasting impact on our club for years to come.

2. When DC United acquired Josh Wicks from the LA Galaxy, few of us were very excited. His 1-2-3 record with a 2.18 GAA in LA was less than impressive. But Wicks has now emerged as our clear starter, and could be a top 5 MLS keeper. According to, we gave up a 2010 4th round draft pick to get Wicks, but I think I recall Goff reporting that it was either a 3rd or a 4th depending on how many games Wicks started. If that's true, then it will surely turn into a 3rd, because Wicks is likely to start 20-22 games for us this year.

3. The final two trades each involved left backs and some conditional draft picks, with DC United losing Mike Zaher to the Earthquakes and gaining Avery John from the Revolution. With an eye on the future, it's hard to spin this exchange as a victory for United. John has been mostly terrible in his few appearances with United, unable to supplant Marc Burch from the starting left back slot as many fans had hoped. Zaher, on the other hand, has started 5 games for San Jose, and while that team is not exactly a defensive powerhouse, Zaher has apparently made some positive contributions. This isn't to say that Zaher would likely be starting ahead of Burchy either, but at least he earns less money than John and takes up a developmental slot (of which we now have two extras) instead of a precious senior slot like John.

That's all for the player movements. I'll do a summary by position of all the changes sometime next week. Quick programming note: I'll be in OCMD this weekend, so don't expect a writeup from the Colorado match until Monday or Tuesday night.