In order to preempt our very own Chest Rockwell's series about possible left back trade candidates, D.C. United has announced a trade with the Portland Timbers. United has traded a first round supplemental draft pick in the 2014 draft for left back Mike Chabala, who will fly to D.C. today to join the team and then fly with them to Kansas City for Saturday's game. Chabala makes $83,333 guaranteed compensation, so he won't break the bank either.
Chabala has been a fan favorite both in Portland and when he was with the Houston Dynamo. He is a speedy fullback who is willing to get forward into the attack, but his crosses may not be the best. Steven Smith has brought into Portland to be the starting left back, which has put Chabala, who has only played in nine games so far this season, and Rodney Wallace out on the trading block. Where Wallace may be better going forward, Chabala is the better defender out of the two. While he is typically known as a good locker room presence, John Strong, the Timbers play by play announcer, tweeted that Chabala was a problem and was going to be released at the end of the year regardless. With the implosion happening up there, I'm willing to chalk that up to circumstance and give him a pass.
In order to make room for Chewy on the roster, Kurt Morsink has retired to become the scouting coordinator for D.C. United. According to Dave Kasper, the new ownership group has made expanding the reach of United's scouting efforts a priority and this marks the first steps in that regard. Even though he was never the most skilled player, I always respected Morsink's fire and desire to win. Good luck to him in his new job and I hope he finds unknown gems for United to sign!
Thoughts and analysis always welcome in the comments; what do you all think of this trade and of Thohir and Levien's desire to beef up the scouting department?