As you probably know by now, D.C. United acquired midfielder Alex Caskey yesterday from the Seattle Sounders, shipping a third-round draft pick in 2016 northwest in exchange. After the trade went down, I reached out to somebody who knows the Sounders and their players as well as anybody, Dave Clark, managing editor of our sister site Sounder at Heart. Here's what he has to say about the Davidson College product:
Alex Caskey was rated by Sounder at Heart readers as the 20th most important player in 2013. He did that while playing through an injury that should have had him out for a few weeks to get healthy. A useful role-player Caskey is good for rotational minutes and can play as an outside mid or centrally. His strongest outings were in the middle where he can be a quick passer when on. He does not have a great shot, nor a good cross. But this is MLS. Every team needs guys that help at small things.
Defensively he is more of a battler than a ball winner. He's a bit slight for the league, but he tackles hard and does not shy from contact.
The best player in the league with his skill-set is probably Ned Grabavoy, but obviously of lesser quality. That's the type of guy who doesn't do the spectacular. They are around the ball, involved in the flow of the game. On a team that needs a bit of depth in the midfield with stars around he's helpful.
Giving up just a third round pick for that level of talent is a win for D.C. United. Most picks in the 40s don't stay pros for four years.
So, basically Caskey is just what we thought he was - he's depth that we'll see late in games or in Cup ties. But if he's getting significant league minutes, it's probably because something has gone horribly wrong.