11.19.2008

Youth versus Experience

One of the most interesting choices in the expansion draft is going to be who the Sounders take from Chicago. And I say 'who' because the Fire are so deep, they are guaranteed to lose a player to us. While they have a number of quality players who have faint possibilities of being unprotected, I'm going to focus on the choice between 3 of the likely candidates.

Brandon Prideaux is the definition of veteran. At 32, he obviously has the age, and having played for 4 different clubs in MLS over 10 years, he has a wealth of experience. The fact that he is a Seattle native, UW alum and former USL Sounder will surely not go unnoticed by fans and front office alike. He is steady if a bit slow for an outside defender, and was a reliable presence in the league-leading Chicago Fire defense this year. He is apparently allergic to the net - he holds the MLS record for most matches played without having scored - but that's not too important for a defender. A definite starter for Seattle, if chosen, and will definitely be unprotected by Chicago.
That's the safe choice. That's the choice most Sounders fans anticipate and hope for. But I want to look very closely at the idea of taking a young, cheap player with upside.
Chicago has a few of those. In particular, Mike Banner and Dasan Robinson. The former is a short speedy winger, the latter (pictured) a speedy defender. Both have unquestionable talent and upside, both are 24 years old, both are relatively unproven but could probably get major playing time for most teams in the league. And the best part? Both have ridiculously cheap contracts, and would count little against the Scroogelike salary cap. (Well, to them that might not be so great, but hey, that's for the players union to quibble about.)

Personally, I think Robinson would better fit the Sounders attack-heavy scheme than the scoring-averse Prideaux. I think many people are overvaluing Prideaux because he's a local boy - that philosophy's been killing the Mariners for years. So assuming he is unprotected, which he should be, I endorse picking Robinson. And Dasan, I know you only make 45k a year, so come to Seattle and I'll buy you a steak dinner.
***MONDAY EDIT*** Interestingly, Robinson was protected by Chicago. Maybe they read this article and got scared...? And maybe I'm Messi in disguise. The point still stands - the Sounders should focus on youth, talent and economic value in Wednesdays draft.

2 comments:

GOALSeattle said...

Prideaux was a starting defender on the league's best defensive club.

Ness said...

Yep, that's why I said "...was a reliable presence in the league-leading Chicago Fire defense this year." :D I keed, I keed.

Moot point now. Though I'd still prefer Marco Pappa or Calen Carr to Prideaux.