MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

Pair of trades cap Supplemental Draft day

Barbara (ISIphotos)

Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

At least the MLS Supplemental Draft day contained something last Thursday's SuperDraft did not: Multiple trades.

Hours after the completion of Tuesday's proceedings, the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake agreed to one deal, while the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps agreed to another. 

The Sounders acquired UCLA defensive midfielder Andy Rose from RSL for the MLS rights to defender Leone Cruz. Rose was the sixth overall selection in the Supplemental Draft, while Cruz, a second-round pick in last year's SuperDraft out of Southern Methodist University, did not make the Sounders roster ahead of last season. He played as a guest player with RSL's reserves on a couple of occasions last year. 

Vancouver, meanwhile, continued its effort to grab more of coach Martin Rennie's former players from the Carolina Railhawks by dealing Mexican left back Gienir Garcia, the second overall pick in the Supplemental Draft, to Montreal for the negotiating rights to forward Etienne Barbara. A Maltese international striker, Barbara was by far and away the NASL's leading scorer last year (20 goals — next closest player had 11), and Montreal had his MLS negotiating rights through a discovery claim.

By adding Garcia, the Impact have the first two picks from Tuesday's draft, after they used the first overall pick on Charlotte winger Evan James. As for Vancouver, should the club come to terms with Barbara, it would give Rennie three of his former NASL players after the team added goalkeeper Brad Knighton earlier in the day and midfielder Matt Watson a few weeks ago.

What do you make of the two deals? Think Rose can help Seattle? Do you see Barbara's NASL success translating to MLS? Do you prefer RailCaps or WhiteHawks? 

Share your thoughts below.

  • jonk

    I don’t know that RSL could have made room for Rose as an international, anyway. So if all they were looking for was a halfway decent option at CB, doesn’t seem like a bad bit of business.


  • abc

    It certainly looks like they gave up too much, especially considering a 2011 second round Supp pick was in the 5th round, whereas Rose was selected in the 3rd round. And everyone seems to agree that this draft was deeper. And people like Rose a lot, Ives said he was a first round talent.

    Given that Cruz played with the RSL reserves, it must be based on familiarity, a bird in the hand and all that.


  • PaoloD

    Cruz was the chosen in the 2nd round of the superdraft, not the 2nd round of the supplemental draft.


  • ShaggyReAL

    It Says CRUZ was in the SUPERDRAFT 2nd round. which means he was a 2ND round pick not a Supplemental 5th round pick!


  • abc

    How many attacking players can one team have?

    Kansas City and Vancouver are trying to answer that question…


  • Mitch

    Barbara is a beast. Nice move by Vancouver. Vancouver and TFC are the fastest-improving MLS teams.


  • CJ

    What a duo. Jesse Marsch & Nick DeSanctis seem like a match made in hell. First they screw Brian Ching, then Etienne Barbara. I look forward to their dismal first season in MLS.


  • Casual Observer

    An MLS club loading up on attacking talent prospects? I like the sound of that and think it’ll be great for our league if it works out….ala Eredivisie.


  • lg

    So if I counted right, Vancouver now has: Hassli, Jarju, Barbara, Camilo, Salgado, Nguyen and Tan as forwards… How does that make any sense?


  • James

    Not to mention they are picking up several lower division players. Granted the lower divisions can produce MLS starters like Sebastien Le Toux. However, if you are coming off the worst record in the MLS raiding the lower divisions for players doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confedence for imporvement. Only time will tell I guess.


  • The Imperative Voice

    (a) The big concern would be having attackers all of one type, eg, forwards who hold the ball back to goal, poachers, sprinters. Not an issue.

    (b) Vancouver doesn’t have to leave camp with a pile of Fs any more than Montreal has to keep the rights to Barbara and Ching just because it acquired them. Trading in implies the ability to trade out. I’d be interested if Jarju and Tan, for instance, are retained.


  • The Imperative Voice

    Barbara is an unusually productive lower division player (and Maltese international), who played under Rennie at Carolina. And Garcia earned modest reviews at the combine, suggesting Vancouver actually got the better of that one. I tend to think Montreal actually botched this by not demanding a better player or future draft pick that they could control.


  • The Imperative Voice

    I agree with the thrust of your point but I have a feeling the loophole is he was probably drafted but never signed to a contract (and was deployed in reserve matches, meaning they’ll say he wasn’t entirely abandoned/cut, just not signed). Ergo they’ll say he’s like one of the European-based players like Marcus Tracey who are drafted for future rights. But I think if you actually bring the “rights” guy in and work him out, it should be use it or lose it, other teams shouldn’t have to trade for a player the drafting team didn’t even sign.

    You’d also think the union would have an issue with drafted players suiting up in the reserves for teams that don’t sign them, particularly when it starts to sound like an unpaid, off-the-books taxi squad.


  • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo

    Hincha, the logic behind this is that a Club used an ‘asset’, their draft pick on a player, then were unable to sign him. Therefore as compensation they hold his rights. If the player signs in Europe or elsewhere, the Club does not get their pick back.
    I’m not saying that it is the correct thing to do, just trying to explain the logic. It would seem to me that the MLS should only allow the rights to be held for a short period of time 6 months perhaps.


  • The Imperative Voice

    But the problem is that Leone Cruz was in camp from like Jan. 25 to Mar. 1 with the Sounders before being cut. Surely you could put a rule in place allowing teams to try out players, or maintain rights to draft picks who sign abroad, without preserving rights to players who spend most of training camp trying out and then get cut. Among other things, I worry about the “free taxi squad” possibilities of allowing teams to use players cut after pretty full training camps as reserves. Like they didn’t see plenty?

    The Barbara situation actually swims in the same type of waters. He was recently quoted in the media as saying Montreal gave him basically a lowball deal but he felt stuck because of the discovery claim. Kind of like Montreal has Ching’s rights but probably has no desire to have him around when the musical chairs stops. So you have a player rights market that is not even necessarily about wanting the actual player. I understand drafting someone who goes to Denmark and comes back, and you still want his rights. But this is closer to squating.

    But the reality is that a lot of these type of players are marginal, lucky to make the team types. I presume Barbara’s history with Rennie implies he will have a good shot there, but realistically most of these draft picks (supplemental especially) are just hoping to stick at the minimum for the reserve slots.


  • The Imperative Voice

    The Rose-Cruz trade is controversial both ways IMO. Not just a cut player whose rights are retained, but should there be a US university exception to the international player slots? Andy Rose went to UCLA for 4 years. Why should he be treated any different than any other UCLA grad? Arguably the fact that he went to school here should balance out the citizenship issue.

    You might even argue that if a player is low level enough to come in via the combine and draft they should be excepted from international slots. Not like you’re stocking up on Robbie Keanes, there’s a salary cap, etc.

    To me the telling bit is the rules are forcing the players down way past the scout’s assessment to more of a risk calculus where teams wait rounds before picking them. There was no way Plata graded as a late round pick last year and ditto some of the guys this year. I don’t think it helps the league when teams are delaying draft picks because of rules that seem better imposed on veteran pickups than young draft picks.


  • hincha tim

    I see your point on this, but the purpose of the international slots rule is to protect and encourage the development of American soccer players. If your rules went into effect I think the number of American players on teams would fall substantially. I guess its a question would you rather have better quality soccer in the short term (more foreign players) vs. long term quality (using the league to help better American soccer).


  • The Imperative Voice

    I think you have a pretty good idea on players in their early 20s so I think the development bit is overrated. I’ve seen some pretty talented young players come through Houston who were never given a chance by Kinnear. He barely played Dixon but when he did the guy beat RSL all by himself. So I could take or leave the notion that shuffling from college to the reserves as either homegrown or draft pick is really going to aid development.

    I also think in a nearly 20 team league with reserve sides that low foreign player limits don’t make much sense. 500-600 players? Particularly when we’re talking about taxi squad material, I don’t know if player #551 just has to be American. And lest we forget, we are now a bi-national league with 3 franchises abroad, at which point some of these lines start to blur.

    Personally, I think the idea of treating a four-year senior like Rose as distinct from any other college grad is absurd. That’s a pretty good chunk of your life living here at that age. Those players at least should be nominal domestics.

    And while I think it would hurt the league to encourage short termist veteran journeyman tourism….this year MLS, next year Qatar or China, etc…..I think the sort of player who comes here, endures the combine, and enters the draft, whether as a foreign university player or a low level pro, is already displaying a fair amount of commitment to US/Canada and their league. Plata, for example, is staying. Some might even get citizenship.

    I’m not saying open-ended, or particularly veteran/retiree — I want to avoid that set — I’m saying cherry pick young talent and remove the hurdles. I thought the young player salary cap rules were pointed this way….


  • Nordy

    Barbara is incredibly talented, but he’s also a complete headcase. Unless you’re a Vancouver fan, you will enjoy rooting against him.


  • Dennis

    Go Hoppenot. I think there are probably teams who could use his skills more than the Union, but his quickness and ability to take on defenders 1v1 and 1v2or3 in tight space should give him the opportunity to refine his game professionaly.


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