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What has been the most lopsided trade of the past MLS off-season?


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The 2008 season isn’t over, but with just a few games remaining in the regular season, I don’t think it’s too early to start looking at some of the bigger trades in MLS and how they have shaken out.

I just finished an story on the subject that I will post when it goes live in the site. For now I want to ask you, the SBI readers, what you think has been the most lop-sided traded from the past off-season. Here are your choices:

Please keep in mind that I’m only taking pre-season trades into account. There have been tons of in-season trades, but for now let’s focus on the big pre-season deals.

Share your thoughts on these deals and any other big pre-season deals you think have wound up working out for one team more than the other in the comments section below.


  1. brett– I think Carroll had a huge role for dc that went largely unnoticed because he wasn’t flashy… the guy lead in minutes played in the entire league for several years, including, i think, dc’s championship year.

    yeah, i agree he probably isn’t of joseph’s quality, but i think carroll is the kind of player that you don’t know is there until he is isn’t and then you don’t know what’s missing. I’ve played with players like that… they’re not the best players on the field, but somehow you can’t figure out how to replace them either. for example, I think the trade of gomez for a dp is a worse trade than carroll… but then I also think that a player like gomez might be easier for a team to replace.

  2. Brett –

    That’s exactly why I said “flawed stat, I know…but for discussion sake”. It’s impossible to prove.

    Bottom line: As someone who watches every minute of this team, I’m going to tell you that the gap in talent/ability/depth between the Arena era-July15 RBs and today’s team is huge. Isn’t debatable.

  3. faux- just b/c that is the current points per game does NOT mean that would be the same PPG from beginning to end…. i highly doubt even with your current squad that you would be that much different then now, perhaps a few more ties, where losses occured at the very best…

  4. i don’t think it’s fair to include the TFC-SJ trade.

    in an abstract sense, the value TFC got far exceeds Ronnie O’Brien.

    The deal will only come to pay off down the line. assess it then.

    it also was a move requested by O’Brien due to the fieldturf..

  5. faux- im not saying the redbulls arent a better team, i am simply saying that at the moment, JCO has done NOTHING different the Arena… excluding the names he brings in….

    funny that you bring up arena v JCO’s roster per points…. b/c Arena did fine with it last season… he even looked to make a run for SS, but RBNJ failed at the end…. then JCO gets the same roster, makes no changes over the winter, and comes out and flops hardcore… then picks up a bunch of foreign talent and is doing no better then what arena was doing a year prior….

  6. mary – are you assuming that carroll had a large role in DC’s championship, and now Crew’s current status?? i agree he’s underrated and i agree that he does ALOT of dirty work needed on all teams, but he’s no S. Joseph

  7. I don’t know who the Galaxy traded away for him, but Carlos Ruiz was a wasted acquisition. I don’t know why he never worked out, but from day one we could have used his allocation and salary on a defensive player.

  8. Brett –

    It’s all about the personnel moves I mentioned. Pre and post transfer window RedBulls are two COMPLETELY different teams. It drives me nuts that the rest of the country isn’t recognizing this.

    Pre (Arena’s roster) – 1.25pts/game

    Post (Osorio’s additions) – 1.67pts/game

    Taken over a full season (flawed stat, I know…but for discussion sake), Team A finishes with 37-38pts, Team B finishes with 50.

  9. Chris A.-

    Feelin you. If you were still here we could be having a nice little reunion. Maybe next year I’ll get Bobby C. to come back to MLS and live with me at my new West Coast house. Ah, the good old days. Also, I’m going to call your coach and suggest that he play you up top. Say hi to Maddy for me.



  10. Carroll was completely underrated when he was at DC… He didn’t have a great year last year, but I think one reason everyone thought his replacement Simms was so great was because Olsen did so much grunt work in the mid-field… how’s that working now?

    First year Carroll gets in the starting lineup at DC… MLS Champions. First year in the starting lineup in Columbus, and they’re #1 in the league… I know it’s not all him, but I also don’t think it’s a coincidence.

  11. faux- im sorry what has JCO done thats any different the arena?? you are a mid table team, that hasnt won any hardware this season…. JCO may have brought in new names, but the results are no different in the long run…

  12. brant- 1 player doesnt make the team, or else LA would dominate…. Blanco’s presense is what gives the team confidence… despite how hard ive been on blanco recently…

    regardless of the USOC, both teams still played a dominately 1st squad… the fire played quite a few reserves as well, im sure the crew did too… but games are games, and those mattered… the fire are 1-0-1 this season against the crew… and if i recall, the crew had to come back twice to tie it against the fire….

    trying to lump carroll as some glorified reason the fire didnt trounce the crew is folly….

  13. I know it doesn’t fall under this category cause its not atrase

    but let me vent it out;

    claudio lopez!!!

    He’s been horrible

    never liked him.. Even in his prime!!

    He is nobodys favorite in Argentina either..

    especially after WC 2002… A Cannigia wannabe

  14. After reading the comments, I’m sold on the Brian Carroll argument. Kamara may get better, but he hasn’t been very good at all, and Carroll has been a rock for C-bus.

    My second choice would have been Wells-Boswell. The Gomez deal hasn’t worked out for either team, and I think the ROB deal gave value to both clubs, though TFC is probably better off.

  15. Yeah, screw Carool, “Alvarez” has been key to the success of the Crew. Getting an early start to raising awareness for Hispanic Heritage Month!

  16. @Brett, who said “brant – well seeing as the fire (including Blanco) are 1-0-1 against the crew this season, i would say blanco has done well enough against the crew…. still being said, i understand what your point is…”

    Blanco isn’t what beat up Columbus… He’s got 1 assist in 1 game.

    And in league play, CLB and CHI are 0-0-1. They’ve only played 1x; the other was LHUSOC.

  17. I voted for the Gomez-DP/pick trade. Here’s my thinking.

    1. Gomez was gone. DC gave him a year to sign, went back on deadlines. But Gomez had burned his bridges and there was no way he was signing again with DC. So effectively, DC got a DP slot and a #1 pick for a player they were going to see leave for nothing. That’s some deal.

    2. Carroll was a tremendous pickup. He’s a very smart player with a cerebral game, has tremendous lateral movement and is a great team player. At the same time, he was coming off a terrible season with DC. I nearly gave this my vote. But as good as Carroll is (and he’s been very good for Columbus), I still rate a bunch of other players (like Schelotto, Alvarez, Marshall, Hejduk) as being far more critical to that team.

    3. The Boswell for Wells deal isn’t as one-sided as it appears. DC also gets a draft pick (round TBD) and since Wells is now a sub and Boswell is starting and playing decently, you’ve got to figure that it isn’t going to be a supplemental round pick.

    4. The ROB deal was a robbery but he’s still a good player (who for the first half of the season was basically the only attack SJ had) and it’s also a factor of how the allocation and draft pick get used. For instance, TFC acquired a bunch of players (Dyachenko, Kreis, etc) that it traded back to teams for picks or allocations and yet….if you waste the picks or allocations then it’s not much of a one-sided deal. So whether the ROB deal was robbery or not is a “TBD.”

  18. You can’t be serious about Moreno for Ngwenya unless you mean that the Dynamo got over on Columbus. Joe jumpstarted a sputtering offense and was a major reason for the 2nd consecutive MLS championship.

  19. Totally off topic but, Why doesn’t D.C go after Stephen Appiah with their D.P he would be worth the money because he would be a SHarlie Joseph type player and more than seal up the midfield. They say the DP is to put the fans in the seat but with a midfield prescence like that he would be more than justified because winning always puts people in seats just a thought.

  20. Gals gave away Cannon for an allocation. Not sure if Lalas turned that into anything useful. Same goes for Albright. 2 solid defensive starters in exchange for allocations used for…?

  21. Tom, you think D.C. would want Gomez back at two years guaranteed max salary? Sorry my friend, that that is not correct. Do I think D.C. would take back the Gallardo deal if it could? That’s another story altogether.

    D.C. traded away an aging and overpriced midfielder for a first-round pick AND designated player slot it will be able to use in 2009. You can argue that maybe D.C. wastes the pick or signs a bad DP, but as of right now that was a terrible deal for Colorado and good one for D.C.

  22. Also, maybe I should have been more clear but the first item listed in each trade is what is being suggested as the better end of the deal, so no, I’m not trying to suggest that the Gomez end was the better end in that deal. I didn’t realize people would actually think that.

  23. I don’t see how the Gomez trade can be seen as lopsided one way or the other. To call it lopsided you would have be able to say that one team regrets the trade while the other is pleased. I believe that if we could turn back the clock with 20/20 hindsight, DCU would rather have Gomez and Colorado would have not made the trade. Rather than lopsided I would call it lose-lose.

    So, from the results of your poll so far there are at least 60 voters who I think havn’t thought about your poll or are highly influenced by that trade being the first on the list.

  24. Guys, Boswell certainly struggled early in the year but has been one of the league’s best the past four months. If there are Dynamo fans who want to say otherwise I’ll gladly listen.

  25. Kaiser- “Carroll is the type of holding midfielder that allows Scheletto, Rogers, Gaven, and the rest of the Columbus attack work the way it does. He’s not flashy, but he is that solid guy who keeps the midfeild running properly”

    lol, you could substitute Pause in for Carroll’s name and you’d still be right 😀 similar roles, similar respect….

  26. brant – well seeing as the fire (including Blanco) are 1-0-1 against the crew this season, i would say blanco has done well enough against the crew…. still being said, i understand what your point is…

  27. Carroll is the type of holding midfielder that allows Scheletto, Rogers, Gaven, and the rest of the Columbus attack work the way it does. He’s not flashy, but he is that solid guy who keeps the midfeild running properly. By far the biggest steal of the year!(Galaxy, are you listening?…Carroll is exactly the type of player you need!)

    O’Brien was a nice addition for San Jose, but it was the Huckerby and Alvarez deals that real began to open up space for O’Brein to thrive.

    What has DC done with the assets they recieved for Gomez? They kept Emilio and got a draft pick, but I haven’t seen any huge improvement becuase of the deal. Don’t get the votes for that one.

  28. I don’t think there is a single DC United fan who isn’t questioning how much better we could have been this year with Bobby in the defense. Simms for Carroll – a wash and there a questions on Gomez – maybe Gallardo wasn’t the best pick but Mr. Gomez is currently on the bench.

  29. Prior to the start of the season I was in hearty agreement that the Rapids got the steal of a deal. However, since they have now lost their coach do to the team’s failure to achieve, it is hard to believe this deal was so great. Ronnie O has been much more instrumental in his team having a shot at the playoffs. Granted, that would still be a pipe dream if not for Mr. Huckaby, but they are poised while the Rapids need to turn things around.

  30. The first three months of the MLS season don’t matter all that much. Boswell has gotten it together, while Wells is now a backup. That’s my pick.

  31. I cannot possibly fathom how Kamara – Carroll is last in the voting. Caroll has played every minute of every game for Columbus. He’s solidified the midfield, controls opponents’ top players (how have DeRo, Shalrie, Blanco, and Gallardo done vs the Crew?) and does all the dirty work behind Evans/Moffat to let the Crew run a 5-man attack.

    Kamara’s on his second team this year. And still underproducing.

    You might could make the case that the O’Brien trade was second behind the Karama-Carroll swindle, but there’s no way ANY of these four trade rank above it.


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