A Few Centerback Options for the Summer Window of 2014


So I'll start by listing a few obvious things.

1. Chad Marshall is a beast in the back.

2. His partners are not.

My assertion is not that this is our only issue in defense because that's just dumb. Though at the moment, it seems like the easiest and most obvious place we can hope to improve come June 27th when the Summer Transfer Window opens.

I've been looking for another Chad Marshall in a way. Someone who's tall and can compete in air on defense and on set pieces against any opponent. Whether that is a good strat or not we can debate. All I know is if I had a choice between 1 Chad Marshall and 2 Chad Marshalls, I'm going to choose 2 almost instantly. So I've put together a list of guys who I think fit that mold and have an expired contracts.

I've looked in some places we've got players before and some places we haven't. How realistic these are is anyone's guess. But let's have some fun with it, shall we?

Splashy choices

Name in home country: Marc David Wilson
Date of birth: Aug 17, 1987
Place of birth: Aghagallon Northern Ireland
Age: 26
Height: 1,88 m
Nationality: Ireland Ireland
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland
Position: Defence - Centre Back


Comments: This would be fun. The Stoke City man is out of contract at the end of June and would be an immediate upgrade at center back (yeah, I know what you're thinking). There are a few factors that make this a little unrealistic. The young man is active in the Irish national team and it might be a little hopeful to see him come to MLS. I'm always weary of guys leaving top flight leagues close to their homelands and Wilson ticks that box. Wilson would most likely be a Designated Player which works against my hopes. But damn it, what do I gotta do to get a fellow Irishman around here?

Name in home country: Michael Thomas Turner
Date of birth: Nov 9, 1983
Place of birth: Lewisham England
Age: 30
Height: 1,93 m
Nationality: England England
Position: Defence - Centre Back


Comments: Turner is out of contract at Norwich City and with them being scooped up by the merciless hand of relegation, maybe the Englishman could be talked into an adventure across the pond in The States. Very much like our own Chad Marshall, he is a physical presence in defense and does not shy away from putting his body in front of shots to get the block for his squad. A pairing of him and Marshall would be quite the tandem. Getting him under the Designated Player mark would be a feat as the man would most likely require a salary north of 400k.

Name in home country: Oguchialu Chilioke Onyewu
Date of birth: May 13, 1982
Place of birth: Washington, D.C. United States
Age: 32
Height: 1,94 m
Nationality: United States United States
Belgium Belgium
Position: Defence - Centre Back
Foot: right

Comment: This is my favorite choice, though some may not agree. Gooch was one of my favorite players in the world at one point and probably still is even though I don't get to see him play much. The time has come where it seems as though his career abroad has come to an end. He is out of contract at the end of June with Sheffield in the Championship in England. We all know his story, potential, injuries, missed promise yada yada yada. The guy is only 32 and still a fantastic athlete. It's time he comes home, stateside. Him and Marshall would instantly make the most dominant center back pairing in the league. Opponents would be begging for scraps from the table of these two as far as areal attacks are concerned. And with his recent history getting him for under a designated player contract would be less of an issue. Which at this point means he probably goes through allocation, but we've been known to make a move or 4 in that regard. I would LOVE to see Gooch in the Rave Green come July.

Name in Home Country:

Date of birth:

Kévin Gomis

Jan 20, 1989

Place of birth: Rouen France
Age: 25
Height: 1,86 m
Nationality: Senegal Senegal
France France
Position: Defence - Centre Back
Foot: right

Comment: The young Frenchmen offers the added bonus of being youthful. He's a big bodied individual and likes to use that to his advantage, challenging for anything in his area. A physical player with a decent touch. Out of contract with Nice in the French Ligue 1 after returning from loan with Nottingham Forest. Has gotten inconsistent starts and could be in the market for a place to get some consistent minutes. Where better than the top club in MLS? We would face the challenge of luring a young man away from the top league of his homeland but he could form a great partnership with Chad Marshall.

Name in home country: Braynner Yesid García Leal (Braynner García)
Date of birth: Sep 6, 1986
Place of birth: Los Patios Colombia
Age: 27
Height: 1,83 m
Nationality: Colombia Colombia
Position: Defence - Centre Back
Foot: right

Comments: Don't know much about him. He's been loaned out here and there, bouncing around the Columbian top division. Flirted with the Colombian national team at one point. But we know Adrian and Chris have scouted Colombia before so maybe a guy like this is one we could expect.

Name in home country: Pablo Ibáñez Tébar
Date of birth: Aug 3, 1981
Place of birth: Madrigueras Spain
Age: 32
Height: 1,92 m
Nationality: Spain Spain
Position: Defence - Centre Back
Foot: right

Comments: The former Spanish international and Atleti man last played for Birmingham in the Championship in 2013. I have been unable to find anything that says he played last year. I guess it's possible he retired but at 32 he still has earning potential. Maybe we fly out to Spain and remind him of that. A well traveled veteran defender of his resume and ability would be a nice addition to our back line.

And my why the hell not pick,

Name in home country:

Daniel Johnson Burn (Dan Burn)

Date of birth: May 9, 1992
Place of birth: Blyth England
Age: 22
Height: 2,01 m
Nationality: England England
Position: Defence - Centre Back
Foot: right

Comments: Has done the traditional back to back loan spells many young Europeans go through. Why not one more time? His contract is not up until 2015 but as I stated, has been on a recent run of loans. Got some late season action at Fulham. His transfer fee would be manageable, somewhere around 750 thousand dollars and could be paid a salary under the Designated Player mark. If Adrian was able to work some magic and line him up this summer it would be a nice addition to Air Traffic Control Marshall. (I admit to having a tall centerback fetish).

So these are just some of the guys I've found that I like for our open center back spot (LOL) in this transfer window. I hope to keep this conversation going for a while. So I'd like to hear if you have any information to add on any of the guys I listed above and also it would be fun (for me anyways) to get everyone's thoughts on guys they'd like to see come in during the summer window.

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