According to Steven Goff (Washington Post) Robbie Rogers wants to leave the Columbus Crew and has submitted a list of preferred teams. Figuring out that list of teams while impossible to be fully accurate there are some assumptions that could be made.
- Los Angeles Galaxy - He's California guy in his youth, and they are a pretty good team.
- New York Red Bulls - Big city, big team, good way to get in front of more scouts in his final year of contract.
- Portland Timbers or Vancouver Whitecaps - clean slate with teams, but highly passionate fans.
- Seattle Sounders - He won the double with Sigi Schmid, and was a Best XI player in 2010 as well.
While, BigDSoccer makes the case for Rogers to go to FC Dallas, would that raise his profile enough for that next contract? A marginal United States National Team talent at age 23 could get a good deal with exposure. Dallas traditionally doesn't mean exposure.
Seattle though fits that mold. Seattle is exposure, and even better Sigi Schmid clearly understands how to make Rogers tick. The left footer had a great 2008 under Sigi mainly as a Left Midfielder (80%), but sometimes on the Right(20%).
And that's a bit of the crux. Seattle certainly doesn't need a Left Mid. In many eyes it doesn't need a Right Mid. Alvaro Fernandez and Mauro Rosales are both there. But, neither has been as effective in MLS, nor are as young, as Rogers. Both might wind up better, with playing time.
Now Seattle could fit Rogers into the starting lineup by shifting Flaco to the center, thereby playing with two inverted wingers with Steve Zakuani on left and Robbie Rogers on the right. One could make the case that Alvaro is a kind of central midfielder in ways like Brad Evans. Tactical in nature first, a passer with good dribbling skills, except better than Evans at all of those. Also, like Evans he can play centrally or wide.
This idea shifts the depth chart quite a bit. First teamers get bumped to second team. Erik Friberg could be seen as shifting to the CM role as a second teamer, with Evans as his partner in non-League play, an idea that intrigued Sigi during late pre-season. Also on the second team would be #TheTrialist and one of Lamar Neagle and Migueal Montano. That's a decent set of midfielders for a second team.
In MLS trade value is very hard to establish. There are so many options - players, allocation dollars, allocation ranking, and draft picks can all be swapped. Whether Adrian Hanauer can figure out how to pull the trigger, he should explore it.
Rogers in 80 MLS matches at age 23 and younger has 12 goals and 10 "pure" assists. In his time with the US MNT he has 10 appearances with a goal and an assist, and in non-League play he has 11 matches with 2 goals, both in CONCACAF Champions League play. In all, we're talking about a very young American player with a 0.39 PP90 wide player who can assist or score.
When talent is available a GM should explore they way to fit it in, particularly when they are young and capable of improving. He fits Seattle's mold.