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Seattle and Houston outflank Union in draft

Someone figured out that Chris Seitz had trade value, but unfortunately it wasn’t Philadelphia Union.

Good for him, at least. Not so good for the Union.

The Seattle Sounders took Seitz with the 9th pick in the MLS Re-Entry Draft and then traded him to FC Dallas for a fourth round pick in the amateur draft.

The Union could have had the same opportunity in the one-day trade window before the expansion draft but didn’t take it, so instead they get nothing for Seitz, a player they valued enough just last month to make him the first player pulled back during the expansion draft.

A fourth-round pick isn’t a huge deal, but it’s something that Seattle got for Seitz and Philadelphia didn’t. Of the three teams that held Seitz’s rights today, only one walked away with nothing: Philadelphia.

Chances are a lot of things happened between Nov. 24 and today. The Union gambled that they could bring Seitz back at a lower salary. Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, age 39 and out of a starting job with German relegation zone dwellers FC Cologne, arose as a prospective replacement, rumored to be signing shortly.

It makes total sense that Seitz wouldn’t want to come back to the Union, if that’s in fact the case. A rough first season, shattered confidence, a pay cut, a fan base that hasn’t forgiven him for it, and the prospect of sitting third on the depth chart — yeah, not too alluring.

The reality is he’s still a young goalkeeper a few years removed from a spot on the Olympic team, just a baby in goalie years. Dallas has the league’s best goalkeeper in Kevin Hartman, and if Seitz is going to back anyone up, it might as well be him. Hartman, 36, has at least a few years left to play, so Seitz could be groomed as the heir apparent, something he wasn’t ready for this year but might be in the future, particularly with a great veteran to learn from.

A lot of people are saying “Good riddance” to Seitz. I’ll just say, “Good luck,” and “Dammit, why didn’t we get something for him?”

The Union miss out in the draft

Fred went to New England, where he could get the chance to play center midfield in front of the league’s best center midfielder, Shalrie Joseph, if he chooses to return to Major League Soccer at all. His departure isn’t as surprising, as he was the Union’s highest paid player last year and wasn’t one of the top five in terms of performance.

What surprised some was that the Union didn’t use their pick, the third overall, on anyone. Admittedly, I didn’t think there was anyone they’d pick, including Juan Pablo Angel, save maybe Adrian Serioux. Nobody else fit the apparent Nowak model.

What is surprising is that Philadelphia didn’t trade the pick. They could have gotten something for it. The Houston Dynamo traded their pick in the fifth spot to the Los Angeles Galaxy for a fourth round pick in the amateur draft. (The Galaxy then selected Juan Pablo Angel.) Why weren’t the Union on a deal like that if they had no plans to use the third pick? Again, they got nothing.

There’s nothing wrong with losing guys in the draft or not using their picks. But not getting anything for what they lost, when Seattle and Houston were able to, shows up as a net loss for the Union. That loss equals two fourth-round picks.

(For more on the Re-Entry Draft, click here.)

(Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz)

7 Comments

  1. Well put on the whole Seitz situation, Dan. I get tired of people pointing fingers instead of looking at the bigger picture. Was Seitz spectacular this year? No, but it was his first year in the #1 spot for a pro team, and he was set up behind a back line that seemed to be in a perpetual state of flux. And people do tend to forget that he’s only 23 years old. You’re right, it is mind boggling that the Union brass, who praised him so much, didn’t see fit to get something for him before letting him go. Admittedly, I won’t miss Seitz, but I think he has great potential and I wish him the best of luck in Dallas or wherever he lands in the future.

    • Thanks, JJ. Definitely a missed opportunity. Obviously the trade window they had was very short, but they had a month after the last game to plan things. My guess is they thought he’d agree to come back at a lower salary and that he surprised them by balking. I think he can still be a good goalkeeper if he gets his confidence back.

      • Ashe was never an option for philly in the re-entry draft – he was not eligible for it the timing of his new contract was just a coincidence to the date of the draft.

        • That’s right. Looks like I mixed him in there while also thinking of Serioux. (Both are guys I thought could fit the Union.) Thanks for the fix. Editing accordingly.

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