Long time, no talk.
While I have wanted to write to you many times in the last month and a half, I just couldn’t do it. Why? I had nothing factual to report and more importantly, because I felt like we were really close to making a major acquisition. Well, the reality is that it has taken a lot longer than we ever could have imagined. But long story short, we finally reached an agreement with our friends (insert major sarcasm here) to the north to trade Sebastien LeToux for Josue Martinez. There are many details of this trade with New York that I cannot tell you, but you should know that it was anything but easy. Frustrating, unreasonable, infuriating and ridiculous are just a few of the words that I would use to describe the process. Whatever, I am going to bottle up those feelings until next season. And I am pretty sure that Seba will too!
Jeff Parke. I know many of you might be wondering why we made this move at this time, but just like the actual game of soccer, sometimes these decisions are about one thing; Opportunity. Before I talk about Jeff individually, let me explain a couple key fundamental principals that we as a coaching staff have been working under this offseason (oh, and may I just say that the word offseason makes me laugh).
First off, we truly believe that players who want to be here are vital to the future of our team. We feel that they will not only perform better on the field, but that it will raise the level of everyone in our locker room. Secondly, while we liked the fact that we were young and accepted that last season, we knew that we needed to add experienced players, both on the field and off. Again, we think that “experience” will improve both our team and the young players that are still so important to this club and its future.
Jeff and Seba not only meet those two philosophies, they epitomize them!
As for Jeff individually, he is one of the best center backs in our league. His qualities as a player alone make us a better team. However, his strength of character and the way he conducts himself as a professional athlete are intangibles that we, as a coaching staff, truly respect. The fact that he is returning to his hometown at the peak of his career should not be lost on anyone. Still, why add a center back? The reasons are numerous, but depth in the most important reason. In addition, adding depth at a key position like center back allows us some versatility in other positions on the field. It is no secret that Amobi Okugo was really good for us as a center back, but having the choice to play him in the midfield as well, will give us a dimension that we lacked previously.
I feel strongly that we improved our team this week in many ways, but we still have work to do this offseason (again, ha). Look for us to make some additional moves this week in the second round of the re-entry draft. There are some excellent players available at all position, so it will be an intense process between all the teams in the league jockeying for position. Needless to say, it should be very interesting. I have a good feeling that we will be able to make another positive step forward, but you will just have to trust me on that one.
Thanks for your continued support,
Jungite Aut Perite