I think, in the end, I must have valued Dax McCarty more than Schellas Hyndman did. I look at McCarty and see a MLS starter on the fringe of the US National Team. Hyndman, I think, looks at him and sees a tweener with a higher salary who won't play in the preferred 4-4-2.
And that's the key. To Hyndman, losing Atiba Harris and Dax McCarty wasn't losing two starters but rather two backups. Harris they tried to move out of the starting 11 last spring, it took Marvin Chavez will late in the year to finally get that done. McCarty started this year, but if FCD goes 4-4-2 he wouldn't next season.
Even if FCD stays 4-1-4-1 Eric Alexander played as well as McCarty at times and costs a lot less. In fact we know from Gorman that FCD had multiple offers for Alexander, and clearly higher offers than for McCarty or they would have protected McCarty instead. FCD protected the player they valued more. We know how much Hyndman values player who are his guys, McCarty despite being on the bus was never really a SH guy.
Perhaps also putting a guy out there like McCarty in a way protects someone else FCD exposed, Daniel Hernandez as the case proved to be. (Not pulling back Eric Avila tells us something too.)
Were they right to expose McCarty? Only time will tell I suppose.
But having just led his team to the MLS Cup for the first time in franchise history, Hyndman does deserve some slack here. Surely there is a plan in place? One that involves dumping some salary and bringing one or two strikers I would think. New talent, formation change, expanded roster, Champions League play.... There should be much more to come this winter.
We won't be able to judge the loss of these two players till the other shoe drops. Go into 2011 in a 4-1-4-1 with Cunningham up top and Alexander in the middle and we'll have to deem this winter a failure.
But I don't expect that to be happing, as this expansion draft seems to be pointing in a new direction.