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Friday, July 29, 2011
Cutting Marosevic and Rodriguez a pure no-brainer for FC Dallas

By Todd Date

Earlier this week, news came out of the FC Dallas camp that the reigning Western Conference champions had indeed cut loose two forwards-Peri Marosevic and Milton Rodriguez. While some think this might signal they are putting together a deal for Dallas native Kenny Cooper, who was in Frisco from 2006 through 2009, but more on that later. What these two moves do signify is that FCD has at least two players in mind to make this club a better one for the final stretch run of the regular season.

Marosevic: Unrealized Potential

Let me preface this by saying that Marosevic is a great kid and a very positive personality who was definitely loved by his teammates as well as the coaching staff. But he never really did produce on the pitch and that is the bottom line, isn’t it? Considering he was taken ninth overall in the 2009 MLS Super Draft, the expectations surrounding the former Michigan Wolverine were high and why shouldn’t they be?

Peri was hyped both by Schellas as well as FCD management as being the one player they wanted above all others. Of course, the gaffer and company deserve considerable credit because they did get George John with the 14th overall pick and few if any supporters of this club have any qualms with how the big Washington state native has performed in his first few seasons at center back.

Marosevic was given looks both up top as well as a flank midfielder and to say the results were underwhelming might have been a huge understatement. Put simply, he just wasn’t a good fit here and it was for the best that he was cut loose. And yes, it was good to see Toronto FC pick him up not soon after he was released, so maybe the change of venue will do him some good. Still, with at least one forward coming in, someone had to go and Marosevic was a logical first choice for Hyndman, club technical director Barry Gorman and the rest of the FCD brain trust.

Rodriguez: Peaked Too Early

During his just over a year with FCD, Milton Rodriguez did make some contributions in the form of goals and assists. But the problem was that those contributions were just too meager. He did have five goals and one assist in 13 regular-season games last year but an injury limited him to just one game during last fall’s magical playoff run to the first-ever MLS Cup in franchise history.

So, given how he finished 2010 with basically a whimper, much was expected from Rodriguez in 2011. On one hand, he was expected to contribute up top in the form of goals and assists. But the expectations didn’t end there. He was also being looked to help young forward Ruben Luna make the adjustment to becoming a first-team regular. Luna’s adjustment remains ongoing but the early returns weren’t good.

Rodriguez did have a goal, a nifty one off a back heel in the ’11 opener against Chicago, but that was his only goal of 2011. He started just five games before Hyndman had seen enough and despite a dearth of true forwards on the roster, the gaffer installed Colombian wunderkind Fabian Castillo up top. Thanks for your service Milton as well as your veteran leadership but the fact of the matter is he just wasn’t good enough and it was time to go in a different direction. He had nothing but good things to say about his time in Dallas just after he was cut loose and that wasn’t a big surprise. He is a class professional and a solid player, just not good enough to help this club reach that next level and win a championship.

What These Moves Mean

Well, not to merely state the obvious but these moves mean FCD will definitely be adding two new names to their roster before the international transfer window closes on August 15. One of those names looks like South American defender Derrick Johnson but it remains to be seen who the second Mystery Man will be. It will most likely be a striker, something this team needs.

But I would highly doubt this means the team is bringing Cooper back into the fold. Portland will likely want too much for the affable Dallas native and when asked about the possibility of KC 33 again wearing the Red, White and Blue for FCD, that was the major reservation that Hyndman had, what he might have to give up to get the deal done.

Who Could Be Next to Go

And there is always the thought that Peri and Milton might be the first two dominoes to fall in what could see several new faces enter the FCD fold. Hyndman, Gorman and company have about six weeks before the MLS roster freeze deadline on Sept. 15 to make moves.

Two of the players who have to be sweating right now are midfielder Eric Avila and forward Maykel Galindo. Avila is back with FCD after a proposed loan to Mexico fell through and while everyone loves the energy he brings off the bench, he hasn’t been the same player since he returned from south of the border. Something else working against the San Diego native is that he has never really become the type of two-way player that Hyndman wants on his roster. Avi’s time with FCD is most likely nearing an end, the only question is likely whether or not he lasts through the end of the season or not.

As for Galindo, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy during his time here, which is a shame. But that shouldn’t shock anyone, especially since his time with Chivas USA was marred by a rash of injuries. He was brought in as a low-risk, possibly high reward addition but the biggest question surrounding him when he got here was his durability or lack thereof. Since he is currently injured, he can’t be waived but once he gets healthy, something he hasn’t been for very long at all in 2011, he could be the next to go.