Monday, May 28, 2007

Old moves versus current moves

Some more food for thought regarding Frank Yallop's tenure with the Galaxy:

In many ways, Frank Yallop was given a free pass by fans and the media. So tremendous was the lack of support for Steve Sampson that the Galaxy could have brought in anyone with a pulse to take over and it would have seemed like an upgrade. However, look at the first offseason Sampson had with the team to the first offseason Yallop has had with the team and judge for yourself.

The following played for the Galaxy at MLS Cup 2005 or were on the team then that were not on the club when Steve Sampson took over in August 2004: Ugo Ihemelu, Todd Dunivant, Paulo Nagamura, Naldo, Pando Ramirez, Pablo Chinchilla, Troy Roberts, Landon Donovan, Herculez Gomez (he actually got a ring in 2002 but he was well off the radar before training camp in 2005), Alan Gordon (though he was drafted by Sigi Schmid, Sampson was high on Gordon from the start).

The following played against Colorado or are on the roster in some shape as I type that did not play under Steve Sampson: Joe Cannon, Ty Harden, Ante Jazic, Santino Quaranta, Kevin Harmse, Nate Jaqua, Robbie Findley, Ian Russell, Abel Xavier, David Beckham.

Now, Sampson gets no more credit for the Galaxy acquiring Landon Donovan than Frank does for the Galaxy landing David Beckham. Those moves were made at the highest levels.

Ihemelu, Dunivant, Nagamura and Gomez were key parts of the 2005 double-winning team and are all key contributors with Colorado, New York and Chivas USA right now. In their place, the Galaxy has Harden, Jazic, Harmse and Jaqua. The jury is still out on the Harmse-Nagamura comparison but I'll take Ugo, Dunny and Herc over the other three players any day. Jazic is a solid player but I don't see how you can consider him an upgrade over Dunny.

Quaranta is Memo Gonzalez reincarnated, except he actually plays. I can't believe Ian Russell can be much of a factor one way or the other this season. Findley is young and we'll see how he pans out. In many ways, Findley and Harden could be this year's Ugo and Herc so only time will tell how those moves pan out, but Ugo's absence has thus far created a void in central defense that has not been filled.

Chris Albright too was a key part of the 2005 team and Yallop reportedly tried to deal him. If it wasn't for a Lawson Vaughn cross early on the May 20 game against Chivas, Albright might be sending crosses to Mehdi Ballouchy and Freddy Adu right now. Albright is a big loss now would have been a big loss had he been traded regardless of who they would have gotten back in return.

Another tidbit: Frank Yallop's overall record with the Galaxy is 10-10-7. Steve Sampson's record after 27 games: 10-10-7.

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