Trading Adam Moffat to Seattle was in no ways “waving the white flag”. When I first heard the news I was a bit puzzled but after stepping back and looking at the trade again, it was a great move. While Moffat is a fan favorite and will surely be missed at BBVA Compass Stadium, this move sets up nicely not only for the future, but for this season’s run towards a playoff berth.
If you’ve watched any Dynamo games over the past few months (if you’re reading this I’m assuming you have) you’ve noticed Moffat in the central midfield in almost every game. While Moffat is a good ball winning central midfielder he does turn the ball over far too often. This is especially the case when he is asked to get forward and help with the attack. With Ricardo Clark out because of illness of late, Moffat has been asked more and more to be the link between the forwards and the midfield with converted defender Warren Creavalle playing a lot of midfield. This link has been non-existent of late, with huge gaps being left between the Dynamo midfield and front line. The scoring from the forwards has suffered as well.
With Moffat off to the Emerald City, enter Alex Lopez, an attacking midfielder. Yes, attacking midfielder. A player that can link the midfield and the forwards. Lopez, the 21 year old young designated player, can now step into the starting lineup (alongside a healthy Clark) and create an ideal central midfield pairing for the Dynamo. Back when the Dynamo were winning MLS Cups the 4-1-2-1-2 formation was prevalent with Dwayne De Rosario spearheading the midfield and defensive midfielders like Adrian Serioux and Richard Mulrooney staying back and helping the back four. I have been calling for a return to the 4-1-2-1-2 and the Dynamo now have personnel to pull this off.
The Dynamo received a draft pick and midfielder Servando Carrasco in the trade. While Carrasco is just a couple of years younger than Moffat, he is much younger in his legs and in playing time and will provide a nice backup and eventual replacement to Ricardo Clark who is 30 years old. Carrasco learned under a very good defensive midfielder in Seattle as well, in Osvaldo Alonso. While Carrasco may be known more for who his girlfriend is, he has shown well this season with some extended playing time in Seattle. Carrasco made 13 starts for the Sounders this season and scored his first career MLS goal via a penalty kick back in June. After learning under Sigi Schmid, Carrasco will now continue his growth under Dom Kinnear. That can only be good for a young player.
Moffat’s long range goals and tough play will definitely be missed but there is a silver lining to everything (no, I’m not talking about Alex Morgan coming to Houston). As we witnessed on Saturday night at PPL Park, the trade played immediate dividends with a win and the Dynamo jumping back into playoff position. I’m half kidding of course but sometimes a team needs some shacking up. Maybe the trade of a starter and well liked player in the locker room caused a jolt in the Dynamo players and made them wake up out of the slumber they’ve been in as of late. If you’re still not sold on the trade, just remember “In Dom We Trust”.
(image courtesy of mlssoccer.com)