Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nagbe Shipped to Gateway United

In a move that's sure to spark some league discussion, Rose City is prepared to announce that they're shipping Darlington Nagbe to Gateway United in exchange for Gateway's second round pick. That second round pick falls as the 21st player taken in this year's BSL Draft and, as the manager of the Flyers indicated, the talent level in MLS has risen to the point that that could be a valuable spot.

Nagbe puts one in versus the 'Caps.
"With this move, we now control two of the first twenty three draft slots for the coming year," the spokesperson for the Flyers FO said. "Our manager is right. There's an incredible depth of talent in MLS and the pool only got deeper with the BSL's new rules about defenders. We think that we're going to do well."

Nagbe was one of the team's stand out young players, scoring five points in the regular season and two more in the playoffs to help Rose City lift the BSL Cup in their inaugural season. In addition, he could carve an even deeper path through defenses this season with his mentor, Caleb Porter, arriving at the helm of a reinvigorated Timbers team.

"Yeah. Parting with him's tough, no doubt about it," the Flyers manager agreed when asked about the controversial move. "We all sat down and had a chat and the conclusion was that, outside of our DP selections, that the only way to succeed in this league is to have a strong draft. Although he's a good player, he hasn't really hit enough of a stride to be in the discussion for our final DP slot so we took the value where we could find it. We wish Darlington all the best and would love to see him playing for the Boys in Red again in the future."

How many more moves will be made before the deadline for the Flyers? Will they look to move up the draft charts once again? Can they successfully defend their hard won silverware? Stick around. It's going to be a wild ride.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Rose City Announces Two DPs

The Rose City Flyers are proud to announce that they're tentatively marking Marvin Chavez and Mauro Rosales as two of this upcoming season's Designated Players. Both players were key in the club's success last season and they don't appear to be going anywhere either for Rose City or their respective MLS teams.


Obviously, should something happen to either of these players (injury or transfer) before the BSL DP deadline, the club could choose someone else. However, it looks good to see both of these outstanding players suiting up for the Boys in Red again this season.

"Having a significant part of our offense back wearing our colors again this season is a truly great place to start," the Flyers coach said when asked about the announcement. "Both Mauro and Marvin put up numbers last season and were always a threat to score at any moment. Nothing about how they're being played in MLS seems to indicate that we should expect anything different from them this year."

Monday, January 7, 2013

Working on Next Season

It's still early in the offseason but if you ask the Flyers Front Office, it's never too early to get to work. The biggest problem the team suffered last season was inconsistency. Sometimes the team would go off  like in their 7-0 BSL Cup Semi-final stomping of Gateway United. Other times, the whole team would fizzle like in the numerous games in which they scored only one or two points. This is the reason that the Flyers finished what was an otherwise impressive first season with only a 2.5 APG. So what can be done to improve the squad overall while solving this problem as well? Let's break it down.

Step One - Improve the overall quality of the squad.
The big names on the Flyers' roster definitely delivered this season. First and foremost, Mauro Rosales put up 13 points through the regular season and BSL Cup play. Marvin Chavez put up 9 points of his own.  Finally, Marco DiVaio managed six points from his first start during week fifteen onward.

On the other hand, the squad had several regular contributors who either failed to score, or only found the back of the net once. Guys like Steven Beitashour, Adam Moffat, Justin Braun, Alejandro Moreno, and Kosuke Kimura regularly took up starting spots but never seemed to put up points.

This is the big rub. Having stars who put up major points can send you far in this league. But it doesn't get you far enough. Stars get hurt, they don't make their MLS team's lineup because of CCL play, or their MLS team simply has a bye week and you have to make do without them. That's where overall squad quality comes in. Having a whole roster of guys who can score on any given week, even if they don't score every week, makes the difference. They win you games your stars aren't playing in. And they win you games against teams who can match you star for star, but don't have the squad depth you do. Darlington Nagbe scored five times during the regular season and added two more during the post season. Mike Magee put five on the board as well. These types of journeymen players do the hard work behind the scenes.

Step Two - Stay Spread Out
One of the ways a team's stars don't play is if their MLS team has a bye week. Nobody from that team's playing. Sometimes this plays to a team's advantage if they get to dodge the opposition's big star. Sometimes it goes the other way. In any case, when combined with an all around quality squad, making sure the team doesn't take a major hit from any given bye week a team can put up more points than its opponents. Generally, having more than a couple players from a single MLS team on the roster is a poor idea. As a result, not only is putting together a BSL winning squad about finding quality for your full squad of players, it's about finding it among many different MLS teams so that you have access to that quality all the time.

What it boils down to is learning how to evaluate players at all levels of the game. How much playing time can they expect with their club? How often do they score? Are they assist machines and so, score in BSL play as often as many of the top level strikers in MLS? These are all questions that budding managers for BSL clubs would do well to pay attention to. Sometimes it's hard, but spending time to become a great talent evaluator is one of the best ways to end up at the top of the table.