Friday, July 25, 2008

Brian McBride Will Play In Chicago

Of course, we always knew he would, the question was always the price Chicago would have to pay to get the rights to McBride from Toronto (I am still amazed that a club that didn't exist when McBride left the MLS suddenly gets rights to him, but then there are a lot of MLS rules I don't get). I was also wondering if MLS would make up a new rule for McBride like players (I called it the McBride Rule of the U.S. International Rule).

Fortunately, the MLS didn't create a new rule on the fly (see Beckham rule or the Designated Player). But Toronto has striker problems in a bad way. From another SBI Post:
The trade between Chicago and Toronto FC for the rights to Brian McBride does involve Chad Barrett. A source with knowledge of the deal confirmed to SBI that the package I discussed last night is, in fact, what Toronto will receive. TFC will acquire Barrett, a first-round pick and allocation money in exchange for the allocation spot Chicago will now use to acquire McBride.

The deal doesn't end there.

Chad Barrett is in the final year of his contract so TFC had some incentives included in the trade that will mean Chicago must give up something more if Barrett doesn't re-sign with MLS in 2009.

So why did TFC do the deal? Apparently Danny Dichio's concussion is worse than first believed and the rest of his season could be in jeopardy. With Jeff Cunningham buried in the basement of the TFC doghouse, Toronto was desperate to add a veteran forward. The club is still searching for an international forward but the hope is that Barrett will be able to step in and start while the club searches for a second striker.

As for suggestions that MLS commissioner Don Garber forced Toronto to make the deal, that is not the impression I am getting. It really came down to Toronto's forward situation becoming so dire that it had to act for fear of hurting its own chances of securing a playoff spot. Say all you want about Chad Barrett, but he has scored goals in MLS and can produce if given chances. Toronto's midfield is good enough to produce chances. It just hasn't had anyone to finish them lately.
Dichio is just bad luck, but I don't understand why Mo Johnson and John Carver are so down on Cunningham, but they are and them's the breaks. Don't be surprised if Cunningham doesn't find his way to another club in the next couple of weeks.

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