Release the Gargan! Wait, that’s not what we meant.

Stay strong my fine fullback friend.

Stay strong my fine fullback friend.

Well, it looks like some folks on the Chicago Fire coaching and technical staff got what they wished for. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for #cf97 Nation. Fan favorite Dan Gargan is off to Silicon Valley.

Yes folks, the San Jose Earthquakes picked up “The Kraken” on Friday afternoon during the second round of the MLS Re-entry draft. Chicago’s former veteran, versatile fullback will now provide defending depth at a fair price for a squad that’s already quite stacked.

So here’s what I want to know: Why is this a good move for Chicago Fire SC? And furthermore, why is Dan Gargan good enough for a roster spot on the 2012 MLS Supporters Shield winners, but not on cf97 – a team that already suffered from a lack of depth in the back line to begin with.

Here’s the 2012 line on Gargan, which was had for the more than fair price of $88k:

Games played: 22

Games started: 19

Minutes: 1754

0 goals, 1 assist

Now, while those numbers may not necessarily get your juices flowing, remember that Dan is the type of player who brings intangibles to club and pitch that are not easily quantifiable: presence, physicality, loyalty, and awesome throw-ins, to name a few. Gargan was a Chicago fan favorite, a guy who embraced the club, its culture, and all the city of Chicago had to offer. He will be sorely missed.

For many weeks now, we’ve heard that Gargan “fell out of favor” with the coaching staff, whatever that means. We’ve also heard that head coach Frank Klopas “lost trust” in a player who was a solid starter through 2/3 of the 2012 season. But why? Where’s the evidence? We know nothing. And because we’ve not been given an explanation, I’ll go ahead and spit some unfounded conjecture, i.e. my opinion.

Here’s what I think happened: I think Gargan, an intelligent (Georgetown alum, entrepreneur), veteran MLS player made his opinions known in the locker room about soccer matters, particularly tactical matters. And as a result, I think some folks on the coaching and technical staff (who are likely not as smart as Dan Gargan) took offense and let their pride and respective egos get in the way of open, honest dialogue. I’ve no proof, but this is what I think. And if I’m wrong, well, somebody prove it please. This inquiring mind wants to know.

So, what does the free (and unfortunate) departure of Dan Gargan mean for Chicago Fire? It means that the team now suffers from an even greater lack of depth in defense, particularly at a position (fullback) that is thin to begin with in MLS. There are simply not a lot of solid, accountable, and available right and left backs in the league. They are a commodity. And for some reason, cf97 decided to simply let go of someone like this, someone of value.

Klopas, Leon, and Petrei better have some tricks up their respective sleeves before camp commences this winter, or else we’re going to see a three-man back line with a defensive midfielder dropping even deeper (read: Logan Pause) if one of the four starters (Anibaba, Berry, Friedrich, Segares) goes down. And even if one of the four starters doesn’t go down, they still need to be rotated in and out of the starting XI for health’s sake. Somebody make me feel better about this please.

11 thoughts on “Release the Gargan! Wait, that’s not what we meant.

  1. Totally with you here. Whatever you think of Gargan’s game, he’s good, affordable depth. Letting him go for free is bizarro Moneyball. #klopasfail

    As for your speculation, I’ve wondered the same thing myself. I surely didn’t see a dip in Gargan’s performance which would warrant the sort of Siberian exile he finished the season in.

  2. I sure hope Atletico Madrid is teaching Anibaba and Berry some cool new and useful tricks. I don’t blame SJEQ because they’re gonna need some more depth heading into the CCL next season, and Dan is still very capable of contributing depth. With Gibbs calling it a career and almost losing Sega, and now this, I wouldn’t be surprised if our defensive line is in shambles until the summer transfer window or the 2014 season.

  3. The main reason he’s gone is that we had FOUR right backs on the roster: Anibaba, Gargan, Kinney and Walls. There wasn’t room on the team for all of them.

    • Well, sort of. Anibaba, unfortunately, is playing out of position at right back. Stephen Kinney’s a health risk. And Tony Walls is an unknown entity as far as I’m concerned.

      We all know Klopas will continue to play Anibaba out of position unless Friedrich or Berry goes down. And if that happens, who can be counted on to start at right back?

      Thanks for your comment!

      – Scott

    • i just don’t suspect that they can depend much on Kinney and Walls. Kinney hasn’t played in two years and in the small glimpses I’ve had, Walls has looked rather shoddy. Another defender, one with the ability to play on the right, has to be in the plans.

  4. it seems likely that they’ll bring in more defensive help before the start of the season. i don’t love the Gargan move but i don’t think its something to get too dramatic about, we are after all talking a right back.

    I imagine at this point he wouldn’t give an answer but I would love to hear someone ask Frank about how exactly Gargan fell out of favor. It just sort of happened.

    to Anthony’s point, i don’t think we ever were close to losing Sega. so often the FO gets bashed for player moves but i think in this case they knew exactly what they were doing and all parties won out in the end. no one in MLS was going to offer Sega the money he was getting and fans slightly overvalued him. he’s still good but i’m glad to see a move that can now push them in the direction of helping out other areas of the squad.

    overall the offseason is just a bit above “meh” level right now. re-signed Arne and Sega and in Maicon Santos got an MLS-experienced forward at a decent price. would like to hear about more player movement but so often that doesn’t happen until january anyway and by the time we picked, i don’t know that there was anyone in the re-entry draft yesterday that would have been a great pickup.

    finding a serviceable right back or at least building the defensive depth officially moved to the top of the priority list yesterday so i’m interested to see what they do.

  5. I think the Fire FO has made some very bizarre moves this off season. They got rid of a solid player at a position that we really don’t have any depth, yet go out and make an iffy signing at a position they really don’t need the depth at (Maicon Santos). The Santos move MAY prove to be useful if (as everyone assumes) Oduro splits due to lack of starters minutes.

    Either way, the only great thing the FO managed to do this year that had no drama attached to it was the resigning of Arne. There’s still plenty of time left, so maybe there are more moves to be made, but at the end of the day I think 2013 is going to be 2012 Revisited. They’ll toy with us and toy with us, make us think they’re finally going to get over that hump and then when it’s time to step up they’ll go quietly into the night.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s