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