It Took Time but Moves Were Made
The Impact had a busy off-season, shipping out some key players such as Blerim Dzemaili and Laurent Ciman. The Impact did their best to replace those players during the break but many fans felt short changed. We lost some top-class players and were not able to adequately replace them. We saw much of the MLS get younger and more dangerous while we offloaded talent and draft picks for allocation money. We all waited for that targeted and general allocation money to be transformed into top level players but we never saw those players arrive.
Yes, the Impact did bring in players during the off-season but none of them brought much new to the team. Rather, it seemed like we were wildly trying to fill all the holes left by the outpouring of players. Instead of building on our roster, we replaced players with less skilled versions of themselves. We saw other MLS teams shatter the league’s transfer record to bring in highly skilled young players. I was waiting for the Impact to start making those kind of statement moves. We brought in an experienced coach and I has hoping we would give him the players to compete with.
After two consecutive losses to start the season, the Impact realized that the talent in MLS was trending upwards while the talent on our roster was doing to opposite. They finally decided to spring into action. For the short term, they addressed the injury to Diallo by bringing in Rod Fanni. After only one game, that move looked to be a success. Fanni played phenomenally versus TFC and imposed himself physically against our rivals.
Adam Braz and company further shored up our roster in recent days with the confirmation of the arrival of Alejandro Silva. The Uruguayan international should replace rookie Ken Krolicki in the starting lineup. Silva will slip into a right-wing position and bring a Piatti style player to the right side of the Impact’s attack. The arrival of Rudy Camacho from the Belgian Pro League has just been announced. Camacho will sure up our back line and looks to be the long-awaited replacement to Ciman. Camacho will also permit Jukka Raitala to move into his more natural left back position and compete with Daniel Lovitz for a starting position.
Where Does the Impact Go from Here
While these recent acquisitions were a step in the right direction, the Impact still have a long way to go if they want to once again be contenders in the MLS. I believe that the Impact still have a void to fill at the striker position. While Vargas played well against Toronto, he is not a natural striker and we definitely need to replace Matteo Mancosu. He can no longer compete at an MLS level so we have to look for other striking options.
Ideally, I would love to see the Impact pursue a player like Lucas Cavallini. The Canadian international is currently playing for CA Penarol in Uruguay. Since he is Canadian, he would not even take up an international roster spot and he would add much needed depth to the striker position. Likewise, the Impact have always been plagued by a lack of a true #10. Finding a dynamic playmaker is never easy but it is the key to success in MLS. If rumours are true, a trade for Lee Nguyen would go a long way to securing this position. He is a proven MLS playmaker and combining him with the likes of Ignacio Piatti and Saphir Taider could be a lethal attack.
While I know it is not the Impact’s style to make these kinds of moves, no one can deny that there are still some holes in our roster that need to be filled. If we are to have a chance of contending for the playoffs, we need to add some more talent and develop chemistry as a unit.