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Vanney's Rights Going to Galaxy

I received a text message very late last night (and did not see until after consuming my shredded wheat this morning) from a reliable source that D.C. United is trading veteran defender Greg Vanney's MLS rights to the Los Angeles Galaxy, the club for which he started his career in 1996. [Note to self: Do not go to sleep before 2 a.m. ever again!]

I am guessing United will receive draft picks and/or money. Los Angeles is in the process of finalizing a contract for the 33-year-old left back/central defender.

As you may recall, United did not exercise the option on Vanney's contract, which paid him $236,000 last season. At first, the club seemed willing to negotiate a new deal at a lower rate, but when Gonzalo Martinez and Gonzalo Peralta were acquired, Vanney became expendable. United has been trying for weeks to trade his rights.

Thus ended Vanney's short stay with United after being acquired from Colorado last summer for inconsistent Argentine defender Facundo Erpen. Vanney did provide stability to United's backline, but did not have the impact the club had hoped and the defensive problems did not fully subside late last year. Not that it was Vanney's fault -- Bobby Boswell never regained his 2006 form and was dealt this offseason -- but the trade was not all United thought it would be. It would also be delusional, though, to think the club would have been better off retaining the erratic Erpen.

The lack of free agency within MLS has certainly benefitted United this winter. By dealing the rights to Vanney and Christian Gomez, D.C. received a first-round draft pick, a designated player slot and probably money/picks in exchange for players that were not going to play for the team this year anyway.

More details later.....

By Steve Goff  |  February 15, 2008; 8:28 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

About time we see the depature of Vanney. I knew after we got him for facundo that he would not fit the style of play united needed.

United needs players like Namoff, so hopefully both Gonzalos can provide that to the team.

Posted by: yo its me | February 15, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Vanney was still a pretty good defender last season. But he's not too speedy and at his age has mostly made the transition from left fullback (where more speed is required) to central defense. The possibility of DC lining up both Vanney and Boswell made me cringe. They're both good man markers against bigger forwards and on setpieces and seem to read the game well but have trouble getting out of 2nd gear.

Vanney was a good addition to our defense but not worth his former salary under MLS' salary cap restrictions.

Good luck to Vanney in LA-LA land. At his age it's hard to tell whether he has 3 good years left in him or 3 good games left...

Posted by: garbaggio | February 15, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Here's hoping that Lalas acts very Lalas-like and overpays for Vanney.

Posted by: Section 130 | February 15, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm too lazy to look at LA's current roster, but weren't they slow and inexperienced at back last season? Will Vanney take setpieces over Beckham and Donovan?

Posted by: sitruc | February 15, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

So, has the acquisition of a second DP-slot definitely been confirmed as part of the Gomez deal? If so, I missed the actual confirmation and apologize.

Posted by: Jared | February 15, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

So, has the acquisition of a second DP-slot definitely been confirmed as part of the Gomez deal? If so, I missed the actual confirmation and apologize.

--------

It will not be officially confirmed until United exercises it in the future. Let's put it this way: Several sources told me it was happening and, in the aftermath, no one disputed the story.

Posted by: Goff | February 15, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

United needs players like Namoff, so hopefully both Gonzalos can provide that to the team.

Posted by: yo its me | February 15, 2008 09:07 AM

Seriously??? Wow. Namoff has been a nice player for the organization but if we are hoping to field a backline of Bryan Namoff's we would struggle to stay out of the Eastern Conference cellar. Namoff was your typical MLS defender years ago. If we want this league to progress, you would hope a player like him would be a guy coming off your bench late in matches when you pull a forward and are protecting a league.

Posted by: oy | February 15, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Here's hoping that Lalas acts very Lalas-like and overpays for Vanney.

Posted by: Section 130 | February 15, 2008 09:19 AM
------------------------------------------

Perhaps he can be induced to overpay for Needham, too.

Posted by: 22201 | February 15, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

That's ridiculous. Namoff is a quality defender. Not the best defender in the league, by any means, but definitely one of the top right backs.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

As Paolo Maldini has shown, the way for an aging defender to remain a professional is to be dedicated year-round to top-notch fitness, and to use intellect to make up for loss of pace.

Vanney is no Maldini, of course, but neither is Vanney playing in Serie A. Based on some of his quotes from last season, the tactical intellect seems to be there; I have no idea about his fitness regimen. Time will tell, I suppose.

Posted by: Joe Doc | February 15, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I will miss Vanney, I thought he was competent and a calming influence. Not worth the money we had to pay for him, and allocations in the end will probably be more valuable because they may help us keep other, more vital players.

Posted by: O.W.A. Givaway, Brig. Gen. (Ret.), Mrs. | February 15, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

DCU keeps bleeding talent for unknowns...this could a great season or completely suck or fall somewhere in between.

Posted by: tex | February 15, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

No kidding. I am worried about the team's alarming lack of depth despite all the great off-season acquisitions.

Posted by: silentbob | February 15, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, to malign Namoff here is to show how little you actually know about the way soccer is played. He's definitely one of the better right-backs in the league, and rarely picks up knocks or cards.

Posted by: AlecW81 | February 15, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I expect Vanney is going to be a bench player for the Galaxy to add depth just like he would be in 2008 for United had they signed him.

Posted by: Terp | February 15, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Quote of the day:

"...this could a great season or completely suck or fall somewhere in between."

That is always a TRUE statement. Not going out on a limb there....... ;)

It matches well with this: Someday DC United will play in a stadium that might be theirs, either owned or leased.

Back to my tea......

Posted by: Bold Predictions | February 15, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

United does seem to have a lack of depth, although I'm not sure of many teams in the MLS that actually DO have a lot of depth considering the salary cap restrictions, senior and foreign player limits, etc. Hopefully, we have enough relative depth.

Posted by: smith | February 15, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"By dealing the rights to Vanney and Christian Gomez, D.C. received a first-round draft pick, a designated player slot and probably money/picks in exchange for players that were not going to play for the team this year anyway."

Needham would make quite a trifecta of trading out-of-contract players, if we can pull it off. Plus, we got an allocation for a guy who never played for us *before.*

Posted by: Stan | February 15, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Seriously??? Wow. Namoff has been a nice player for the organization but if we are hoping to field a backline of Bryan Namoff's we would struggle to stay out of the Eastern Conference cellar. Namoff was your typical MLS defender years ago. If we want this league to progress, you would hope a player like him would be a guy coming off your bench late in matches when you pull a forward and are protecting a league.

Posted by: oy | February 15, 2008 09:31 AM

Yeah sure...? I guess that's why he's been called up to the national team more times in the past year than he ever has. You're right. Great Job!

Posted by: Chris | February 15, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I expect Vanney is going to be a bench player for the Galaxy to add depth just like he would be in 2008 for United had they signed him.

Posted by: Terp | February 15, 2008 09:49 AM
_________________________________________
I don't think so. Ty Harden has unexpectedly retired to pursue a business opportunity and I've heard that Xavier is looking all of his 36 years and maybe more. I think Vanney has a very good shot at starting for LA.

Posted by: Owendylan | February 15, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm too lazy to look at LA's current roster, but weren't they slow and inexperienced at back last season? Will Vanney take setpieces over Beckham and Donovan?

Posted by: sitruc | February 15, 2008 09:20 AM
===========================
They have a couple of Europros and a bunch of kids on defense. Last year LA gave up 48 goals, second only to Toronto. They need the help.

Best wishes to Vanney (except against DC). Whatever we may think of his play, he helped us win a Supporters Shield and qualify for international competitions.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | February 15, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Ding dong the witch is dead.

And much rejoycing was heard throughout the land.

Getting Eddie Pope back even though he was retiring would have been a better deal than getting Greg Vanney.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | February 15, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Was surprised to see Goffinho get scooped on this by Ives Galarcep -- Goffinho is usually doing the scooping!

What do you folks think of Ives' saying that Vanney was United's best defender last year? For my money, I'd say Marc Burch was better.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | February 15, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

On the news front, Ty Harden retires after one year as pro according to Ives in order to do charity work. I thought he already did that as a key starter making no money for the Gals.

Posted by: Mike | February 15, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

What do you folks think of Ives' saying that Vanney was United's best defender last year? For my money, I'd say Marc Burch was better.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | February 15, 2008 10:06 AM

That's silly. We all know Erpen was our best defender.

Posted by: sitruc | February 15, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I never said Namoff wasn't a decent player. I said that if we want this league to be considered a competitive and top division, then guys like Namoff need to be coming off the bench. You reference his National Team Call-up...really? Come on. Not any time in the past year has he been summoned. He was called in along with a ton of other DCU players as well because of our MNT connections. If he is such a solid right back, why has he not been called in lately when we have NO outside backs??? Moor and Corrales were worthless in our last match, didn't hear anyone calling Namoff's name. Count how many times he tippy-toes around the pitch and then gives the ball away...a scrappy defender who gives his all YES, a steady player that you count on to make a stop and quickly jump-start the offense or even be a threat at the outside wide-back position NO.
I've played and coached at very high levels of ball and would never consider him one of the best right backs in this league...can count 2 on New England alone that are better.

Posted by: oy | February 15, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I am a big Erpen fan, but I still love this level-headed reporting by Goff:

"It would also be delusional, though, to think the club would have been better off retaining the erratic Erpen."

Too funny.

Posted by: Lost in BA | February 15, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"Was surprised to see Goffinho get scooped on this by Ives Galarcep -- Goffinho is usually doing the scooping!"

Wow, according to the time stamps on the articles, Ives checked his text messages a half an hour before Goff. Quite a scoop! (sarcasm)

Posted by: DCU Fanatico | February 15, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

1. I think that with Babayaro at left back, Vanney is being brought in not to replace Harden but to compete with Xavier at sweeper/organizer. Whichever one impresses gets the job and the other one hits the street.

2. I'm really not impressed by LAG's defense at this moment. They subtract Albright, likely Xavier, Harden, Cannon, Jazic (believe he's out till mid-season), and add Vanney, Babayero, a couple of rookies (Franklin is supposed to start at right back) and young guys like Cronin and Randolph.

3. Frankly, I wouldn't be shocked if Needham ends up being Harden's replacement. And yeah, that would be amazing if we get compensation for 3 guys who were not in our plans--what robbery.

Posted by: JoeW | February 15, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Senor Goff, there's lots of people who disagree with you and are not delusional. I can't count the number of times I've seen this discussion take place. Don't get me wrong -- I think there are reasonable arguments for the Vanney-Erpen trade. But you're suggesting that there aren't any reasonable arguments against it, and *that's* delusional.

Posted by: Bootsy | February 15, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

So you have one bad year (Boswell/Erpen/Vanney), and you're automatically expendable? Wow.

Posted by: Juan-John | February 15, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm starting to wonder about the time stamps on this blog. I checked here at 9am and there was no story. Look at the comments section. Are we really to believe that nobody commented on this story until forty minutes after it posted? Hmmmmm.

Posted by: JoeND | February 15, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

There are a couple of people on this list that get very touchy when somebody indicates that Namoff is not the greatest player DC United has ever had. I think one of them admitted in the past he was a friend of Namoff. Relax. Nobody is saying he is bad, but I agree that he is not the player he was before, RELATIVE to the level of the play in the league now. Just as was said in the earlier post. He is quality. Don't get sooo defensive. Also of note: United hasn't had an exceptional defense since the Llamosa, Pope and Agoos era.

Posted by: Namoff is good. | February 15, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm starting to wonder about the time stamps on this blog. I checked here at 9am and there was no story. Look at the comments section. Are we really to believe that nobody commented on this story until forty minutes after it posted? Hmmmmm.

------------

A time stamp indicates when a thread was created by the author, not posted on the site.

But thanks for your cynicism.

Posted by: Goff | February 15, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I have to disagree with this. Namoff has frequently been our best defender on the pitch. He's versatile, dependable, and seldom makes silly errors, which is good for top 10 in the league right there.

Also, I've got the sainted Ryan Nelson on my side here, he described Namoff as the actual defender of the year, the year that Nelson won it.

Posted by: viv | February 15, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

A time stamp indicates when a thread was created by the author, not posted on the site.

But thanks for your cynicism.

Posted by: Goff | February 15, 2008 11:15 AM

Boom shaka laka!


So to speak.

Posted by: viv | February 15, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I have to disagree with this. Namoff has frequently been our best defender on the pitch. He's versatile, dependable, and seldom makes silly errors, which is good for top 10 in the league right there.

Also, I've got the sainted Ryan Nelson on my side here, he described Namoff as the actual defender of the year, the year that Nelson won it.

Posted by: viv | February 15, 2008 11:24 AM


Again...proving my point...circa 2003-04.
The league has made great improvements since then and needs to continue with the talent upgrades if we are to be taken seriously.

Posted by: oy | February 15, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I don't doubt that the talent level has probably risen a bit, but I question whether it has risen enough to bypass a player like Namoff. With a couple of notable exceptions, he's still pretty much in the top tier of MLS.

Posted by: viv | February 15, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

To recap, you suggested that "if we are hoping to field a backline of Bryan Namoff's we would struggle to stay out of the Eastern Conference cellar."
Namoff, then, is in the bottom fifth or sixth of defenders in the EC. Riiiight.

And contra your "Namoff was your typical MLS defender years ago," I suggested that he, in fact, was one of the top dogs, so named by one of the acknowledged top dogs.

So maybe the talent is a little better, and maybe even Namoff is a little worse. Your still arguing that he is orders of magnitude away from what we ought to expect, which is just ludicrous.

Quit dogging on Namoff, dude.

Posted by: viv | February 15, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Hejduk, Moor, Waibel, #1 pick Chance Meyers, Albright, Heaps, Wynne....are all better RBs...and not even that great of players to be honest. The outside back position is very easily a "filler" position in this league right now. You don't see many quality attacking players YET.

Posted by: oy | February 15, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Also, I've got the sainted Ryan Nelson on my side here, he described Namoff as the actual defender of the year, the year that Nelson won it.

Posted by: viv | February 15, 2008 11:24 AM

------------

Please...if you're going to cite Nelly, at least spell his name correctly! It's Nelsen.

Posted by: DE | February 15, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Are you seriously suggesting that those players are actually overall better than BN in the final analysis? Wynne's faster, but he's still got positioning problems and doesn't seem to see the game yet. Heydude's pretty much washed up. Albright's got some serious decisionmaking problems. And your draft pick is an unproven commodity in MLS! Attacking is important, but I'd take a solid defensive performance with limited attacking ability over the reverse any day of the week, when we're talking about an actual defender.

Heaps? Come on.

Posted by: viv | February 15, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Also, with the exception of Wynne, who is a good prospect, but by no means a finished product, and your draftee, all those people were in MLS during 2003-4, which undercuts your argument that the league has drastically improved.

If the best examples you can find of that left back improvement are from the time that you are suggesting we have now outstripped, you ain't got much of an argument, son.

Posted by: viv | February 15, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

viv

If you take notice...I mentioned that there are not ANY very good outside backs in this league..however, those players are better than him. If you want to go to the left side, we can name others as well...including Burch on his own team who is better.
And yes I'm saying that the league has and is drastically improving...meaning that players like that should be coming off the bench...which goes for ALL of them.

Posted by: oy | February 15, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Goff, if the timestamp is from when you create the post and not actually post it then it's pretty misleading isn't it? A timestamp is supposed to show when a story/post was actually posted to the public.

Not to tug on Superman's cape but that's something you might want to fix.

Posted by: JoeND | February 15, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"If you want to go to the left side, we can name others as well...including Burch on his own team who is better."

---

No way, man. Namoff was the best back we had last year, and probably for most of the time since Nelsen left. And yet we've been consistent winners. The league may improve, but it won't go up so much so fast that a player like Namoff can't start (especially at what you yourself pointed out is a weak position leaguewide).

Burch, a converted forward/mid who's still learning his defensive positioning and tackling skills, can pump in a couple good long balls, and he's a little faster than Namoff, but you've got a naive view of the game if you think that's enough to make you a better player.

Posted by: S | February 15, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Just fixed Kirk's Wikipedia page to clarify the Beckham stuff. Not exactly sure why Beckham has a whole paragraph on some other player's profile.

Posted by: Greifie | February 15, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Namoff is a very good defender.

I don't watch a lot of MLS outside of DC's games, so I can't comment on the other players mentioned as better (but a draftpick who hasn't played a game yet is already better than Namoff? hmmm...), but Namoff was easily our best defender last year. I watched every game, he was great at denying crosses from his wing, and I didn't see him get beat off the dribble once. I also don't recall any tippy-toeing around the pitch (whatever that means) or any turnovers that led to scoring chances. In fact, I can't remember him making any significant mistakes. He wasn't perfect, but he was real good and real consistent.

Also, IIRC he was pretty damn heroic against the Fire in the playoffs, when he was forced into a central defensive role and played his heart out. At least I think it was against them, for some reason I'm still repressing most memory of that series.

I also seem to remember him getting some press on the DC site as a possible defender of the year canidate. Like I said, I don't know enough about the other teams to really enter that debate, but I thought it was cool that he got the recognition he deserved. He's one of my favorite players, and was definitely one of our most consistent performers at any position last season.

I only wish our backline last year HAD been full of Bryan Namoff caliber players, and I'd be thrilled if our new aquisitions can rise to his level.

And no, this is not his agent.

Posted by: uranderson | February 15, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Goff, if the timestamp is from when you create the post and not actually post it then it's pretty misleading isn't it? A timestamp is supposed to show when a story/post was actually posted to the public.

Not to tug on Superman's cape but that's something you might want to fix.
---------

Yeah, I'll call the company that created our blogging forum and tell them to change it right away. (sigh)

Seriously, who cares if it reached cyberspace at 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m.? Is this really an issue???

Posted by: Goff | February 15, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'll call the company that created our blogging forum and tell them to change it right away. (sigh)

Seriously, who cares if it reached cyberspace at 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m.? Is this really an issue???

Only to uber-dorks!!!!!

Posted by: boda united | February 15, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The time stamp matters when people use it to figure out where a story was posted first. Hopefully people realize now that the time stamps on this site are meaningless.

Posted by: JoeND | February 16, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

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