The Portland Timbers suddenly find themselves in possession of the first pick in the MLS allocation order, following Chivas USA's trade for Toronto FC's top spot and subsequent signing of former USA captain Carlos Bocanegra.
Bocanegra is one of America's most well traveled pros, having played the last nine years in Europe and having amassed 110 caps with the national team along the way. The Timbers, of course, already have their own veteran center backs in Pa Modou Kah and Mikael Silvestre, so missing out on Bocanegra was not a serious blow to the club. However, with Bocanegra now in the league and the Timbers' season halfway over, who else could come through the allocation order?
Bedoya is coming up on the end of a six month contract with Sweden's Helsingborgs IF. A 26 year old midfielder that can play all through the middle of the pitch, Bedoya has had offers to play in throughout Europe. At the end of last season a rumored move to Germany's SpVgg Greuther Fürth failing to go through after the player decided to stay with a team in contention for a spot in the Europa league.
If he were to come into MLS, Bedoya would certainly be a hot commodity. Although he has yet to shine with the national team, Bedoya has shown regular flashes of brilliance in his club career and, given his skill and versatility, should be capable of starting for any club in MLS.
We will let Daaaaaaaaaaaaave handle this one.
If I had to put my money on one player it would be Frankie Simek. Out of contract pool player looking to get healthy and rehab his image enough to try to get back into the MNT picture.
Simek has had a serviceable career in England's lower leagues and, while he would not be clamored over like Bedoya, he would provide a potential long-term option at right back, a position of need for the Timbers and many other MLS teams. Plus, at 28 Simek is in his prime if he can work his way back to fitness.
And that is actually it. After reviewing every currently active capped USMNT player and USMNT U-23s player, those are the only two that are not currently under contract through 2014 at least.
Since the beginning of the MLS season when the Timbers traded an international roster slot to Chivas USA for their place in the league's allocation order, the number of national team players with expiring or expired contracts has plummeted.
Damarcus Beasely, Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Michael Parkhurst, and pretty much every other US international have found homes for this year at least.
So, what could happen to let the Timbers make use of their spot in the allocation order? Barring a player leaving a team thanks to a mutual termination agreement, there does not seem to be much hope that the Timbers will get the same sort of value from their slot that Toronto FC did from theirs.
Think you know of someone that might come through the allocation order? Let us know in the comments.