Re-Entry Draft, Free Agent Targets For The Galaxy

Editorial – MLS announced the 59 players eligible for the 2015 Re-Entry Draft earlier this week. The first ever class of MLS Free Agents has also been released.

Of this group of almost 90 players, who could the LA Galaxy be considering? Brian Rowe is currently the only goalkeeper officially on the roster, though LA Galaxy II standout Clement Diop is probably signing soon. Omar Gonzalez and Leonardo are the only center backs; some depth is needed. There’s also the issue of Alan Gordon being a free agent.

Donovan Ricketts, Mika Vayrynen, Todd Dunivant (retired), Gordon, and Edson Buddle are no longer under contract. That’s a combined $925,000 in cap space that is now free based on their 2015 salaries. With more Target Allocation Money and Homegrown Player funds coming, Bruce Arena and company certainly have wiggle room. Here are a few MLS Re-Entry Draft and Free Agent players they could pursue:

1. Tally Hall

Hall and Zach MacMath are the best goalies in this pool. Both are available through the Re-Entry Draft. Brian Rowe has shown good flashes at time, but the 27-year-old might still be too inconsistent to start in MLS. He’s probably a year or two away before he’s ready to start in MLS. Diop is 22-years-old and still an unfinished product. Former Galaxy player Jaime Penedo just signed with Costa Rican side, Saprissa.

Hall has played in two MLS Cups. He’s 30 and played 25 games with Orlando City last year off of rehabbing an ACL injury. While the 2016 player option details aren’t available, his 2015 base salary was $215,000 ($55,000 less than Ricketts). The Galaxy would save money; any other option within MLS would require giving something up in a trade. Hall is the most economical solution to the goalkeeper problem. He’s also the only viable one that won’t require making a trade or looking internationally.

2. Alan Gordon

I realize I might be in the minority on this one, but late game scoring is very valuable in MLS. Gordon embodies this. He’s originally from Long Beach, CA and seemed genuinely happy these past two seasons with the Galaxy. Just because his contract was up and he’s eligible for Free Agency doesn’t mean he wants to leave.

Gordon had a base salary of $175,000 in 2015. Under the CBA, he can negotiate a raise up to 20% as a free agent. That puts his max salary at $210,000 if an MLS team is willing to pay him that. Last year, he was fourth in scoring (5 goals) and second in goals/90 minutes (0.46). Jack McBean is the only other No. 9 on this roster, and I don’t think he’s ready for regular MLS minutes yet.

Arena probably wouldn’t offer him more than a two year deal (he is 34-years-old). Another team will probably offer him more money, seeing value in his mythology. Unless LA wants him to take a serious pay cut, he could choose happiness/winning over money/playing time.

3. Mike Magee/Ned Grabavoy

I’m with Matt Doyle on this one. Magee and Grabavoy are both available in the Re-Entry Draft. Both are veterans that can play on the wing. Grabavoy has also played centrally in the past and Magee was the 2013 MVP as a forward.

Grabavoy did a good job created chances on a mess of an NYCFC team. He’s also more sound defensively than Sebastian Lletget and Gyasi Zardes. Magee’s been injured the past two seasons, but a move back to LA could be the change of scenery he needs. The clutch factor of Mr. November could fill the hole left if Gordon does not re-sign.

They’re both north of 30 and probably aren’t regular starters anymore. But they are veterans, and they indeed have the right personalities for a Bruce Arena team. They can mentor the younger players, and either come off the bench, or start as needed. Grabavoy had a base salary of $200,000 last year (less than Vayrynen). Magee made $400,000, but considering his age and injuries, he probably knows he’ll be taking a pay cut.

4. Zach Scott

I’ll admit it would be near-blasphemy for the LA Galaxy to sign Mr. Sounder, but hear me out. The Galaxy do need a backup center back or two. They need this player to be cheap and not expect much playing time. Veteran experience would be a plus.

Of the center backs in this pool, he’s the one that checks those boxes. He played in 20 league games in 2015, so he is still serviceable. Scott might even be below Dave Romney on the center back depth chart. Still, he could fill in when Gonzalez gets called up to the USMNT or during a congested schedule.

He only made $65,000 last year. The Galaxy could get him for close to the league minimum. At worst, he’ll sit on the bench and give advice to the Los Dos and academy center backs. He might even win an MLS Cup.