Jul 6, 2012, 11:05 AM EDT
It’s so difficult to assess MLS trades where allocation money is attached because the sums are never disclosed.
So, all we can really do is look at how the change of address shapes or reshapes a roster. On that regard, I love this trade for Portland.
I’ve long thought Kosuke Kimura (acquired Thursday from the Colorado Rapids for allocation money and an international roster spot) was an underrated right back.
Kimura had lost his spot recently to Hunter Freeman and had generally struggled under first-year manager Oscar Pareja. It was a seismic downturn from the Kimura who had thrived under previous Rapids manager Gary Smith.
Now with manager John Spencer, Kimura has a chance to play and to thrive, to use his energy to get up the field and provide service, the very axis on which Spencer’s system thrives. Jack Jewsbury has been a stop-gap at the position, a converted midfielder playing right back, more or less, as a way to get on the field. Lovel Palmer, another in a formless rotation of right backs over the last two years at Jeld-Wen, was also a converted midfielder.
Kimura has some defensive frailties, but he’s competent in tackling and tracking and absolutely will get forward in efforts to feed striker Kris Boyd. A game shy of the season’s halfway pole for Portland, Boyd has five goals, which is hardly when Timbers officials had hoped. Better and more frequent service will surely help.
Last year, by the way, I would have rated Kimura fourth of fifth top right back in MLS.
It’s a win for Portland. It could also be a win for Colorado – depending on what the Rapids do with that allocation money. (And presumably, they’ll do it soon … so stay tuned on that one.)
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