McCarthy's Musings: Seattle Slew for Schmid?

The coaching search appears over in Seattle. One look at Wednesday's expansion draft indicates Sigi Schmid will have his type of players in place when takes the reins next week.

By Kyle McCarthy

Prepare the press conference for early next week after Crew head coach Sigi Schmid's contract expires on Sunday.

Schmid is heading to Seattle.

Need proof? Just look at the team selected by the Sounders in today's expansion draft. Schmid may not have had a hand in building it, but it sure looks like a team that Schmid might want.

Big, strong centerbacks with Jeff Parke and Tyson Wahl.

A holding midfielder in Peter Vagenas to dictate the play.

Brad Evans to recreate the box-to-box role he played so well in Columbus this season.

Speedy flank players in Khano Smith and Stephen King.

Target man Nate Jaqua to fill the role at the pivot of a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 formation.

Now if only Schmid could haul Guillermo Barros Schelotto with him to the Pacific Northwest to fill that playmaking role behind Jaqua. Freddie Ljungberg should provide an ample substitute.

Upon further examination, Schmid isn't the only one who should like these picks. The ten selections are generally prudent in salary (Jaqua and Vagenas make the most, both hovering around $150,000) and stocked with upside.

Columbus MF Brad Evans

The Crew probably should have protected Evans. He's an Andy Dorman-type player who is a legitimate starter in the league and proved it for most of the season. His late runs into the box and his long-range shooting are above average. Apparently, the Crew thought Evans and Adam Moffat were similar enough to risk losing one of them. That is a gamble that may not pay off.

Houston FW Nate Jaqua

Jaqua isn't quite Alejandro Moreno in terms of his industry, but he's a solid target forward who will score 6-10 goals if given the proper service. He was apparently exposed as part of the deal signed to bring him back to the league mid-season. Many expansion teams have had worse forwards to lead the line.

New England MF Khano Smith

Smith drives coaches crazy because he is richly talented and infuriatingly inconsistent. He's always one moment away from doing something magical, but the majority of the time, he just leaves you scratching your head. As a left winger with significant pace and ample willingness to run at defenders, Smith should have a spot in the league and should be a full-time starter for the Sounders if he isn't traded.

Los Angeles MF Peter Vagenas

This pick more than any other suggests that Schmid will take over as coach. For a defensive midfielder, Vagenas is overpaid ($144,000) for what he produces and didn't start for most of the season with the poor Galaxy. But Schmid is familiar with him from his time with the Galaxy and Vagenas remains a smart player who can do a job if you don't ask him to cover too much ground.

Chicago MF Stephen King

King saw intermittent time with the Fire this season and showed flashes of competency during it. His path to the first team looked circuitous with Chris Rolfe and Justin Mapp on the wings in Chi-town. Lots of energy and some attacking nous will help him in his fight for playing time in Seattle.

New York DF Jeff Parke

Mr. Red Bull heads out West...for now. A bruising center back, Parke fits the mold of the players Schmid likes to see in the center of his defense. He isn't the quickest and he isn't the sharpest, but he does just enough most of the time to hold his place in the lineup. Will have to serve a suspension at the start of next season after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs if he doesn't bolt for Europe on a free transfer.

Kansas City DF Tyson Wahl

Another bruising center back, Wahl suffered through a year of on the job training in Kansas City. Says a lot about what the Wizards thought of his play when K.C. acquired Adam Cristman and stuck him promptly on its protected list instead of Wahl. Wahl is more of a gamble than most others on this list, but don't forget that Henderson will know him from his time as an assistant with the Wizards.

Toronto FW Jarrod Smith

The New Zealand international didn't hop off the board as a likely pick. The Sounders must have liked his decent pace and 6'2” frame rather than his limited technical skills. Smith played all over the park for TFC, but best projects in the target man role he filled at West Virginia. Plus his dad is world famous cricketer Ian Smith, so that has to count for something.

San Jose DF James Riley

This is the second year in a row Riley has moved in the expansion draft. He can play left back and, in a pinch, center back with some competency. Won't wow you with his physical skills but plays with significant passion. A good guy to have as your fourth or fifth defender.

Real Salt Lake DF/MF Nathan Sturgis

Can he stay healthy? That's the only question surrounding Sturgis at this point. It seems like years since he had a decent run of games in MLS play. Comfortable at both left back and defensive midfield, Sturgis is talented if he can stay off the trainer's table.

Kyle McCarthy writes the Monday MLS Breakdown and blogs frequently during the week for Goal.com. Contact him with your questions or comments at kylemccarthy@gmail.com.