We're trying some new things out here at Big D Soccer. With a large group of contributors on our staff these days, we wanted to find new ways to bring our thoughts together. MLSSoccer.com may have beaten us to the punch with their Discuss series but we want to offer some thoughts on FCD specific topics (though we may do some MLS-related discussions soon too).
So welcome to our Quick Burns series. This week we are looking at ways for FC Dallas to improve their team and more importantly their defense. Our panel is taking a dive into one player (or two) within MLS that we would trade for today to help correct FCD's defensive issues. Naturally this is all hypothetical but FCD does have some TAM to play with here that could make things interesting this summer.
Drew Epperley: Need for a true full back
While the need for a center back seems like a valid one for FC Dallas, I'm more inclined to think that finding a true full back would a move that would better suit what FCD needs at the moment.
I look around the league and there really are only a small sample of good fullbacks that would be worth acquiring. The biggest that comes to mind is DC United's Sean Franklin. I've long been a fan of his play since his days in LA when he won a few titles with the Galaxy. He isn't cheap but I'm more willing to spend money on good defenders.
Another option worth noting is Colorado's Marlon Hairston. The young Rapids defender is starting to come into his own at the full back spot for Colorado this season.
Jason Poon: A veteran center back
This one will seem obvious, but I would make a serious run for Montreal's Laurent Ciman, who I rate as the best CB in the league. Ciman is quite simply on another level as a defender and at his age of 30, he's sitting right in his prime for a center back.
According to WhoScored.com player ratings, Ciman is a top 10 player overall and the only defender to make that list. Squawka also ranks Ciman favorably as a top 4 defender in MLS too.
But to get Ciman will cost Dallas. I'd guess Walker Zimmerman and Tesho Akindele and possibly even a draft pick will be what's necessary to acquire a player like Ciman. Obviously Dallas will have to give up the future with that kind of trade, but if the window is to win now, then this might be worth the look.
Scott Hiney: An outside back
Central defense is arguably just as much as a hemmorage for the team, but over the course of the season, I believe Zach Loyd, Walker Zimmerman and hopefully sooner rather than later, Matt Hedges can sure that position up. On the outside, however, I think the team is lacking grit and that's something Portland's Chris Klute can provide.
Klute, a Grand Prairie native, was on the fast track to be one of the league's best fullbacks a few years ago but had some injuries slow his progress last season. This year, he's back to his former self and what I love about his play is his ability to dispossess cleanly. He averages just 3.8 tackles per game (seventh-most in the league) while committing just .8 fouls per game. He also tacks on 4.6 clearances per game, 20th best among all players.
Via whoscored.com, he's gone the full 90 in each of his five starts and hasn't posted a player rating below 6.62.
He's new to Portland, but I do believe the team could make a deal work, possibly throwing in a younger attacker and full back combo like Tesho Akindele and Ryan Hollingshead.