As joint General Managers of the Union we can not think of the best three goalkeepers in MLS in a vacuum. The three golakeepers Rais Mbolhi, Zac MacMath and Andrew Blake are inextricably linked in a web so tangled not even Jim Curtin will be able to make it optimal by the start of next season.
Before we get started here are the facts and stats from 2014:
|Player||Games||Minutes||Saves||Goals Allowed||GAA||PPG||Shutouts||Save %|
MBolhi - $240K salary
MacMath - $120K
Blake - $75K (Generation Adidas player meaning compensation does not count against the budget)
It is important to note that Zac MacMath's save rate dropped from 69% in 2013 to 63% in 2014. That drop can certainly be blamed on the defense allowing closer shots but there's little evidence to suggest MacMath made big improvements in 2014. Rais Mbolhi's numbers don't impress much either in his 4 games, and Blake just didn't get enough playing time to factor in.
The "Real" Situation
MBolhi is the incumbent starter going into the season. That needs to be assumed. Andre Blake is less than one year removed from being the heralded number one overall pick in the SuperDraft. Given that investment, Blake is worth more as a member of the Union than he would be in a trade. A loan would be a solid option for Blake so that he can get valuable playing time.
The rub in all this is that MBolhi and Blake are both popular with their international teams, Algeria and Jamaica respectively. Such popularity means they will miss a meaningful number of games in 2015 while playing for their countries. Therefore the Union need to have a backup that does not get International call ups. Someone, like say Zac MacMath.
However, the relationship between MacMath and the Union likely has soured to a degree necessitating an end to the relationship. Zac tasted being a starter for years and its unlikely he wants to play 8-10 games now in a backup role. The Union are no doubt trying to move MacMath but have little leverage to do so, especially with Dan Kennedy looming as an option in the Chivas USA dispersal draft.
But that's the reality of the situation. In this world the GM has a blank slate, and here are the options.
1. Continue with what appears to be the Union's plan. Keep MBolhi as the starter, trade MacMath or tragically leave him exposed in the expansion draft, keep Blake as your 3rd GK and find a new backup.
2. Keep Zac MacMath as the starter, expose MBolhi in the expansion draft or trade him (after all he does cost a good deal more money), keep Blake as the main backup.
3. Start over and go for Dan Kennedy as the starter. Trade Mbolhi and MacMath.
4. Next year is a waste, put Blake between the pipes and reinvest that money saved elsewhere.
You are the GM. What do you do?
Previous You Be The GM votes: