A waste of $142,996
October 4, 2006
Earlier this season, as Metro was tying game after game, we asked to give Mo Johnston a chance; at least they weren't losing, and it was hard to see anyone jump in in the middle of the season and have success. That time now seems like eons ago, and in retrospect, dumping Mo was the right decision, his burning desire be damned. His biggest fault was his inability to manage the game; it reared its ugly head in last season's playoff loss and showed up time after time as this year's Metro blew lead after lead.
Just lagging behind on the list of faults is Peter Canero's signing.
We will not dissect every roster move of the Alexi Lalas - Mo Johnston era, for as much as we love to nitpick, it's getting tiresome. (And while trading Eddie Gaven for Edson Buddle at least had some logic, if not reason, behind it, dumping Tim Regan to pick up Steve Jolley made as little sense then as it does now, with almost-ever-present Regan the backbone of Chivas USA's much improved defense. At least Lalas and Johnston did a pretty good job at the draft.) But we digress.
The arrival of Peter Canero was first rumored during the 2005 midseason, when the Scotsman was suggested by Johnston, but rejected by Bob Bradley. In the offseason, with Bradley gone, the tables were set to bring Canero over. Most fans were happy with the move; here was a versatile player with Premiership experience, a recent full international for Scotland, who can play either midfield or defense, who would solve our wing problems. "His signing represents a significant upgrade to our flank play, something that is a priority for 2006," Lalas said. "Peter has a great willingness to win and work hard for his team for 90 minutes," Johnston added.
Then, the preseason came, and we started hearing rumbles that Canero was just not that good. And when Metro lined up for their first match in DC, the supposed versatile winger could not win a spot. Amazingly, the three positions he was supposed to be able to play were taken by players with little or no pro experience at those: Seth Stammler at right midfield, Carlos Mendes at left back, and Jeff Parke at right back. His appearances off the bench in the first two matches were indifferent at best, and Peter was invisible in his lone start at Salt Lake. Since then, a few late-game appearances, Mo's firing, a long-term injury, six games for the reserves, and finally, his first first-team time in months last weekend, seven minutes as Metro needed cover for the ejected Marvell Wynne. All that for $142,996 a year.
And with Wynne now out for the next match, and Todd Dunivant's status still unclear, Metro might have no choice but to give Canero a start. And who knows, if not much is asked for him, he might do alright in what most likely will be the last time we see him in a New York uniform. Will he go back to Scotland or will Mo take a second chance with him at Toronto? Whichever it is, you hope Metro use those $142,996 in a smarter way in 2007.