History of Metro summer signings
July 18, 2023
With the league season suspended for a month, we hope that Metro emerges with a quality signing that can somehow improve its offense. If precedent is followed, we shouldn't be holding our breath. Even those players who became stars for this team did not exactly perform in the partial season that followed their summer transfer. (And that includes perhaps three of the greatest players in team history!) So let's look at the history of Metro summer signings, only focusing on key additions from outside MLS.
1996: Antony De Avila
There is a case to be made that the initial summer signing is still the best. El Pitufo scored an amazing eight goals in 11 games for Metro. No one has come close since.
13 games, three red cards, including one for spitting on Columbus' Mike Lapper in a must-win game.
The "big" summer move was a trade that sent Paul Dougherty to Tampa Bay for Mike Duhaney.
1999: Sasa Curcic, Mohammad Khakpour, Henry Zambrano
When the Lothar Matthaus deal got pushed to 2000, Metro settled for this subpar trio. At least Curcic, who asked for a wave runner so he can get across the Hudson faster to enjoy the New York City nightlife, was a character. The trio did little to rescue the worst season in MLS history.
The big moves came earlier in the year, especially when Metro was gifted Clint Mathis in the dispersal draft.
2001: Roy Myers, Gilmar
Metro first brought back Myers for his third stint with the team... but he got injured three games in, so they settled on Gilmar, who was signed by Nick Sakiewicz after running into him in an airport. You can't make things like these up.
Unless you want to count Leo Krupnik? The big midseason move was a massive trade in May that brought Andy Williams, Ted Chronopoulos, and (barf!) Mamadou Diallo to Metro.
2003: Jonny Walker, Andrzej Juskowiak
Walker was a necessity, as Tim Howard was sold to Manchester United... and Walker was great down the stretch. Juskowiak failed, with just one goal in eight games.
Unless you want to count Pablo Brenes, signed on June 4, as a summer signing? Not exactly "key" anyway.
2005: Daniel Garipe
"We feel 'The Ripper' can provide some bite and stability in our midfield," said Alexi Lalas. "He's a no-nonsense player who's shown he has no problem getting down and dirty for the cause." He didn't play a minute.
2006: Markus Schopp
Midseason trades for Todd Dunivant, Dema Kovalenko, and the return of John Wolyniec were actually pretty good. The Schopp signing, the first example of Red Bull synergy, wasn't. Seven scoreless games in 2006... somehow lasting into 2007.
2007: Francis Doe
Two goals in nine games for the Liberian known as "Grandpa" and "The Serial Killer".
2008: Gabriel Cichero, Diego Jimenez, Juan Pietravallo, Jorge Rojas
It's a telling point that Metro's run to the 2008 MLS Cup was done with little-to-no contribution from three of these four, with Jimenez being the lone exception. Cichero and Pietravallo are two of the worst players in team history, and Rojas is not far behind. (And Jimenez messed up in that MLS Cup, so...)
2009: Leo Krupnik, Ernst Oebster, Walter Garcia
Garcia, an Argentine youth international, played in one game. Oebster, who Salzburd did not want to loan, arrived as a free agent, and played in five. And here is Leo Krupnik! He played in three and might just be the worst defender in team history.
2010: Thierry Henry, Rafael Marquez
Who doesn't love Titi? That being said, his 2010 numbers were pedestrian: two goals in three assists in 12 games, while missing most of the playoffs. On the other hand, many thought that Rafa would be the best of the two DPs... Oh, how wrong they were!
2011: Frank Rost
The old goalkeeper helped stabilize the position, with six shutouts in 14 games. He also injured himself while sitting on an airplane.
2012: Tim Cahill, Luis Robles, Lloyd Sam, Digao
Three Hall of Famers and... Kaka's brother. That being said, the numbers for 2012 are not great: one goal in 14 games for Cahill and none in five for Sam. Robles did record two shutouts in six games. Digao? Ha ha ha ha ha! Did you know that he is the only Metro player to make his debut in the playoffs? That solitary minute was the only one he ever played for the team.
2013: Ibrahim Sekagya, Bradley Wright-Phillips, David Carney
It's hard to complain about this group, with Sekagya scoring the go-ahead goal in the Shield game, and BWP turning into BWP. But the former did have a massive mess-up in the playoffs, and the latter scored just two in nine games before turning on fire a year later. Carney wasn't exactly great, but Metro never lost a game (in regulation) that he appeared in. (Yes, "in regulation" is an important caveat, Sekagya.)
2014: Damien Perrinelle
Played in just seven league minutes in 2014, before becoming a defensive stalwart a year later.
2015: Shaun Wright-Phillips, Gonzalo Veron
After SWP linked with BWP on his debut, we thought it would work out... It didn't. Just one goal in 14 games. Veron might just be the most divisive player in team history... One goal in 17 games in 2015. Nothing divisive about that.
2016: Daniel Royer, Omer Damari
Who doesn't love Royer? But he scored only once in seven games in 2017. Damari did as well, in six games... and also got a red card in the playoffs. One became a Metro great, the other a syngergetic afterthought.
2017: Fidel Escobar, Muhammed Keita
Somehow, Escobar keeps starting for Panama to this day, despite not being good enough for Metro. (Six games in 2017 that included a last-minute own goal.) Keita did not score in seven games.
2018: Andreas Ivan
In an alternate universe, the best team in Metro history signs a difference maker that pushes them to the top. In this one, they signed Ivan.
2019: Josh Sims
The brittle Englishman played in eight games and scored a key playoff goal, which is more than we can say about most players on this list.
2020: Dru Yearwood, Samuel Tetteh
Is the jury still out on Yearwood? He played 13 scoreless games in 2020. Tetteh, a supposed forward, went scoreless in ten. He might be the worst synergetic transfer ever, and that's saying something.
2021: Lucas Monzon, Issair Drame
The Kevin Thelwell era really wasn't good, was it? Drame didn't get into a game, Monzon appeared once in 2021, twice in total.
2022: Kyle Duncan, Elias Manoel
The return of Duncan has been iffy at best, and Manoel has not exactly shown that he is a starter in MLS.
So what are we hoping for?