Q&A with Metros GM Nick Sakiewicz
Following Friday's trade involving the MetroStars and San Jose Earthquakes for defender Jeff Agoos, Metros general maanger Nick Sakiewicz took time to answer questions regarding his newest acquisition.
MLSnet.com: What are you looking for Jeff Agoos to bring to the MetroStars in 2005?
Nick Sakiewicz: Jeff brings a lot of things to the table. He brings experience, he brings good characteristics in terms of the type of person that he is on the field and off the field. He brings five championships under his belt and a high degree of motivation to win more. I think those are all great qualities that we want to add to our team and that will make us better.
MLSnet.com: How long will Agoos remain with the club?
NS: We don't talk about terms of contracts. Jeff is under contract for one more year and we'll see how that develops.
MLSnet.com: Are you at all concerned about the age of Agoos (37) and the fact that he struggled to overcome some injuries in 2004?
NS: Well, when you look around the league, there's a handful of guys that you would want to have on your team that have those leadership qualities that are also good soccer players that have kept themselves healthy and in good shape. I think when you look around there's a handful of guys and Jeff is one of those guys. He has worked with (MetroStars head coach) Bob (Bradley) before and he has a good understanding with him, so he fit the bill for what we need, which is some more experience and veteran leadership on the field.
MLSnet.com: How will the acquisition of Agoos impact some of the younger defenders that are currently with the club, such as Chris Leitch, Jeff Parke and Kenny Arena?
NS: Again, when you look around the league and for that matter, when you look around the world, there are not a lot of guys who fall into the category of being good players on the field, good leaders on the field, but that can also help bring that experience and impart that experience and knowledge to the younger players. We have a collection of probably the best, most promising young players of any MLS team and a guy like Jeff, I think, can make those guys better and make our team better.
MLSnet.com: How did the deal come about? Is Agoos somebody that the club was actively seeking or did he or the Earthquakes approach the MetroStars initially?
NS: I think we've inquired about Jeff for like three years now. We've always been interested in bringing him to New York and this year we were able to get something done.
MLSnet.com: Have you had a chance to discuss the signing with any of the players, and if so, what has the reaction been to the news?
NS: Most of our players are dispersed in various things between vacation, training overseas and so on, so I haven't spoken to all of them, but I have spoken to some. Everybody in the organization, players, front office, coaches and staff are excited that Jeff is joining our team.
MLSnet.com: When is Agoos expected to arrive in New York and begin working with the team?
NS: I haven't talked to him about that, but I expect he will be training with the team when we open up camp at the end of January.
MLSnet.com: The MetroStars had collectively the youngest team in MLS last year. Was this move the first of others planned to offset a bit of that youth?
NS: Yeah, we have a couple of roster spots open that we need to fill and we're looking at filling those with experienced, quality soccer players. At this point I can't comment on particular names. We're not that far down the line with some of them but we are still out looking.
Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.