Welcome to the MLS free agent Match Game where the ExtraTime crew attempts to find suitable fits for the league’s most eligible unattached players.
Andrew Wiebe, David Gass and Matt Doyle debate the potential next landing spot for four players who have enjoyed their share of success, have won MLS Cups and have been selected to MLS All-Star Games. We’ve got a versatile fullback/winger, a pair of veteran forwards and an undisputed leader as defensive midfield.
One note, all four of these players are considered depth pieces for their respective clubs. Accepting that role is paramount to this discussion.
Joevin Jones: Orlando City SC
David Gass: "They need a little depth at fullback, but I don’t think you want a full-time starter there because Joao Moutinho is your guy. They brought in [Jonathan] Suarez on loan from Mexico, a bit of an unknown quantity, and he can rotate in on those wing positions for you — again, not as a full-time starter, but you think you get enough out of him throughout the season to make it worth it for them."
Kei Kamara: NYCFC/D.C. United
Matt Doyle: "[NYCFC] have real questions at center forward, especially if Taty Castellanos is sold. They also generate a ton of set pieces on that field at Yankee Stadium … In the last five years especially, set pieces have played a bigger and bigger role and that hit absurd heights in 2020. If you’re NYCFC, you could have [Alex] Callens, [Maxime] Chanot and Kei on set pieces when you’re throwing the kitchen sink at it late in games. I like NYCFC as a fit for Kei, but where Kei ends up, he’s not a starting center forward in this league anymore. He’s going to have to accept that and embrace a supersub role if he’s going to find a comfortable fit."
Dom Dwyer: Minnesota United FC/New England Revolution
David Gass: "He’s played under [Adrian] Heath, he’s had success there. It’s a flier for anyone. He’s not demanding anything, I don’t think he’s in a place to, so any team that needs center forward depth and for that team, it’s not just depth right now. You bring him in, he shouldn’t be the starter, they’re still working on external deals, if they don’t come through, then he’s your starter for a little bit."
Matt Doyle: "I could actually see New England being something of a fit. The last time Dom Dwyer looked pretty good was I feel like the 2017 Gold Cup under Bruce Arena. He played as a true center forward, they were not thrilled with Buksa’s ROI last year and there isn’t really a backup true No. 9 behind Adam Buksa on that Revs roster."
Jeff Larentowicz: Austin FC
Matt Doyle: "They need a backup for [Alex] Ring and Larentowicz has been through the expansion thing before. He’s a winner and a leader in this league. That one’s pretty easy. They should just get that done. Even if you can’t get more than 500 minutes out of him this year, which is all you should really be asking, it just makes a lot of sense."