Feb 1, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; Portland Timbers defender Mikael Silvestre (44) passes the ball during the first half against Sporting KC at Kino Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Does Mikael Silvestre Departure From Two Trials Say Something About MLS?

Thinking about Mikael Silvestre and his shot tenure in the northwest, it kind of leads me to wonder about what his departure from the Sounders and Timbers means on a greater scale. I should probably preface this all with the fact that ultimately we don’t know why exactly he “didn’t workout” for either teams. We can speculate all we want but there is no real information that specifies one way or another on why he was released. Some saying that Silvestre isn’t much better than replacement level and others saying he’s still an above average defender at the MLS level.

It’s conjecture both ways at this point.

I’m curious, what–if anything–does this mean for MLS and the American program. We now have had two former premier league calibre defenders are out on trials this winter and, had an injury occured, both could have gone without earning roster spots.

Again, it’s possible that because of his background and all-around pedigree Silvestre had higher wage demands than what was either reasonable or manageable. But again, who knows if that’s actually the case. What we do know is that both of these guys–despite their considerable resumes—are not necessarily guaranteed to find jobs this springs within the MLS, though I think it’s fair to say that With guys like DeAndre Yedlin, Gyasi Zardes and Bryan Salazar (among many, many others) playing through the MLS academy system and then being signed to HGP deals with their clubs is a huge step. has a very near sure thing.

This is rather shocking considering the state of the league just a decade ago. Where they needed and would overpaid guys just like Silvestre and Traore just to get them into the league. Yet, here they are and it’s possible that both are passed up in lieu of cheaper and conceivably better options.

To me, and call me crazy, this is a serious win for the league. The depth is getting deeper and the competition stiffer. A couple of past their prime guys aren’t just going to walk into this league anymore and expect an easy pay check and roster spot just because of their CV. With guys like DeAndre Yedlin, Gyasi Zardes and Bryan Salazar (among many, many others) playing through the MLS academy system and then being picked up for HGP deals with their clubs, is a huge step in the right direction.

No disrespect to either of these guys, both have achieved a lot and been apart of some very good teams. But this league and the teams in it are far less exposed to being dependent upon ageing talent and finally producing their own. It’s a rather obvious thought, but I thought it was still rather incredible to think about.



Tags: Bryan Salazar DeAndre Yedlin Djimi Traore Gyasi Zardes Mikaël Silvestre

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