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Thoughts on the Marvin Chavez trade

It’s definitely been an active week for the personnel department over at FC Dallas. The first big development was that the club was mostly likely going to go their separate ways with forward Maicon Santos, a move which pretty much makes sense. Then came Friday’s somewhat shocking announcement that speedy flank midfielder Marvin Chavez had been traded to San Jose, a move that basically means that Jackson will now most likely be the starter on that side of the pitch.

And in another development we all knew was coming, club president Doug Quinn announced that Barry Gorman would not be back as FCD technical director for 2012 (a move we reported back in November). More on Gorman and who they could look at to replace him in another piece, but here are several thoughts on the Chavez deal, some good, some bad and some are downright perplexing.

Maybe Hyndman Saw More Early Dominic Oduro in Him than Anything

First off, this isn’t a shot at former FCD striker Dominic Oduro, one of the all-time good guys to ever play here, but when he was here he was all pace and no finish. Chavez definitely did his best Oduro impression for much of 2011 and it wasn’t until head coach Schellas Hyndman called him over the summer that Chavez finally got it together. For the year, Chavez finished with six goals and four assists in 31 games, 30 of which were starts. Maybe a big reason why he didn’t have better stats is because for much if not all season long, there really wasn’t anybody finishing opportunities for this thing up top.

Still, as much as he loves pace, Hyndman might have seen nothing more than a fast player who just didn’t make enough contributions on the stat sheet at a position where your success is basically measured by goals and assists more than anything else.

When FCD Didn’t Extend Him, Maybe That Was a Sign

Last season was the year of contract extensions. Among the players that FCD inked to long-term deals were left back Jair Benitez, captain Daniel Hernandez in a player-coach deal, veteran center back Ugo Ihemelu, linking mid Andrew Jacobson, and left mid Brek Shea. Maybe it was the players they didn’t extend that spoke volumes.

Many expected that when Benitez was extended, doing the same with Chavez was all but assured, Yet there was no extension forthcoming for the Honduran-born midfielder. Hyndman is never afraid to put on his mad scientist lab coat and do some tinkering if he saw something he didn’t like. Maybe he did and it’s now clear he felt trading Chavez would be one way he could make this club better.

The Effect to the Room will be Minimal

Unlike the trade of Heath Pearce to Chivas USA last March, one thing that is not behind this Chavez move is not being on the bus. Chavez has never been anything but a model player who came in, kept his head down, did his work and delivered his best effort whether it was during practice or games.

Contrast him to Santos, who got a dental procedure done last year behind the club’s back, Chavez had a dental issue that needed addressing. But instead of doing it when he wanted it done, he consulted with the club. In fact, he and Hyndman agreed that he would get that procedure done during something that was a bit of a rarity for FCD last season, a light week. Chavez did just that and missed only a practice session or two and was ready to roll for the next game.

Some have written that this is a move that could possibly turn the Latin players against Hyndman, but that is simply ridiculous. Sure, Chavez was a popular player but Benitez, Ferreira and the rest of the club’s Latin players have been playing this game long enough to know that’s sometimes the way this sport goes. Teammates will come and go. Benitez and Ferreira, who along with Chavez, comprised FCD’s Three Amigos, will definitely miss having their buddy around, but they, along with the rest of the club’s Latin players are true professionals and they will press on.

This is Only the First Shoe to Drop

Now this one might be the most intriguing. The overwhelming sentiment among Dallas fans after this jaw-dropping move was that Quinn and the rest of the club brass had better have something big up their collective sleeves after trading Chavez. Hopefully it comes in the form of a high-profile addition up top, a dependable scorer, something FCD honestly hasn’t had since the year Jeff Cunningham won the MLS Golden Boot several years back.

But there is a caveat emptor here for FCD when it comes to the fans. This is already a group of supporters who have seen a pair of fan favorites in midfielders Eric Alexander and Eric Avila basically traded away for nothing in the last year. Alexander went to Portland over the summer for Jeremy Hall, a player who was so bad here that Dallas turned around and dealt him the first chance they got. Avila went to Toronto FC where, ironically enough he and Hall will now be teammates, for Santos who now doesn’t figure into the club’s plans.

Dallas fans are saying whatever move or big announcement the club makes make, they had better hit it out of the park. And the fans couldn’t be more right in that statement. Anything but a home run in whatever big announcement FCD makes personnel wise and the natives will get restless to say the least.