It was announced last week that US National Teamer Benny Feilhaber will be returning to MLS after several years of playing in Europe. The league's current allocation standings put Chivas USA in the pole position to sign the Brazilian-born midfielder. The question is, should we? The Goat Parade looks at both sides of the issue and offers its own advice on the issue.
Benny Feilhaber goal in 2007 Gold Cup Final (via antigen2c)
Yes, Sign Him Up
Feilhaber is a great player. Period. He has good vision, good athletic ability, and a ton of experience. Are we really going to say no to a guy who has played in the World Cup, the Gold Cup, and the Confederations Cup? I hope not.
Nope, Let Him Go
Feilhaber has talent, but he's inconsistent. The fact that no team has held onto him for more than 2 years is worrying. If we're going to splash out a bunch of money for a new player, we want one with proven success; not hit or miss performances.
Yes, Bring Him On
Beyond his talent, Feilhaber could fill a role that Chivas USA needs; the attacking midfielder. We've got great wingers in Jorge Flores and Marcos Mondaini and great holding players in Ben Zemanski and Paulo Nagamura, but we're lacking the creativity that we lost when Sacha Kljestan jumped ship. Feilhaber could provide some much-needed inspiration from the midfield.
Nope, We Don't Need Him
Feilhaber may be a great player, but he doesn't fit our brand. Chivas USA is supposed to be about the flare and passion of Mexican and Central American soccer; Feilhaber is a decidedly American player. He's fierce, physical, and athletic, but lacks the silky touch that the ideal Chivas USA midfielder would have. We should be saving our money for somebody big from South of the Border.
Yes, Get Him Here
Chivas USA needs a hero. With Jonathan Bornstein and Sacha Kljestan gone, the Goats have lost a bit of their identity within the league. Bringing a guy like Feilhaber onto the roster will attract new fans to the Red-and-White and give the club a recognizable face within MLS. Don't underestimate the popularity of the US National Team players; just look what Davies has done for DC United this year, or Bunbury for Sporting Kansas City.
The verdict? Pick him up. At the very least, Feilhaber will be a valuable chip in trade negotiations. At most, he'll help Chivas USA return to winning ways.