Trade Time: Moffat to Houston for Chabala & PalmerBy: Bob Kellett | July 22nd, 2011
Up until this point in the transfer window the Portland Timbers have sat by quietly as seemingly one MLS team after another made moves to improve their rosters. That changed today. The Timbers have dealt little used (and nicely accented) Scottish midfielder Adam Moffat to the Houston Dynamo in return for defenders/midfielders Mike Chabala and Lovel Palmer.
A trade of fringe MLS players? Yep, but also an on-paper good move for the Rose City.
Moffat has been dinged by injuries since joining the Timbers in January. He will perhaps be best remembered for giving delightful “football-sounding” interviews and for serving as a worthy wrestling partner for Thierry Henry. His absence will not be felt.
In return the Timbers pick up Palmer, who until last month featured regularly in a pretty decent Houston midfield. He has been playing a defensive mid (think Marcelin) role but the word on the street is that he is more naturally a right back (think the opposite of say Hall, who isn’t a right back but has been forced to play that role). Fair to say that he might not be the second coming of Scot Thompson, but he could be a decent body for the rest of the season in a position that could use a little, um, Lovel.
Those who have been around these parts a while might recall the name Mike Chabala. He came to the Timbers on loan in 2006, the Year of the Agnello. Five years is enough time to remove the stench. He is a guy who everyone seems to like, but who never has been able to move from the fringe to the lineup. He can play on the left side so at least there will be someone around to give Rodney Wallace a kick in the butt.
Perhaps the best part of this trade is not the players the Timbers have received (although they provide depth/competition at key positions), but the international slot they have picked up. This offers some flexibility for future moves and/or trades.