VMP Final Countdown: Number 15 – Eriq Zavaleta
Lowest Ranking: 27
Average Ranking: 15.11
Duncan. 15 Chivas were a raging success, what could be better than signing a bunch of their former players? Zavaleta was technically a Seattle player when he was signed, a second round pick going to the Sounders, but had been on loan with Chivas for the 2014 season. Much like his fellow ex goat Marky Delgado, Zavaleta was alright out there. I don’t remember a lot, which is generally a good thing to say about a defender, but he was out there with Damien Perquis for that stretch of games in May and June when TFC looked quite good and didn’t look like a defensive shitshow. There was of course more to that than Zavaleta but he certainly did his part, though his form seemed to dip, along with the team as a whole, towards the end of that time, and thus he found himself dropped, replaced by Ahmed Kantari. Not a terrible decision, but given how poorly things went in the second half of the season, it was curious that he never made it back into the regular lineup.
Before he was drafted, Zavaleta was as much a forward as he was a defender and he showed off his scoring instincts with a very well taken goal on his return to Seattle, though really, this is about some criminal marking, he was wide open right in the middle of the box.
I imagine he’ll be back next season, and in the happy hypothetical world where TFC get themselves a very competent centre back and a good defensive midfielder, he could well do a good job as the second centre back. I’d be even happier if he’s battling with Hagglund to be considered the first backup option behind two as yet unknown competent centre backs. I could see him sticking around at that ‘almost but not quite starter material’ level for plenty of years in MLS.
Tony: 15. Unfairly labelled as the benefactor of nepotism, Zavaleta proved he was more than a nifty nephew. Promising depth player at most.
Mark: 10. I REALLY wanted to take the piss out of him on grounds of nepotism, but he wasn’t terrible for a Chivas castaway.
Kristin: 16 Nepotism isn’t always a bad thing? Unkie Greg brought along a pretty useful bench piece, but not useful enough during backline crisises.
Mark HSV 14. Not a bad player for a young defender. Did well early in the season, but not sure what happened later on when he fell below Williams. Worth keeping around as a back-up defender, who might develop into something more.
Yelling at soccer 20. Scored a goal, didn’t seem to be terrible.
TC St Clair 18. Started out playing well. Not so much the rest of the way.
Jordylike 10. Solid back up. Greatly benefits from lack of competent centrebacks, marginally benefits from nepotisim.
Zicogold 17. Got hung out from his defensive pairing but did was steady although slow and unspectacular
Jason Anderson 19. Q, not C and not K and not CK.
Ben Bromley 17. We’ve now reached the “at least they’re young?” portion
Richard Wyatt 10. Savvy pickup; well done Bez?
Alex Lach 14. An average season , another young defender that had his moments for TFC but was again thrown into the fire a lot of times with fragile TFC defense that needed stability not youthful energy
Mike Newell 11. Got a stretch of games at CB along side Perquis and it was probably the best pairing we had back there all season. It didn’t last once Kantari showed up which IMO was a mistake, but he should get another look in preseason. Can compete with Hagglund for the first CB off the bench job.
Enrico S 17. Has some potential to be better than he is, but doesn’t seem ready to take the next step.