Last week the Vancouver Whitecaps shipped Gershon Koffie off to the New England Revolution in exchange for an “undisclosed” amount of general allocation money, targeted allocation money, and a percentage of any transfer fees should the Revs sell Koffie in the future.
Koffie is leaving Vancouver for Boston much to the chagrin of supporters, teammates, and Whitecaps staff.
— Amelia (@mmmelia) February 12, 2016
— Tsukasa Shigihara (@tpiggy) February 12, 2016
Gershon arrived in Vancouver in 2010 before the Whitecaps joined MLS, he leaves as the club’s all time leader in MLS minutes played and one of the only two surviving players from the team that took the field in the team’s inaugural MLS debut against Toronto FC in 2011.
Koffie is a great teammate, community ambassador and overall good guy. That is beyond question. He is also a player that has the ability to grab a soccer match by the scruff of the neck and orchestrate his team from the middle of the park.
So, why did the Whitecaps pull the trigger on this deal? Does it make sense? The short answer is yes, it does.
The key word to understand this deal is consistency. More specifically, the lack of consistency in Gershon’s play. When he arrived to Vancouver as a 19 year old he was a young player with lots of potential. His upward development continued to the point that in early 2013 I was convinced that Koffie would be snatched up by a European team.
However, that development has stagnated over the last few years. Gershon would have one great game, followed by an ok game, followed by a game where he would be invisible. The conversation shifted from his potential move to Europe to hoping he would reach his potential.
It is that unfulfilled potential which made him one of the players with the biggest trade value for the Whitecaps. In a league constrained by a salary cap, sometimes you must make the difficult decision to move a player in order to make room for others that may help your team. Moving Koffie off the books should allow the Whitecaps room within the cap to sign Panamanian striker Blas Pérez.Finally, is it a given that Koffie was a starting XI player week-in and week-out? Not necessarily. The Whitecaps have Russell Teibert who has, and can slide into the defensive role next to Matias Laba. Behind the Canadian international, Carl Robinson has other players like Deybi Flores, Ben McKendry, and even Kianz Froese in the pipeline. So the team should be ok.
So, did the Whitecaps get it right? It is difficult to say without knowing exactly what they got in return for him, but what we do know for sure is that only time will tell. So, only one thing remains to be said: #ThxGersh