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Writers Roundtable: Gatt/Saeid OUT, Burch/Cronin IN

Instant reactions from a bunch of our writers about Minnesota’s big day at the trading block.

MLS: New England Revolution at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s note: We did this roundtable before the club confirmed that they 1) traded away an international spot, and 2) traded away a third-round pick in the 2019 SuperDraft. Not game changers, but noteworthy nonetheless. Enjoy!

Minnesota United made a trade today to bring in some much-needed help for their shaky defense. It is painfully obvious that something needs to change for the Loons’ backline. But are Burch and Cronin the additions the club need? We ask our writers what they thought of the move.


I am excited that the club has made moves to build up our defensive front a little bit, but I am in a weird place with Gatt now. I wanted so badly for him to reach his potential after injuries and take over MLS, and now I feel guilty that I don't want that to happen for him anymore. I want him to be successful but not too successful.

At first glance, it doesn't look like Colorado drove the price up on MNUFC too much, or at least not as much as I expected. Everyone knows that MNUFC needed defensive players, and because of that you would think that teams in the league would jack up their prices (think: Vikings trade for Sam Bradford).

I think both teams appear to win, but we won't see who the real winner is for a while. Colorado appears to be unloading a lot of cap space (including part of Gatt's salary), and MNUFC gets players with MLS experience. If Gatt doesn't pan out it looks like MNUFC won the trade, but if Gatt turns out and/or Colorado makes an impressive signing with their new cap space I think Colorado may be declared the winners here.


We've been screaming for patience at the top of our lungs to fans on the #PANIC train. We've stressed let the team have a chance to right the ship before we all jump off the ledge. Well, here it is, the first step in trying to right the ship. Will this be the last move? Probably not. But it is a nice first move to shore up the back end.

Stephen Taylor:

Whoa. The club saw an issue and addressed it quickly with what appears to be a smart move. I'm not used to seeing that happen in the Minnesota sports market, but it is very encouraging. I think both of the players we got can come in and contribute immediately, which we obviously need, and we didn't even have to give up that much for them.

I liked Saeid and was earnestly hoping Gatt was still the same player he'd showed glimpses of being in the past, but that was a long-term bet we can’t afford right now. The midfield needed grit and we need more experience at fullback; Cronin and Burch fill those needs.

I still think we need one more CB and a more reliable option at GK, but it's awesome to see that the club isn’t just sitting back and taking these drubbings on the chin.

Alex Gormley:

This deal is an interesting move for both sides. On the surface, it looks like a puzzling move for Colorado but they're likely dumping some salary and it appears as though Burch is out of contract after this season. They might have already been planning on moving on from him and decided to try and get something in return now rather than have him walk away once his deal is up.

Cronin and Burch have 448 games of combined MLS experience with 394 of those games being games they started in. They immediately will bring a veteran presence and they should both slot into the starting eleven after the upcoming game against RSL.

I think that the Loons gave Colorado a fair package in return, as well. Saeid is just 26 years old and has been a quality MLS midfielder, albeit he's struggled in Minnesota, and Josh Gatt is a complete wildcard after playing just a handful of times in the past four years.

This deal is a short-term stopgap for the Loons, and it was the easiest way to inject some experience and established players into this team.


This is what I have been hoping for. Adding Burch finally allows for a perfect 3-5-2. The backline will finally have talent and experience. I think Cronin is the perfect CDM for this team and is a piece that we haven't had yet.

It also could be a way for Heath to run his 4-2-3-1 as it shores up the defense a little more and allows for a holding midfield of Cronin and Warner. I would prefer this trade means we stick with the 3-5-2 that I have been harping on and that seemed to work in the second half of the New England match.

I am also surprised. I think the Rapids must believe that Gatt is back. The fact that it is mostly a player for player trade surprises me. I understand why both sides made it, but right now, definitely seems like the Loons made a great move... And the Rapids may not have. Of course, if Gatt turns into the all star I think he can be, this was a great move for the Rapids.

Eli Hoff:

This is a great move for MNUFC. Saeid is a decent player, but he wasn't being fully utilized as a Loon. I wish we had gotten to see even a little bit of Gatt, especially since we'll be paying some of his salary.

When I was researching up on Colorado before the match against the Rapids I immediately noticed Sam Cronin. A lot of their offense seemed to run through him, and he was their captain. Trading a fan-favorite as a part of a cap dump (which this appears to be for the Rapids) gives Colorado fans good reason to wish this was a botched early April Fools' Day joke.

I'll be honest, I don't know enough about Marc Burch to give an educated opinion. I've heard mixed reviews of him, but he is a defender experienced in MLS. I won't delve into how this could make the 3-5-2 better (that's Nate's area), but it really works for that.

Garrett Denney:

This is what we were asking for, friends. Did any of us think we would be in this position just four games into the MLS season? Unless your name is Grant Wahl, the answer is likely, “no.”

But as the old saying goes, if you want to keep your ship in perfect condition, don’t take it out to sea. This was never going to be an easy journey. We knew that. You knew that. The soccer media knew that. But we gave it the old college try and went for it anyway. If nothing else, we should get serious points for gumption. Our fans and grassroots support are second to none.

Back to the trade. By all accounts, Burch and Cronin are veterans that will bring a stable hand to the locker room and an instant upgrade to the pitch. If they start this weekend, they would almost certainly staunch some of the bleeding occurring at the backline and - more importantly, in my opinion - give better service to our midfield and. wings who would then feed the ball to Christian “what was that you said about me not competing in MLS?” Ramirez.

It remains to be seen how this will all pan out, but it sure looks like an awesome deal.

So, what do you think about the big trade? Sound off below!