COMMERCE CITY, CO - JULY 20: Wells Thompson #15 of the Colorado Rapids has his boot polished by teammate Omar Cummings #14 as they celebrate Thompson's goal against the New York Red Bulls to give the Rapids a 2-0 lead in the 26th minute at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on July 20, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
"I don’t think I was in the coach’s plans for the long-term," Thompson told MLSsoccer.com. "I just felt that out, and I thought it was in my best interest and my family’s best interest to see about somewhere else.
"It’s been a tough year for the club in general, but also for me personally, playing time and that sort of thing. Everybody wants to play, you know? I was just looking for a team I thought I could do that at."
So there it is, both sides of the official story. The tone of the quotes is slightly different, but the result is ultimately the same story as Kosuke Kimura had: he was looking for first team playing time opportunities, and rather than keep him around as a "depth guy" (see also: Scott Palguta) he was shopped around for a trade to a team which could give him the ability to compete for those first team minutes.
What I think is additionally kind of sad about the article is Klopas' quote here. See if you can see where I think it's kind of ironic and sad:
"He brings us some good depth out wide," Klopas told reporters on Monday. "He’s another veteran guy who’s been a consistent player in New England and Colorado, and brings experience. He’s technically a very good player and he’s a guy that you can count on."
And I am not quite sure what "technically a very good player..." means. Does he mean that Wells is skilled technically? Because that's not been our evaluation of the player, at least that's not how he's been played at Colorado for his tenure here. He's been doing the yeoman's work of trying to pester the midfield and force turnovers. Whether he's been successful at that or not... I guess depends on how you look at his performances, but I wouldn't count Wells as a "technical" player. But who knows? Maybe Klopas sees some potential to unlock a key to Thompson's game that he displayed neither at Colorado nor in New England. There's always a chance of that, I suppose.
More than likely what our friends in Chicago can expect is the prototypical "American midfielder" which is the guy that can absolutely run his opposition into the ground and out-endure the competition. Wells is good on the wing, for sure, but he's also got the right physical attributes (if not the technical acumen) for an energetic box-to-box midfielder in that high-energy American style (again, running all day).
We'll see how it turns out. More details, of course, as they surface.
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