The re-entry draft's first stage has just concluded and from the looks of things it was quite anti-climactic. It appears DC United has drafted Joseph Ngwenya, whom was with Houston Dynamo last season. The Columbus Crew have taken Aaron Hohlbein formerly of KC Wizards/Sporting KC. I can definitely understand picking up Hohlbein as he is still young and will add depth to the squad.
I am not sure why DC United has selected Ngwenya, however. Though, the propaganda machine of MLSsoccer.com likes to imply he is a top striker. As a matter of fact, I am not sure why Ngwenya is still in MLS as he has never completely fulfilled his potential in the league; nor has he fulfilled his potential in his short stints abroad. The most surprising aspect is he has been picked by DC at an improved salary than last season. I know MLS teams do not have the ability or sway to bring in high caliber strikers from abroad, but I still think there are players out there who can give you more production, skill, work ethic and leadership than Ngwenya.
Ngwenya is in his second stint in MLS. He broke into the league in 2004 with LA Galaxy scoring four goals in 40 appearances (1 in 10). In early 2006, he was traded to Columbus Crew where he scored five goals in 20 appearances (1 in 4, better). In 2007, he added two goals to that tally in seven matches before being shipped out to Houston. He would go on to be apart of Houston's MLS Cup winning side scoring seven goals in 25 matches (better than 1 in 3, he's improving). From 2008 to 2009, Ngwenya played in Austria only appearing in one match for Austria Karnten. He then moved to Turkey appearing in 11 matches and scoring once for Antalyspor before returing to Houston for 2010 where he appeared 12 times scoring once (1 in 12). In 102 MLS appearances he has scored a meagre 17 goals (about 1 in 5, which many MLS heads will say is a good return). Not a great return if you ask me, and definitely not someone I sign at an increased salary from last season.
As I have thought/said/preached, not many teams would dip into the first round. However, in next week's second round they can re-negotiate salaries and will most likely be interested in available players. Hats off to DC and Columbus for a gutsy move to draft in the first round. Columbus gets a B+ for their pick while I give DC a D-.