A video look at Cristian Maidana
He’s soon to be 27 and well-traveled with stops in Russia, Spain, Chile and Mexico. He can man either wing but is naturally a left-footer.
|Cristian Maidana, right, here running next to Marseille midfielder|
Matheiu Valbuena in a UEFA Cup match in 2008 during his
Spartak Moscow days, signed for the Union Wednesday.
Watching some highlights of him, he’s got a skillset that appears enticing. He can use his left foot for sure, but he’s also capable of cutting in on the right. Maidana doesn’t come cheap, as he’ll make DP money, but it’s cash that the Union had and were trying to spend.
Compared to the corps assembled, he steps in as the most skilled and most attack-minded, and one that I think could play centrally as well. (I find it interesting that he’s just the second Argentine player in Union history, joining the memorable Eduardo Coudet.)
Maidana checks off a number of boxes for the Union: He’s relatively young, he’s a left-footer, he instantly improves their set-piece ability, not just with his precision on the ball but also by inserting Sebastien Le Toux as another weapon to attack corners and the like. What I think is important is that he’s a solid 5-11, meaning he’ll be able to hold up to the physicality of MLS better than some more diminutive play makers (paging Roger Torres.)
What the Union are hoping for with this swoop is a player like Claudio Bieler or Diego Valeri, a playmaker who instantly makes those around him better. Maidana’s profile isn’t that far off from those guys. He didn’t have anywhere near the sustained success Valeri had at Lanus, but both had less than stellar stints in Europe. Bieler also bounced around South American before impressing with Sporting Kansas City last year.
The measurables seem similar, and if the Union’s deal with Maidana is at a non-extravagant price (I would think somewhere in the $300k-$500k range), it could be a good deal.