Just for my own edification, let's take a quick gander at how the roster is shaping up. Not much has changed since my WIWFC series of posts, but as it is the eve of draft day, I figured we'd better take a look at where we could use some padding on the roster. Not that I'm advocating drafting for need, you understand, but I'd still like to have an idea of the lay of the land going in . . .
In - Crayton, Wells
Maybe - Thorpe
I'm guessing that if Thorpe does return, he'd be on a developmental contract as we're surely not going to use three of our twenty senior roster spots on keepers. Is he still young enough to qualify? Whatever the case, I'd say that if we do draft a keeper, it'll be someone we're fairly comfortable will sign a developmental deal and fight with Thorpe for the third spot. Alternatively, we do go after Frei, his Generation Adidas contract means he doesn't count against the cap or the twenty. Ideally? If we could land Frei and ship Wells somewhere, we've got Frei as a backup (he can't be worse than Wells, right?) and he doesn't count against the twenty.
In - Namoff, McTavish, Burch, Janicki
Maybe - Mystery Foreign Guy, Martinez (???), Zaher, Miller, Carroll, Koroma
So we've got a back line of sorts in the guys already signed. Assuming the MFG (Mystery Foreign Guy) turns up and Martinez doesn't, that leaves us with five senior defenders. Again, we could really benefit from grabbing a Generation Adidas player who won't count against the twenty senior roster spots. If we don't, I wonder how many of those developmental guys we can afford to keep around. Much depends, I suppose, on who we draft and if they can beat out the existing guys. At the moment, my money would be on keeping Zaher and Carroll, with one of them possibly getting bumped to the senior roster. That still looks awfully thin though.
In - Gallardo, Simms, Guerrero, Fred, Olsen, Vide, Quaranta
Maybe - Thompson, Cordeiro, Mediate, Kirk
Ostensibly, Cordeiro and Kirk could also be considered candidates for forward depth as well, and Khumalo would be included here as a midfielder, but I'll go with this group. Assuming Olsen can go, I think we're pretty solid here, with the possible exception of a little speed and crossing. If Olsen can't go, then we'll need some 2-way play in the middle. I also wonder at the luxury of having Fred at $200k+ when he's not going to dislodge the DP in the attacking midfield and doesn't seem ideal for the left wing, where we do have Guerrero as well, with young Cordeiro (assuming he makes the squad!) for depth. Trade Bait? Perhaps. Depth from the draft would be nice.
In - Moreno, Doe, Emilio, Khumalo.
Maybe - Walter Martinez
Again, that's pretty well set. With five forwards potentially on the books (though I'd class Khumalo as more of a winger, I don't see any striking need (pun intended!) for depth, though it wouldn't hurt to take a flyer on a project guy or a speedster who might pick up a few minutes here and there or could be a revelation.
Once the draft picks have landed, I'll draw up a preliminary roster and try to take a more extensive look at how we'll fill out the senior roster and developmental slots. At the moment, it's a bit of a crapshoot without knowing what sort of Generation Adidas toys we have to play with and who we might be potentially dealing in the draft day madness.
Speaking of which . . . I should be back later this evening to take a look at which members of the GA class are most intriguing to me as possible United pickups--keeping in mind the current state of our roster as outlined above.What do you think? Does our desperation for defenders make us exploitable on draft day, or do our strengths in other areas give us bargaining power when it comes to trades? Who would you let go, if anybody? Are picks outside of the first one (and perhaps the first half of the second) worth anything any more, given the reduction in rosters?