Refining the Roster: Mommy, River Took My Doll!

Well that was fast. Just last week we were wondering if Gallardo's no-show at the first week of training camp meant post-surgery fitness issues (ugh!) or a prima-donna scared of snow (double ugh!). Now he's gone, and a world of possible futures are taking shape on the horizon. Gomez? More defensive help? Another DP?

But first things first. Let's update the roster to reflect Gallardo's departure. While we're at it, we'll toss Roger and Jacobson on the senior roster list as it seems that paperwork is the only thing standing in the way of their acquisitions. Which leaves us with (updates in bold red and a drumroll please). . .

The (Incomplete) Roster

1. (I) Crayton, GK
2. Wells, GK
3. Janicki, D
4. Namoff, D
5. (I) Roger, D
6. Burch, D/M
7. Guerrero, D/M
8. McTavish, D/M
9. (I) Fred, M
10. Jacobson, M
11. Simms, M
12. Vide, M
13. Khumalo, M/F
14. Pontius M/F - he signed a pre-draft deal, I'm assuming it's not developmental?
15. Quaranta, M/F
16. (I) Emilio, F
17. Moreno, F
18. (I) Doe, F
21. (D,GA) Wallace, D/M

. . . leaving two senior and three developmental spots to fill, as well as two open international spots for potential additions. Of course, if we can convince more players to accept ridiculous developmental deals, the roster regulations would permit as many as six developmental players, thus reducing making the senior roster "feature complete." Now on to . . .

The Questionables

1. (I?) Kocic, GK - negotiating, rejected Euro-offer--wants to give MLS a shot
2. Thorpe, GK - fighting Kocic for the #3 spot?
3. Veris, D - big center back on trial, impressed enough to travel to Florida
4. Adams, D - still wandering around Europe
5. Zaher, D - fighting for scraps as fullback depth, Adams in Europe opens the door
6. Miller, D/M - ditto
7. Mediate, D/M - will he be able to earn a senior roster spot?
8. (I) Gonzalo Martinez, D - option not picked up; almost certainly gone, but still on roster
9. Olsen, M - will he be able to beat the injury bug?
10. Barklage, M/F - willing to sign a dev deal? no Cordeiro/Kirk/Thomspon = fighting chance
11. (I) Walter Martinez, M/F - waiting for confirmation that he's gone to Alaves

You'll note that the Mivdun (Mystery Veteran Defender of Unknown Nationality) is off the list. I'm making the assumption that Roger was the Mivdun, though the cap space freed by shipping Gallardo may allow for the pursuit of another foreign defensive target. I'll just hazard a guess that the failure of last year's dual-defensive-import strategy and the FO's continued assurances that everything is "just fine" means we won't be showing any further ambition in this department.

So, how are we looking? We've beefed up the defense (and defensive midfield) slightly, but are still sorely lacking in physical presence at the back (fingers crossed that Veris morphed into Gooch Jr. during his stay in the Scandanavian Defender Mines . . ? Hey, a man can dream, can't he?). We've got a Gallardo-shaped hole (or is it a Gomez-shaped hole that Gallardo couldn't fill?) and a bunch of square pegs (Moreno, Fred, Quaranta) that might fill it. And still no sign of a true wide threat or more speed up top. Hell, speed anywhere would be nice at this point.

So what would you do with those final two senior roster spots? Gomez? Veris? Another Mivdun? A right winger (the first person to mention Ronnie O'Brien gets shot!)? A speedy forward? Another DP? Keep in mind that a healthy Olsen eats one of those spots as well, so you may only have room for one more on the boat. Unless, of course, you're willing to cut somebody loose. Perhaps a USL-2 import in his late twenties who doesn't finish particularly well?


  1. Your doll was broken! Now we can buy you another one.

    Not sure about bringing Gomez home. Wouldn't mind trying to get Dax or Conde if they still want out of their clubs. Either move would give us some depth and more of future.

    Looks like Kocic wants to play here though for some obtuse reason he would consider playing for those bigots at Red Star Belgrade. If Crayton and Wells are hurt then I imagine he has some leverage.

    Don't know what to do about the right wing.

    I've noticed that we have yet to file any discovery claims on undrafted players which indicates we are done with that player pool.

    I'm also wondering how far down we are on the allocation list for returning US internationals (i.e. what shot do we have at a Berhalter or DeMerit should he decide that his future is not in the English third tier.

  2. Excellent update! I wouldnt mind starting Kocic as starting keeper since both Wells and Crayton are having injury issues -- start Kocic in the preseason friendlies and Charleston Tourney and see how he does - if he flops - go back to Crayton. I still dont think adding Jacobson and Roger is beefing up our Defense. We got Jacobson who was denied a contract from Lorient a second tier French club - and Roger who is 34 and has a "history" of back problems. If they are both in good shape hopefully they can add to the team.

    As for Gallardo, if he has no heart then he shouldnt of been here. Look at Olsen's heart and want to play -- that is the kind of players we want (one seen in Kocic). Gomez, though 34, has that heart and desire for DC. Bring him back for a year at 250-300k. See what happens.

  3. @Anonymous
    I'd be interested in where we are in the allocation order as well, but MLS's site last updated the list in '07. Based on the Garcia story having SJ, LA, and TFC first in line, I'd think it's based on finishing order, so we'd be 4th right now (SJ, LA, FCD, DCU) since TFC traded away their allocation to Houston.

    You're going to hand the reigns to a rookie GK? Really?

    The FO claims Roger had a three-week back injury, so we'll see if it's a recurring thing. If he's healthy, I can't see how he wouldn't be an upgrade to our (currently paper-thin) defense.

    Jacobson's time in France was marred by injury, but he did enough to win a contract twice before leaving. Again, if healthy and cheap, he's a useful addition.

    I'm still not sure about Gomez. I loved the Gomez of 2 years ago, but even then he wasn't a 90-minute player. I think we could do better (and younger!) with $250-300k. We shall see.