Refining the Roster: Set the Table

With five draft picks . . . uh, picked, though not firmly in hand, and players starting to filter in to prepare for pre-season, it's time to figure out what we're working with.  So, how's it work?  Well, I'm going to break things down into three sections.  Then we'll do at least one update per week as we approach First Kick 2009, making course corrections as we go.  Now, about those three sections . . .

The first will be the current 24-man roster of players we're pretty sure will be ready to go on opening day barring trades, injuries, etc.  The second section will feature guys under question--can they return from injury (Olsen), will they take a pay cut (Kirk), rumored acquisitions (Walter Martinez), and the like.  The final section will be the pressure-cooker--the draftees and returning guys that are fighting for the few remaining spots.  

So let's get to it . . .

The Roster-In-Progress
1. (I) Crayton, GK
2. Wells, GK
3. Janicki, D
4. Namoff, D
5. Burch, D/M
6. Guerrero, D/M - he's got his green card, right?
7. McTavish, D/M
8. (I) Fred, M
9. (I) Gallardo, M
10. Simms, M
11. Vide, M
12. (I) Khumalo, M/F - he's been in the US a while, does he have a green card?
13. Pontius M/F - he signed a deal, I'm assuming it's not developmental?
14. Quaranta, M/F
15. (I) Emilio, F
16. Moreno, F
21. (D,GA,I?) Wallace, D/M - he's GenAd, and thus doesn't take a senior roster spot, but does anybody know if he's got a green card or dual nationality?

Alright, so that leaves us with four senior roster spots and three developmental spots to fill.  Our international count (maximum of eight, last I checked) is at least four but perhaps as high as six. Now, on to the questionables . . .

1. (I) Mystery Foreign Defender, D - as promised by the FO
2. (I) Gonzalo Martinez, D - currently in limbo, so who knows?
3. Mediate, D/M - will he be able to earn a senior roster spot?
4. Olsen, M - will he be able to beat the injury bug?
5. Dyachenko, M/F - exploring Europe, but . . ?
6. Kirk, M/F - will he sign for less?  did he graduate from GA?
7. (I) Walter Martinez, M/F - oft-rumored, still unsigned
8 (I) Doe, F - will we get him back on loan?  will we need him?

And finally, we touch on the draftees and last year's developmental guys, all fighting for precious few spots . . .

1. (I?) Kocic, GK - will he require an international spot?  Euro-options?
2. Thorpe, GK
3. (I?) Adams, D - I see he was born in Jamaica, any word on his nationality?  Euro-options?
4. Carroll, D
5. (I) Koroma, D
6. Zaher, D
7. Miller, D/M
8. Thompson, M
9. Barklage, M/F
10. Cordeiro, M/F

Well, that's certainly a healthy amount of competition, assuming everybody reports for camp.  Did I miss anybody?  Let me know.  And if you can answer any of those questions I posed above in relation to specific players, I'd appreciate the insight.


  1. Assume Dyachenko won't be coming so that gives us 34 players in camp unless they invite some undrafted college players and unsigned free agents.

    1. Goal-keepers - 4 fighting for 3 spots. If Kocic s the future (assuming he signs); then Thorpe is odd man out (unless they want to dump Wells' salary).

    2. Defenders -12 fighting for an unknown number of spots. Assume they will at least keep eight. First 4 are Namoff, McTavish, Janicki, and Burch since they have all signed new contracts. Mystery Defender will start if they get him and Martinez could start if he comes back. Wallace will be part of the team. That leaves Koroma and Carrol battling for a central defender slot, and Zaher, Miller and Adams battling for an outside slot. I see Miller packing his bags for sure and chances are Carrol and Zaher wll be gone too. Don't know about Koroma.

    3. Defensve mids. Simms and Vide are one and two on the depth chart. Olsen can play there if healthy and Mediate can play there f healthy. McTavish can play there if not working the bac line.

    4. Outside mids - top players are Quaranta, Fred, Guerrero and Olsen (if healthy). Contenders are Thompson, Kirk, Barklage and Cordeiro. Maybe Khumalo can play out wide too. Barklage and Cordeiro look like the same guy so we'll probably only keep one. Maybe both will go. Wells is probably gone. Kirk is gone unless he accepts a new salary or shows some spectacular growth.

    5. Central playmaker. We have one. Gallardo but Fred Quaranta and Moreno can fill in. No need to cut anyone here - maybe we should think about getting Dax McCarty or someone like that as a backup unless we are grooming Quarantaor Fred for the spot.

    6. Withdrawn Forward: Moreno is the man but not always capable of 90 minutes so maybe this is where Martinez goes if we sign him. Could be insurance for Gallardo too now that I think about it. Quaranta can play her and so can Fred. Khumalo can also play here.

    7. Target Forward. Emilio is the one. Doe and Pontius will fight for the backup slot - maybe Khumalo. Maybe Martinez?

    Lots of options - bottom line is that the ten most likely to be dropped at the start of camp are:

    1. Thorpe
    2. Miller
    3. Zaher
    4. Martinez
    5. Carrol
    6. Thompson
    7. Cordeiro
    8. Barklage
    9. Kirk
    10. Khumalo.

  2. I think there are a couple of issues that you aren't taking into account with your 10 that are most likely to be dropped.

    Issue #1: Unless we get more depth at centerback, I think that Pat Carroll is pretty safe vs. Koroma as that depth, considering Koroma will likely be a casualty of the lack of international spots.

    Issue #2: This is the big one. It matters crap-all who the "best" candidates are when it comes to the three guys who have to settle for developmental contracts. If Adams, Kocic, or any of the current developmental players for that matter, have options in USL or abroad, $13-18k is going to be pretty hard to swallow.

    Some of your positional analysis matches my own, though I'm going wait to break things down more once we know who is actually showing up for camp. At that point, we can start getting serious about potential depth charts.

    Thanks for the detailed comment. Any thoughts about the problem of developmental contracts vis-a-vis players with options elsewhere and what that implies about those who settle for such deals?