Stadium rumors are nice and all, and Monday will bring what news it may, but how about we take a look at some more pressing concerns, notably the state of the United roster? We're just over a month away from First Kick (March 22nd, people!), and that big hole in central defense is just as gaping as it's been all off-season. Is the answer a small-college African import? Gods, I hope not! Without further ado, let's hit those updates (in bold red).
The (Incomplete) Roster
2. Janicki, D
7. Jacobson, M
9. Simms, M
12. Khumalo, M/F
2. (I) Kocic, GK - still negotiating, the way the Roger thing ended and the acquisition of another keeper leaves me wondering . . . and worrying
3. Thorpe, GK - fighting for the #3 spot?
4. Wells, GK - almost certainly retiring
5. Adams, D - still wandering around Europe
6. (I) Danso, D - "signed", but Kasper says they're giving him an "opportunity to earn a spot"; center backs are needed, but is this the answer?
7. (I) Gonzalo Martinez, D - option not picked up; almost certainly gone
8. (I) The "Mivdun", D - Jeebus, Danso better not be the answer here, because he's certainly no veteran
9. Veris, D - big center back on trial; concussion doesn't help chances, but he's still around
13. Barklage, M/F - willing to sign a dev deal? no Cordeiro/Kirk/Thomspon = fighting chance
15. (I) N'Silu, F - another big forward on trial, Euro-journeyman
Atieno's trial has ended, leaving N'Silu as the front runner if the FO wants to pad the depth up top. I'm guessing that Danso would be on the developmental roster if signed. It's also important to note that he would take one of the three international spots, which means we can only bring in two of the Mivdun, Vernan, Kocic, or N'Silu.
Also under consideration is what happens with those three remaining senior roster spots. I think we can safely assume that one goes to Veris or the Mivdun. One will probably also go to a fourth forward unless Pontius proves he's ready to claim that spot. But what happens to that third spot? If we do bring in Vernan, and he impresses, does Khumalo need to worry about his spot? And what are we doing about the keeper situation? We certainly have enough of them, but are we going to carry two or three? And are we going to use two senior roster spots on keepers?
With just over a month till kickoff, that's a lot of questions yet to be resolved. What do you think? Are we actually going to land a veteran center back? The FO's chasing of Roger shows that they appreciate the need, but can they get a deal done for the right guy? Outside of central defense and perhaps true wingers, we've got a fair amount of depth . . . for now. After the dust settles, and the roster is trimmed to 24 . . ?