Roster Reset | Refined Sugar for the Coffee Pot

United is back in the States, ready to kick off the Carolina Challenge Cup, but a couple of trialists got lost on the way back from Mexico. Jermaine Taylor's long-awaited trial came to an abrupt end, and Daniel Wasson's extended run has finally fizzled out. Reading our favored tea leaves again says that perhaps (1) Taylor just wasn't good enough, (2) Taylor was still carrying an injury, or (3) Pena is the Mivdun messiah. As for Wasson? Either he's not better than DiRaimondo or he won't take Dev Dollars. Either way, not a huge loss. 

Time to update the list. This time, however, I'm going to throw in a new feature by highlighting who I think are the bubble-boys, arranged as follows...

Almost a lock
In the mix
Outside, looking in

Senior Roster
1.  Josh Wicks, GK
2.  Troy Perkins, GK
3.  (I) Julius James, D
4.  Lawson Vaughn, D - third choice right back at the moment; worth a senior spot?
5.  Marc Burch, D
6.  (I) Dejan Jakovic, D
7.  Bryan Namoff, D
8.  Devon McTavish, D/M - versatility is key; can play central or right in midfield and defense
9.  Rodney Wallace, D/M
10.  (I) Cristian Castillo, M
11.  Kurt Morsink, M
12.  Danny Szetela, M
13.  Clyde Simms, M
14.  (I) Tiyiselani Shipalane, M/F - speed and flair bring something different; does he have more potential than Boyzzz?
15.  Chris Pontius, M/F
16.  Santino Quaranta, M/F
17.  (I) Thabiso Khumalo, M/F - quick, hard-working; not the most reliable finisher; one of he or Shipalane would seem to be surplus
18.  Adam Cristman, F
19.  Jaime Moreno, F
20.  (I) Danny Allsopp, F

Developmental Roster
1.  (GA) Bill Hamid, GK
2.  Jordan Graye, D - hasn't been dismissed yet, but we haven't heard much about him either
3.  Brandon Barklage, M - only question is whether he gets a senior spot or not
4.  John DiRaimondo, M - Morsink's arrival pushes him further down the depth chart

1. Andrew Quinn, GK - is he even still with the team?
2. (I?) Lyle Adams, D - hasn't forced his way past Vaughn yet, will he settle for Dev Dollars?
3. (I) Quiarol Arzu, D - Honduran youth national teamer, awaiting judgement after his trial 
4. (I) Juan Manuel Pena, D - I want to say it's a lock, but we don't know salary demands yet or how impressive he was in a single half of play in Mexico
5. Barry Rice, D - not many spots open, but we might have room for a project center back
6. Daniel Woolard, D - almost a lock if he wants Dev Dollars; if he wants a senior deal?
7. Andy Najar, M/F - would be "outside," but got called back in for the Carolina Cup; possible GenAd deal?

GA = Generation Adidas
I = requires international roster spot, maximum of 8 internationals on final roster [Cristman trade leaves us with 7 spots]

We'll know more in the next week as we see the lineups that Onalfo runs out in the Carolina Challenge Cup. The questions that need to be answered, remembering that Burch will likely start on the inactive list, giving us one free senior roster spot at the moment:

(1) Does Pena still have the legs and the desire? Smarts and ability are not in question, but his salary demands might be. Still, given the promises of veteran defensive help from the FO and our sorry lack of central defensive depth, how much is too much to pay for class? Seeing him against MLS opposition this week should provide a good measure of his worth.

(2) Can Namoff go? If Namoff is healthy, that changes the equation. If McTavish is your first right back option off the bench, do you really need another right back on the senior roster (Vaughn)? That would seem to open the door for either (a) Barklage to get bumped to a senior deal or (b) Woolard to sign on as left back depth (assuming he's not willing to settle for a dev spot). Likewise, the dev roster might have two open spots rather than one for the survivors of the Rice-Adams-Graye battle.

(3) Do we really need both Boyzzz and Shipalane? Both would seem to provide a similar sort of depth on the wings and up top. Might one of them make way for Barklage getting a senior deal?

(4) How far down the depth chart is DiRaimondo? Wasson was his competition for deep-lying midfield depth, but with Simms and Morsink being 1-2, and Szetela and McTavish and maybe Barklage capable of providing cover here, do we really need the likes of DiRaimondo?

(5) How serious are we about Najar? Assuming DiRaimondo is surplus to requirements, Barklage gets a bump, and we carry only two of Rice-Adams-Graye on the dev roster, that leaves another dev spot open. The kid's been called back in for the Cup, which could just be a matter of getting him more exposure... or it could be a test to see if he might be ready to make the jump.

Wonder if we'll ever find out when the roster compliance deadline got pushed back to?


  1. Great questions raised. Is it just me, or is there some legitimate competition for rosters spots, senior and dev, this year?

  2. You have three players listed (Wicks, Namoff, Burch) who are on the IR list and don't currently count against the roster

  3. I like these tough decisions. Wait, is this DC we're talking about?

  4. Also, DC should have 8 international spots, not 7, as we received an extra slot in last year's Gomez trade and then traded one to KC.

  5. RE: injured players
    If you read the post, you'll see that I believe Burch will be on the inactive list to start the season, thus freeing a spot for a signing (Pena?). Wicks might be added to that list (haven't seen speculation about his ETA for return), but Namoff is supposed to be returning to training. As it stands, we can't just sign players to fill those spots unless they're going to be out for a big chunk of time (a la Burch) since when the injured player returns, we'll need a roster spot for him.

    A final note: the list reflects who is actually on the roster, not who is registered with MLS on the active playing roster.

    RE: international spots
    Trades for international spots expire. From what I've heard, the international spot we acquired from the Rapids reverted to them, leaving us with the standard 8. Trading away one of those to KC (as is listed in the post) leaves us with 7. I'm willing to be corrected on this, but the most reliable information I have to date is that we have 7 slots available.

  6. If any player is on the IR list, they're out for six games no matter what. Since neither Wicks or Namoff has even been in training much less at game fitness, it's not much of a stretch for the team to go out and fill their roster spots until they are healthy enough to return. And, even if they return to practice, the team doesn't need to clear a roster spot until they are ready to return to the active roster which could take weeks or even months.

  7. Just out of curiosity, what do you propose to do with these "temporary" players in a month or so when Namoff and Wicks return? Hope somebody else gets injured (probably not far-fetched considering United's fitness woes)?

    Now if Namoff and Wicks are out for 2-3 months, that's a different story, and we're all painfully aware of the potential setbacks with damaged noggins...

  8. Something jumped out at me in Goff's latest update:

    "As a homegrown player, Hamid does not count against the 24-man roster (essentially, he is the 25th man) and affords DCU the flexibility to retain four keepers for the time being."

    So this basically frees up a Dev Roster spot, yet?

  9. Not according to the official MLS rules at the moment.

    from the Roster Rules & Regulations on, part II, section (M)...

    Eligible players must have resided with their parents in a team's "Home Territory" for at least one year prior to placement on a team's Home Grown Player list, subject to the Non-Home Territory exception. Pursuant to all rules regarding qualification as a Home Grown Player, these players may be added to a team's roster Senior or Developmental roster. At this time teams may add up to two players per year from their Home Grown Player list subject to MLS Competition Committee rules.

    That looks like he counts against the roster to me, but hell, this is MLS, who's to say there's not an "academy exemption" or some such backdoor, right? ;-)

  10. Unless, of course, this "Home Grown Player list" which I haven't seen anything else about, is some sort of limbo between academy and full roster?

    Color me confused.

  11. Found this, which would seem to contradict Goff, stating he didn't count last year, but does this year...

    Hamid, an 18-year-old Annandale, Va. native and a product of United's youth academy, is one of two Eastern Conference academy players -- Giorgi Chirgadze (New York) is the other -- to sign with MLS through an amendment to the Home Grown Player rule now in effect. Clubs were granted two additional roster slots until the end of the 2009 season to use exclusively to sign academy players (in accordance with the Home Grown Player rule) to Generation adidas or Developmental deals.

    Hamid and Chirgadze aren't allowed to play in league matches, but they are permitted to train with the team and participate in exhibition matches and CONCACAF Champions League games. Prior to the start of the 2010 season, Chirgadze and Hamid will be added to the senior roster.


  12. Buzz mentioned the "25th" player rule a few weeks on, so I tend to think it's legit.

    As far as the solution to adding temp players it's simple: cut the players who aren't up to standard. To me, DiRaimondo, Morsink, and Shipalane are all expendable, so any one of them is fair game to be cut if someone is added. I don't think Wicks will actually make the roster, so the only players to fit back in would be Burch and Namoff. One or two cuts (say the lesser of DiRaimondo/Morsink) and we're back at the roster limit.

  13. (1) Oh, I don't doubt it's "legit" since MLS makes up the rules as they go along; it just doesn't seem to fit with the rules we mere mortals have been permitted to see.

    (2) I don't see how the FO cuts Wicks loose unless we bring in another backup with some pro-level experience. Likewise Morsink.

    (3) You're a ruthless boss, dude ;-). Though I'm with you on DiRaimondo and Shipalane. USSF Div II is calling, boys.

  14. In addition to the "25th Player Rule" Goff also mentioned that Barklage and DiRaimondo would be on senior contracts and that Adams is likely to be signed (Dev presumably).

    Of course, the biggest new twist is that Szetela has been waived! Time to Reset the Roster once again . . .

    P.S. Goff did mention that the 25PR is in limbo at the moment with the CBA, but that the team is acting like it will be continued next year. Not sure that makes sense, but that's what the G-man sayeth.