Almost across the line. United can add 6 more players before the roster spots fill up, and must add at least two to the salary budget roster by compliance day in order to fulfill the MLS roster regulations. Of course, it’s impossible to tell (from the outside) just how much room remains under the cap, but I think it’s fairly safe to say that we’ll be adding two of the four remaining trialists and not pulling any surprise rabbits from Kasper-Payne’s hat. That said, I do wonder which list they’ll get added to and who gets bumped up if they’re off-budget.
On that topic, Andrew Dykstra’s signing was finally made official, and the roster page puts him on the salary budget list. Interesting, isn’t it, that the #3 keeper is the only netminder who counts against the cap? With Brazilian forward Alfredo dismissed and Burciaga’s Lazarus act over, that leaves us with four guys fighting for a spot.
Of the three, I think Guilherme (based on need – we have no other left back depth outside of Korb, who also covers the right) and Rozeboom (by virtue of merit – he looked excellent against Chicago and got rave reviews from Benny), are odds-on favorites. Richter and C’deBaca have gone the distance in camp, and probably won’t break the bank salary-wise, but just how close are United to the cap ceiling?
On to the updated roster…
Salary Budget Players (18 required, maximum 20)
- GK, Dykstra, Andrew - Odd that the third-stringer is the only one on the salary budget?
- D (I) Jakovic, Dejan
- D Woolard, Daniel - Is he really a starting-quality MLS fullback?
- D McDonald, Brandon
- D Russell, Robbie - Past it or the second coming of Namoff?
- D (I) Dudar, Emiliano - Can he supplant Jakovic or McDonald to start?
- D/M Kitchen, Perry - The anchor-elect. United lists him as off-budget courtesy of GenAd, but I’m pretty sure he graduated.
- M Morsink, Kurt - Surplus to requirements with addition of Saragosa?
- M Saragosa, Marcelo - Journeyman vet offers cover for Kitchen
- M (I, DP) Boskovic, Branko - Ready to make a statement?
- M Cruz, Danny
- M/F De Rosario, Dwayne
- M/F Pontius, Chris
- F Wolff, Josh
- F (I) Santos, Maicon
- F (I, DP) Salihi, Hamdi
Off-Budget Players (maximum 10)
- GK (HG) Hamid, Bill
- GK Willis, Joe
- D (HG) White, Ethan
- D Korb, Chris
- D/M (HG) Shanosky, Conor - Ready to play with the big boys?
- M King, Stephen
- M (HG) Najar, Andy
- M/F DeLeon, Nick
- D (I) Guilherme - Brazilian left wingback. Has technique, but what about toughness?
- D Burciaga, Jose - Back on the list as the Lazarus Act continues.
- M C’deBaca, Seth - Haven’t heard his name in a while – for good or ill.
- M Rozeboom, Lance - Suppie pickup. D-mid depth? Looking good in pre-season.
- M/F Richter, Ryan - Union washout, college goalscorer (for what it’s worth), can play right back in a pinch.
How many of those trialists make the cut? We’ll know by roster compliance day, which is Thursday. I do find it odd that we’re getting this close to the deadline and Kitchen is still listed as off-budget by virtue of being Generation Adidas. Given that he graduated from the program, I wonder if that means (a) the roster on the website doesn’t reflect reality – at least as MLS HQ perceives it, (b) the brain trust aren’t aware he graduated, or (c) there’s some crazy MLS regulatory loophole I’m not aware of. And by crazy, of course, I mean “to be entirely expected in Major League Soccer.”