|Does this man have your goals?|
So are they done?
United ticked one of the two big “need” boxes by acquiring Albanian international striker Hamdi Salihi as a designated player (wait, I thought Uncle Will wasn’t going to splash the cash?). Given his impressive rate of return wherever he’s played, he certainly seems to fit the poacher’s bill, though he also has decent size. Additionally, he was being pursued by Celtic in the winter transfer window and is under 30.
Intriguing. Presumably his former teammate Boskovic had something to do with this a la the De Rosario-vets-Santos move. Now the question becomes: does anybody else on the roster know a good left back?
Resetting the roster leaves us with…
Salary Budget Players (minimum 18 required)
- D (I) Jakovic, Dejan
- D Woolard, Daniel - Is he really a starting-quality MLS fullback?
- D Korb, Chris
- D McDonald, Brandon
- D Russell, Robbie - Past it or the second coming of Namoff?
- D (I) Dudar, Emiliano
- D/M Kitchen, Perry
- M Morsink, Kurt - Under threat from trialists? Svard inclusion says maybe…
- M King, Stephen - Ditto
- M (I, DP) Boskovic, Branko - Ready to make a statement?
- M Cruz, Danny
- M/F De Rosario, Dwayne
- M/F Pontius, Chris
- F Brettschneider, Blake - Wonder how safe his spot is. Can he be re-classified as off-budget?
- F Wolff, Josh
- F (I) Santos, Maicon
- F (I, DP) Salihi, Hamdi
Optional Salary Budget Players (maximum 2 allowed)
Off-Budget Players (maximum 10 allowed)
- GK (HG) Hamid, Bill
- GK Willis, Joe
- D (HG) White, Ethan
- D/M (HG) Shanosky, Conor - Ready to play with the big boys?
- M (HG) Najar, Andy
- M/F DeLeon, Nick 
- GK Dykstra, Andrew - MLS experience, excellent competition for the largely unproven Willis if the price is right
- GK Lambo, Josh - ex-GenAd and youth nat; has pedigree but has yet to live up to it
- D Rodriguez, Charles - Suppie pickup. Projects as left/center back depth?
- D Zayner, Jed - Versatile back-line veteran, but is he healthy?
- M C’deBaca, Seth - Trained with the big boys last year and played with U–23’s so we should have a firm handle on his qualities
- M Richter, Ryan - Union washout, college goalscorer (for what it’s worth)
- M Rozeboom, Lance - Suppie pickup. D-mid depth?
- M Svard, Sebastian - journeyman Danish d-mid
- M Saragosa, Marcelo - possible d-mid depth with MLS experience, but is he still MLS-level?
- F Jerome, Stefan - US youth nat has been toiling in lower-tier Euro-obscurity, but used to have some pretty smooth skills if memory serves.
We’re pretty close to a fully fleshed-out roster here, though there are some big, lingering question marks. How quickly can the new boys from the Central European leagues adapt to MLS? Presumably the incumbent McDonald/Jakovic pairing at the back and the acquisition of Maicon Santos provide cover while they do so.
But what I really wonder (and worry) most about is what effect signing a second DP has on De Rosario’s ongoing contract negotiations.
Korb turns 25 this year, making him (to my understanding under previous year’s rules) ineligible for Off-Budget status. ↩
Listed as Off-Budget on dcunited.com, but turned 25 last year. Wouldn’t that have made him ineligible for Off-Budget status in 2011? That’s what the rules say anyway. ↩
Listed as Off-Budget on the roster. Isn’t GenAd, but qualifies for status anyway by virtue of age if United lists him as such. Of course, they still list Kitchen as Off-Budget by virtue of GenAd status, and he graduated from GenAd months ago… ↩