|Could this Kiwi have clipped United's Canuck quotient?|
Between trips to sunnier climes, United did a little trialist-pruning, releasing journeyman veterans Zayner and Svard along with the Suppie pickup Charles Rodriguez (conveniently just after the last Roster Reset…sigh). Kasper promises more trialists for the Arizona jaunt, but what I really want to see are (a) game time for Salihi against the MLS opposition on offer there and (b) a left back, any left back.
Discussion of said gaping void and other tea-leaf reading after your updated lists…
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 - Can he supplant Jakovic or McDonald to start?
- D/M Kitchen, Perry - The anchor-elect
- M Morsink, Kurt - Under threat from trialists? Please, soccer gods, let it be so…
- 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 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 - Under consideration, but no longer training with the team. Methinks Dykstra gets the #3 spot if the price is right.
- 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 Rozeboom, Lance - Suppie pickup. D-mid depth?
- M Saragosa, Marcelo - possible d-mid depth with MLS experience, but is he still MLS-level?
- M/F Richter, Ryan - Union washout, college goalscorer (for what it’s worth)
- 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.
Zayner and Rodriguez were both candidates for left back depth, and at the moment we’re reduced to Korb backing up both flanks. I’m tempted to think the worst here and assume that Woolard has been deemed “the answer” and that some of the incoming trialists for the Arizona stage of pre-season will be auditioning for the backup spot, but the swift pace of (and surprising spending on) recent acquisitions leaves me with somewhat elevated expectations.
Speaking of recent acquisitions…
If we take it as read that the player/coach opportunity in the US for Ryan Nelsen (quotes from his former boss here) was with United (not guaranteed, but somewhat likely, right?) and that Dudar was already on the United roster before Nelsen got the late call from Tottenham, thus scuppering his US move, what hay can we make?
Given that both Nelsen and Dudar command starter’s wages (and spots), what are the chances that United was looking to shop one of its incumbent starting center backs? I’m thinking, given his injury history, likelihood of international call-ups, lack of progression vis-a-vis the brain-farts, and the availability of three Canadian-club suitors, Jakovic might have been bound for the trading block. Raw speculation, and it depends upon a number of factors (Dudar adapting quickly, Nelsen actually being headed to us and fully fit, etc.), but still…
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… ↩