Roster Reset #12

Hmmm. Thought we would have had the roster wrapped up by now, but United are apparently still auditioning new trialists with the addition of left winger Lewis Neal to the party. Unfortunately, none of the remaining guys getting a look is a left back – a position that is probably United’s weakest from the standpoint of starters, and one at which they have zero depth[1].

Applying the (rather modest) updates…

Salary Budget Players (18 required, maximum 20)

  1. GK, Dykstra, Andrew - Odd that the third-stringer is the only one on the salary budget?
  2. D (I) Jakovic, Dejan
  3. D Woolard, Daniel - Is he really a starting-quality MLS fullback?
  4. D McDonald, Brandon
  5. D Russell, Robbie - Past it or the second coming of Namoff?
  6. D (I) Dudar, Emiliano - Can he supplant Jakovic or McDonald to start?
  7. D/M Kitchen, Perry - The anchor-elect. United lists him as off-budget courtesy of GenAd, but I’m pretty sure he graduated.
  8. M Morsink, Kurt - Surplus to requirements with addition of Saragosa?
  9. M Saragosa, Marcelo - Journeyman vet offers cover for Kitchen
  10. M (I, DP) Boskovic, Branko - Ready to make a statement?
  11. M Cruz, Danny
  12. M/F De Rosario, Dwayne
  13. M/F Pontius, Chris
  14. F Wolff, Josh
  15. F (I) Santos, Maicon
  16. F (I, DP) Salihi, Hamdi
  17. -
  18. -
  19. (optional)
  20. (optional)

Off-Budget Players (maximum 10)

  1. GK (HG) Hamid, Bill
  2. GK Willis, Joe
  3. D (HG) White, Ethan
  4. D Korb, Chris
  5. M King, Stephen
  6. M (HG) Najar, Andy
  7. M/F DeLeon, Nick
  8. M Rozeboom, Lance
  9. (optional)
  10. (optional)

On Loan

  1. D/M (HG) Shanosky, Conor
  2. -


  1. M (I) Neal, Lewis - Assuming no green card
  2. M/F Richter, Ryan - Union washout, college goalscorer (for what it’s worth), can play right back in a pinch.

Color me a little confused here. We’ve got three, count them, three fullbacks on the roster. Sure, we’ve got lots of guys who could do spot duty there (including a guy who was our starting right back for most of last year), but why – for the love of heaven why? – do we have so many dedicated d-mids?

All signs are pointing to Rozeboom getting a contract, and, from what I’ve seen in pre-season, I’d say that’s a good move[2]. But he’s also the fourth defensive midfielder on this roster (with Kitchen, Morsink, Saragosa). If we were playing a bucket midfield that’s good depth, but theoretically Benny will be pairing a d-mid with Boskovic (or King – who’s more d-minded than creative dynamo in his own right) in central midfield. So why four?

I guess you could say that we’re not certain that Kitchen will pan out and Rozeboom won’t pick up many minutes this year, so it would pay to have cover, but it still looks a little excessive given the shortfall in other areas…

Roster lists updated to reflect Rozeboom signing as off-budget player

  1. Korb is the current depth, and he also happens to be the whole of the right back depth.  ↩

  2. Showed well in patches, but looks more a project than the finished article. How strange is it to have a “project” guy be 3 years older than your “now” starter?  ↩


  1. I'm sorry to keep banging this drum, my friend, but I believe that "zero depth" doesn't do the situation justice, considering that there isn't actually anybody at left back to begin with.

  2. So the concept of depth doesn't exist absent a starter? Case for the opposition: our status at forward after signing Santos and before signing Salihi.

    I prefer to think that Woolard is the depth -- all that's lacking is the starter. Don't know that we have the cap space (or are convinced of the necessity) to pay for a decent one though.

  3. #frontofficefail

    As comprehensive as FM is, this is a situation I've never come across in the game: A poor front office staff entrenched because of ownership/political decisions.

    The scouting and business management side of this club is insanely inconsistent. Salihi looks a great find, but this left back situation is just cuh-razy. I'd love to know what the real story is - did they have options that didn't pan out? Was the left-footed Brazilian kid the only play? Are they not identifying talent to target, or are they fumbling the approach?

    As y'know, I'm a Fire supporter, and we've had the same feeling for the last several years - who the fuck is running this place? There were players clearly brought in by three different sets of decision-makers: the owners (Ljungberg, Castillo), the TD Klopas (Pardo, Pappa, draftees) and the coach de los Cobos (a parade of horrible Central Americans).

    Since Klopas has taken a full-control approach - and the owner's stopped buying guys he saw do something awesome once - the moves appear more coherent. I'm wondering if there's something similar at work here, a significant dysfunction behind the scenes making this all look crazy.

  4. While the moves -- excepting the left back situation -- look good now, I wonder what song I (we) will be singing come June. I remember only too well the great Sudamericano invasion that promised so much and fell flat on its face a few years ago. There were players there with even higher Euro-rep than the current crew (with experience in Ligue 1 and Serie A versus the Austrian and Swiss top flights). We shall see.

    I'm going to take it as a positive sign that Olsen (and it was clearly Olsen, right?) was allowed to jettison so many guys he clearly didn't feel were up to the task or didn't fit into "his" team -- guys that Kasper/Payne kept around far too long.

    As regards your analogy, I think (or foolishly hope) that we're past the "significant dysfunction" hump and sidling up to coherence. There's more quality depth (and most of it MLS-proven) on the roster than I can remember in some time.

    Excepting, of course, at left back.


  5. Rozeboom is signed, and Richter also seems likely. Maybe he'll show well enough to be considered a fullback option for Russell, allowing Korb to start on the left.

    Or maybe this Neal guy can be molded. Either way, our depth is still better than almost any season I can remember, most of which had McTavish as the Only depth for an insane number of spots. Oh, and remember Gray starting for us?

  6. Saw the Rozeboom news a little bit ago, but didn't see if he was salary budget or not, so I'll hold off updating till we get that cleared up.

    I doubt that Neal, as a veteran 30 year old attacking left wing, is going to be converted to fullback, but we shall see (Eddie Lewis example shows it's possible).

    And yes, I remember Graye starting for us. I think you'll also find that in the comment above I said "There's more quality depth (and most of it MLS-proven) on the roster than I can remember in some time." I have no reservations saying that I've been impressed in the main by the FO's off-season work. What frustrates is -- as Sean said above -- that they did so well but frustratingly couldn't clear that final hurdle.

    Perhaps it's too much to expect an MLS roster, given the constraints, to be fully fleshed out in all areas. Still, I wonder why we have four out-and-out d-mids and three (primary position) fullbacks when it looks like Olsen wants to play with one d-mid. Seems an odd choice...

    Rozeboom confirmed as off-budget on United roster page.