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DCU's Status and MLS Notes

With the Dungeons & Dragons portion of the MLS preseason over -- okay, I admit it, I love the combine -- we begin to turn our attention to Thursday's draft. I will be traveling to the Midwest today, so until I get settled in St. Louis and finish lingering college basketball work, I leave you with D.C. United's current roster situation and a few MLS nuggets:

*The buzz is that Maryland defender Omar Gonzalez has moved to the top of the draft list and could become the No. 1 overall pick tomorrow. Big man, big upside, though he needs polishing. That said, a lot could change in draft circles the next 24 hours.
*FSV Frankfurt, a second-division club, was interested in an unidentified MLS forward, but contract issues prevented further discussion. Hmmm.
*Red Bulls reserve goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell is training with Danish club Aarhus.

DCU ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): Louis Crayton, Zach Wells.
DEFENDERS (4): Bryan Namoff, Devon McTavish, Marc Burch, Greg Janicki.
MIDFIELDERS (7): Marcelo Gallardo, Clyde Simms, Ivan Guerrero, Fred, Ben Olsen, Joe Vide, Santino Quaranta.
FORWARDS (4): Jaime Moreno, Francis Doe, Luciano Emilio, Thabiso Khumalo.

SEEKING A CONTRACT: Craig Thompson, Mike Zaher, Ryan Cordeiro, James Thorpe, Ryan Miller, Pat Carroll, Domenic Mediate, Quavas Kirk, Ibrahim Koroma.
IN LIMBO: Gonzalo Martinez.
POSSIBLE SIGNINGS: Walter Martinez, unknown foreign defender, various trialists.
DRAFT PICKS: Two in the first round, two in the second, one in the third.

The maximum roster size is 24 players: 20 seniors and four developmentals.

This is how it looks at the moment. Expect a lot of shuffling before the roster is finalized in two months.

By Steve Goff  |  January 14, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Next: Gomez to Dallas?

Comments

DC should trade Zack Wells, he is getting way too much money for sitting on the bench. Crayton was a noticable improvement.

Gallardo should be dropped in favor of playing Moreno in the Attacking Mid role. With his DP slot a young forward could be aquired. DC needs a forward that is fast that can actually shoot.

As for the draft picks I hope they draft a big man for center back and a right winger.

Posted by: bighungry | January 14, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm...How many MLS forwards speak German? Josh Wolff, Luciano Emilio...?

Interesting, so 17 players signed, sealed, and delivered. 7 slots open with a bunch of linked names and 2 high draft picks. I'd feel better with 3 more quality defenders, another forward, and another midfielder.

Posted by: strago | January 14, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Possible forward situation...
Khumalo & Martinez up front...

Emeilio as an on looker..

Moreno as a forwards coach..

and Doe in reserve...

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | January 14, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm...How many MLS forwards speak German? Josh Wolff, Luciano Emilio...?
Posted by: strago | January 14, 2009 8:04 AM

_________________________________
Don't forget Taylor Twellman and Jovan Kirovski ;)

Posted by: schmuckatelli | January 14, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

_________________________________
Don't forget Taylor Twellman and Jovan Kirovski ;)
_________________________________

or Conor Casey. And I'd imagine there are possibly others.

Posted by: tab5g | January 14, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

We should definitely re-sign Talon too.

Posted by: Pedalada | January 14, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I love ya, Steve, but mocking the machinations of the league you cover so well is really not what I expect from you. Is the growing interest in the baseball draft Magic the Gathering because the margin for error is so great, like the MLS process?

Just because the fans geek out on things doesn't mean the activity is geeky. It means the sport is growing roots that will serve it well for the long term. I never thought the search for information on the league could be spun into a bad thing.

Posted by: beach3 | January 14, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Really? You are so thin-skinned that that offended you? Really?

Posted by: Reignking | January 14, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I love the fact we have kept the core players intact. A healthy and rested DCU looks like a force to be reckoned with. Tough call on the last 7 spots. 9 good players from last year, 2-3 draft picks, plus a Int. signing or 2. That's 14 players competing for 7 spots. That's good!

Posted by: boda-united | January 14, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: OWNTF | January 14, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the roster rundown. With only 3 senior slots remaining the team doesn't have much room for foreign signings or for paying rookies much. The fact that some cap-exempt Gen Ad players should be available in the draft will help.

What's the max developmental salar -30K or so? (that sounds like an oxymoron)

I wouldn't be surprised if Olsen, either Wells or Crayton, and one of Khumalo/Doe could be under threat due to the smaller roster size. At least if the team decides to make significant acquisitions beyond the draft.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 14, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Really? You are so thin-skinned that that offended you? Really?

Posted by: Reignking | January 14, 2009 9:04 AM

---------------------------------------

I don't notice where I used the word offended. huh.

Regardless, I think fans showing a deep interest in the game is a good thing. I don't see why the search for info on players who will be joining the league this year should be derided, that's all. I love a good joke, but it seems as this one is coming at the expense of the fans, which I don't think is very fair.

Like I said, I'm a big fan of Steve and check this place religiously. I just don't agree with him on this point.

Posted by: beach3 | January 14, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I would be more concerned that Steve offended the D&D players with that remark. Those folks, with their creative anachronisms, are likely to smite you with a two handed sword wielded by an 18th level Ranger. Or something like that. Isn't DC the only MLS team to have had a D&D character on it's roster (El Enano)?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 14, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Man, we are dorkin' out this week, aren't we? From Star Trek to D&D, what's next? Dr. Who references?

Posted by: Reignking | January 14, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

@beach3,

Welcome to the community - but criticism of the draft is warranted. Few draft picks have ever matured into contributing prospects for the league.

It's also unlikely with the future focus on academies and other means of procuring talent that the draft will ever be a major event where rookies are chosen and can immediately help out a club.

The college game is ill suited to develop consistent and viable talent because of the differences in the game and the general lack in competitive matches. Most college coaches would never see a professional job either. It's just in a sad state at the moment.

And, if you look abroad and here in the states, if you haven't been on someone's radar from your early teens - it's unlikely you'll ever mature as a professional.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 14, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Solid roster??? We don't have a single center back worth mentioning first of all. Second we only have one striker, two if you count Moreno. He had a good season last year, but I can't imagine he will defy his age another year.

However despite those two glaring weaknesses the team has depth. I just hope DC doesn't sign any defenders from South America again. We should be looking in Northern or Eastern Europe for the back line.

Posted by: bighungry | January 14, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I like most of the players we have, but I don't see much leadership on the team. Looking back at 2004 with Olsen, Nelsen and Stewart, there was constantly someone on the field keeping everyone's head up and playing field marshal. We won't find a leader in the draft, I wonder if there are players to be picked up who could fit in this role?

Posted by: eadc | January 14, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm must be slow this morning, 'cause I don't get Steve's D&D reference...can someone explain the joke?

Posted by: edgeonyou | January 14, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Mike Lahoud is from the area, born in DC and family lives in Annandale, VA.

Daniel Cruz was born in Petersburg, VA.

Posted by: Barracudas | January 14, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I very scared about our defense. This is the 3rd offseason in a row where we have failed to address this situation, and yet it has come back to bite us during the regular season.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | January 14, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Logic, my dear Goff, merely enables one to be wrong with authority.

Posted by: boda-united | January 14, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Ok the next time someone gets offended I'm calling everyone of us Soccer Nerds, ya'll better remember this this thread.;-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM_lEdVtDJg&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR-D9oSMLBw&feature=related

Posted by: DadRyan | January 14, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The funniest thing about this is that beach3 takes the D&D reference as the highest form of insult, and feels that he has to defend HIS form of geekery from that OTHER uncool form of geekery.

Lemme tell you, buddy - it's ALL geekery. Society at large may tell you sports geekery is more socially acceptable, but that's debatable. Wearing a jersey inscribed with the name of your favorite player is no different from dressing up like Mr. Spock at a Trek con. It's all fannish geekery.

That said, I admit my DCU geekery and proudly wear my Olsen #14!

Posted by: JamesDougan | January 14, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Reignking, we should definitely bring in the Doctor Who references; it would make SI so vastly superior to all the other soccer blogs that it would be out of this world. (Pun very much intended.)

Posted by: kacd | January 14, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

It's also unlikely with the future focus on academies...
Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 14, 2009 9:45 AM
==================

I assume you're referring to Starfleet Academy.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 14, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

p.s. yes it's a "Dr. Who" quote....edited a little....back to my Risk game. (aka Lux)

Posted by: boda-united | January 14, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Twellman would be the player linked to FSV Frankfurt as the article states the player they were after had his option picked up by MLS at some point after the end of the 2008 season. Twellman is currently going into year 3 of a new contract with his option year being for the 2010 season.

Posted by: evan_whitney | January 14, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

FYI, Kaka just declined Man City's bid for $145 million, plus a salary of $250,000/week. Um, I'll take that salary. Kaka my friend, you are not thinking correctly.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | January 14, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

City offered 100M pounds ($144.8M) for Kaka. Recession? What recession?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 14, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Josh "Bad"Wolff

Only thing I could think of...

Posted by: Reignking | January 14, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@I-270Exit1,

Good choice - but the cooler academy is the one where you can escape small town Tattooine where you targeted wamp rats in your speeder and go off to fight the empire/Red Bull.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 14, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

For the soccer draft geeks and those who claim not to be geeks but are still in a fantasy draft: FSC will broadcast live from the NSCAA convention at 8PM on Thursday.

True geek story: I was so excited to see a model of the Tardis on a street in Cambridge (UK, not MA) that I entered right away and called home (turns out those things are really phone booths, who knew?!). Mrs. 270 wasn't to happy to be awakened at such an early hour.

Live long and prosper, May the force be with you, Long live King Aragorn, UAG/UAA/UGA and other geekish closings.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 14, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

DC should trade Zack Wells, Crayton was a noticable improvement.

Posted by: bighungry | January 14, 2009 8:02 AM

UNF POS PLAYER GAA W L T SHO
1 GK Zach Wells 1.65 8 8 1 1
27 G Louis Crayton 1.58 3 6 3 4

Outside of the shutouts, that's not a noticable improvement. Face it, they both suck. We should have had Cannon.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | January 14, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

This whole discussion is ignoring the really fraking big news this week: The return of new episodes of Battlestar Galactica, as the final season debuts on a TV screen near you, on Friday night.

Posted by: fischy | January 14, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Bighungry

Solid roster??? We don't have a single center back worth mentioning first of all. Second we only have one striker, two if you count Moreno. He had a good season last year, but I can't imagine he will defy his age another year.

However despite those two glaring weaknesses the team has depth. I just hope DC doesn't sign any defenders from South America again. We should be looking in Northern or Eastern Europe for the back line.
______________________________________

I agree with you to me our roster looks WEAK.

Defense: Will we see Burch 2007 :-) or Burch 2008 :-(? I guess Mctavish is a CB now, I know the guy hustles but he is no CB. Janiki unproven, how many games did he play? Namoff is good. This is our defense, how pathetic.

Midfield: Olsen is going to take up a spot again! Come on brother, Benny I love ya but retire already. I will be surprised if "the doll" makes it the whole year, and if we start losing forget about it he wont play.

Forwards: Moreno I have mad respect for and he played well last season lets see if he can repeat. Emilio no service no goals. Doe and Khumalo are ok at best.

How can someone say we have a deep roster? Not one of the guys looking for contracts can actually do any major contributing to the team. Hell I have higher hopes for Koroma at CB which I have never seen play. We better make some moves soon so I can start feeling better. This might be a long season.

Posted by: francisco_11 | January 14, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"Burn Notice" is coming back, as is "In Plain Sight" and "Chuck". And if all goes well, we'll be seeing Crush on NBC, too.

I am no longer Joe Doc. You may call me Saruman, son of Arleas, with a +3 broadsword. Do NOT mess with me.

Posted by: joedoc1 | January 14, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Or that Stargate Atlantis just ended.

Anyone else think DC might trade its two picks to move up to #1? We all know DC doesn't like drafting, so this would work out very well.

Posted by: Reignking | January 14, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Everybody-
Have a little faith in the front office and lets just wait and see who would get in the draft tomorrow and go from there...

Posted by: BurchFan4 | January 14, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I finally caught up on Burn Notice (DVR+marathon). Quality show, and fantastic to watch on HD. 24 was this week, Lost next week...

Posted by: Reignking | January 14, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Please identify the following Dr. Who quotes:

- "Yes, we/I know who you are"

- "Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow"

- "Jellybabies?"

- "Brave heart, Teagan"

- "I'd call you a genius except I'm in the room"

- "Fantastic!"

- "I am not amused!"


And to keep this on topic with soccer. I like DC United

- "

Posted by: ARickey | January 14, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

UNF POS PLAYER GAA W L T SHO
1 GK Zach Wells 1.65 8 8 1 1
27 G Louis Crayton 1.58 3 6 3 4

Outside of the shutouts, that's not a noticable improvement. Face it, they both suck. We should have had Cannon.

Thx,

Jay!


Maybe you are right... But from what I saw I didn't get the feeling he would let a ball go right through his hands or be afraid to take command of the box. Wells just seemed to stand there and look confused. I'm not saying Crayton is great, just that Wells is garbage.

We should trade for Lambo, if nothing else he is a good youth prospect and being a GA won't count against the cap for awhile.

About Olsen, I think he has another year in him if his ankles don't fall apart. He does provide leadership. Unfortunately only him and Moreno appear to do that. Both of them aren't going to be playing much longer. Is there any leadership anywhere else on the roster?

Posted by: bighungry | January 14, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't see this as a strong United roster. On the contrary, I see a team at desperate need for centerbacks, wing midfielders and a starting level forward.

Frankly, I don't see this team having more than 5 or 6 "starters".

...........Crayton
...Namoff.....??....??.....??

............Sims...............
..??.......................??
...........Gallardo...........

......Emilio.......(Moreno??)..

I love Moreno but how much longer
can he keep pulling a good season
together at his age.


Posted by: dcufan53 | January 14, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I like Dungeons & Dragons. I like Star Trek. I like Dr. Who. I like Goff's musical references to groups like the Grateful Dead. And I like DC United.

Honey, I'm home!

Posted by: regularfan | January 14, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@beach3,

Welcome to the community - but criticism of the draft is warranted. Few draft picks have ever matured into contributing prospects for the league.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 14, 2009 9:45 AM

------------------------------------

I am fully aware of the situation in MLS. I'm not a newcomer to the "community," just using the one login I can remember for the Post.

And in reply to someone else (too lazy to cut and paste twice), I do know it's all geeky. I'm OK with that. We rely on SG for the minutiae. Why does that have to be put in pejorative terms?

Posted by: beach3 | January 14, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Personally - The Last Starfighter will get me to stop flipping channels. Thanks TBS!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 14, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The ultimate homage to science-fiction geekdom: "Galaxy Quest." (I have both that and "The Last Starfighter" on DVD...)

Live long and prosper. :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | January 14, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

eadc:

I agree completely. Aside from our need at center back, this is the most worrying thing to me at this point. Olsen being hurt really leaves us with Moreno as the only leader, and he's more of a "lead by example" type. Vocal leadership is severely lacking, and I believe that contributed a lot to last season's problems.

francisco_11:

Deep for MLS means you have more than 16 players you can start without wondering what will go wrong. I'd say we're just short of that figure at the moment, and with Kasper saying there are signings coming, we should push over the top.

We're thin in the back obviously, specifically center back. We could use another forward (Khumalo strikes me as a better midfielder) and a keeper that's better than Wells. I'm also concerned that if Gallardo is hurt, we have no legit option to replace him (though W. Martinez is supposedly able to play both as a second forward and as an attacking midfielder). At this point in the offseason, every MLS team has this many questions (save Houston and Columbus, I suppose).

dcufan53:

I'd be interested to hear what's wrong with Fred, Quaranta, and Guerrero (all guys that would start on more than half of MLS's teams).

***

Short version of how I view what we currently have on the roster:

When everyone was fit and the extremely long adjustment period ended, this team could flat out play. Unfortunately, this requires older and/or injury-prone players to be at or near 100%, which is admittedly a high-wire act. The amount of dominance we exerted during that hot stretch also covered up our defensive woes, which require at minimum a center back that's better than most in MLS.

As is, this roster will continue to struggle to defend even the most meager attack, and varies from deep to perilously thin from position to position. However, I think we're somewhere from 2-4 acquisitions from having a very good team (provided those acquisitions pan out). A lot is riding on the quality of signings we make and drafting well.

As for TV/nerding it up: Nip/Tuck is the only show I'm interested in. I've also been watching old MST3K episodes on Youtube.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 14, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Nip/Tuck is the opposite of nerdy...

Posted by: Reignking | January 14, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

If we only have five defenders under contract by the end of January, then I'll start to worry.

Posted by: B_A_ | January 14, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to put my Pogs away now and focus on the roster...

I'd like to see Zaher, Cordeiro, and Kirk retained next year and use the remaining spots for draft picks and other foreign acquisitions.

I think our defense is young and hasn't been the best, but I'm not sure the talent in MLS exists for us to trade for and we can't buy other MLSers soooo - we have to deal with that.

Midfield won't be too much of an issue if Fred finds his form, Gallardo stays healthy and plays like he did in that late spring stretch and we find out if Ben's going to be back and 100% or we get the cap room to use on someone else. DO NOT bring back Thompson or Domenic. Great people - but I'm not paying to watch these guys on the field.

Up front - all the tools - just find the net and stay healthy, hungry, and motivated.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 14, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

VBB, you's a funny mofo. Pogs!?...WTF?

Posted by: DadRyan | January 14, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

If that's true about Gonzalez, wow! He was a disappointment, mostly, at the combine. Lack of speed really showed. I'd think the top three available players are Frei, Zakuani and Cronin.

Posted by: LAStory | January 14, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

So, with two first round picks DC ignored two glaring needs, a center back and a goalie of the future. Was Vinny in the war room...

Posted by: gmAndAguinness. | January 15, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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