I feel like a disgrace for neglecting my wonderful but few readers during this time of year when there is so little else to read in MLS circles. With this blog's constant focus on United roster developments, this should be my Super Bowl! But instead I've been wasting away on the pine. A few life changes have revised my priorities slightly (I'm a new father! Well not really - we got a toy poodle, but it's damn good practice for kids.)
Anyway, let's catch up on the roster changes so far this offseason, then we'll turn our eyes towards the future in an upcoming post:
Clyde Simms was inked by the club to a long term extension. Simmsy was the only player to start all 30 regular season games and led the team in minutes. He's a vital part of the midfield and we're glad to have him back.
Bryan Namoff is our other out-of-contract Ironman, but unfortunately the team doesn't seem to have made much progress with him. That's a bad sign for the only consistent piece of our defense in 2008.
Los Gonzalos both had their options declined by the club for next season. United supposedly still wants to bring back Peralta at a lower salary, but Martinez's playing days in the US are likely over.
Rod Dyachenko and Quavas Kirk similarly had their options declined. Kirk could still return next year, but it certainly won't be at his inflated Genaration Adidas salary. With Dyachenko's departure, the United blogging community will be on the search for a new scapegoat.
Marc Burch and Devon McTavish, who might never get away from always being mentioned together, were both signed to contract extensions. This is a positive step towards establishing some defensive consistency after the abomination that was the 2007-2008 offseason. These two young Americans have a lot of potential and should contribute to the organization for years to come.
Ben Olsen appears more and more likely to be heading towards retirement. It would be a sad end to a legendary career, but we're all pulling for Benny to ride his white horse on back here and return some respectability to the club.
Francis Doe has seemingly returned to his Ghanian club because DC United could not afford to purchase his contract, but are still hoping to extend his loan for another season. If an MLS team can't afford to purchase a player from a team from Ghana, then the league really is in worse financial shape than I thought. I assume that I needn't remind the front office again that Doe's performance just two months ago against New England single-handedly kept our team alive for one more week.
Jeff Carroll became the first casualty of the Developmental roster reduction, and was waived. I feel bad for the guy because I really thought 2008 would be his year to finally earn some time on the first team, but injuries kept him out the entire season and essentially ended his career. United may have to go searching for one of his cousins to fulfill the annual "Two Carroll Quota".
I'll be back later in the week with some thoughts for the future, as we actively await a new WIWFC thread.