After a long boring winter solace with no new news of player acquisitions, we finally come upon the start of Training Camp 2009. We've got some fresh new faces, and some surprising absences. As Goff and BTB are reporting, the only new addition besides our draft picks is Kyle Veris, a 6'-3" defender who rode the bench in the Norwegian first division in 2008, last seen playing for that defensive juggernaut LA in 2007. Of our 5 draft picks, only defender Rodney Wallace, forward Chris Pontius, goalkeeper Milos Kocic, and midfielder Brandon Barklage are in camp, with defender Lyle Adams pursuing opportunities in Europe (hey - we knew it had to happen to at least one of these guys!).
But it's the conspicuously absent names of Ryan Cordeiro, Craig Thompson, Quavas Kirk, and Pat Carroll that has me upset the most.
I knew there would be some point during the season where we all complained about how terrible the MLS roster changes are, I just didn't think it would come this soon.
By cutting the developmental roster by 50% from 8 players to just 4, MLS is seriously limiting each team's ability to perform over the course of a full season. We all whined numerous times during 2008 about a lack of roster depth. And the league's reaction is to... trim rosters?
Here's a point for ya... Had the developmental roster only held 4 slots in previous years, Devon McTavish would not have been on the team. Same can probably be said for Marc Burch.
But United's reaction to the altered roster size is inexcusable. Why not at least invite Cordeiro, Thompson, Kirk, and Carroll to participate in the camp? This group of players contributed 769 minutes over the course on 28 appearances last season. Avid readers of this blog know that I fell in love with Ryan Cordeiro since the first day I saw him, which was when he scored the winning goal in extra time of the first Reserve division match last year. In his few appearances with the first team, he showed a lot of potential and I thought he was poised to be a bit more of a regular contributor this year. And what Craig Thompson lacked in size he made up for in effort.
Why not reward these guys for their efforts and at least give them a chance to qualify for the roster in 2009? Why not give Cordeiro a chance to push Pontius? Or Thompson to go head to head against Barklage? These kinds of competitions almost always result in both players playing better.
With the disappearance of Cordeiro, that means that not one of our draft picks from either of the past TWO seasons has remained on the roster for an entire year. Sarcastic claps to the Payne/Kasper/Soehn regime for that one. And the only rookie holdover from last season appears to be Mike Zaher. Nothing against either of them, but what did Zaher and Ryan Miller do so well to earn them camp invitations ahead of Carroll and Cordeiro?
I'm crossing my fingers that a few of these gents will be brought in later in camp, otherwise we bid them the best of luck finding new clubs. But with the way this offseason has gone, is anybody actually excited about the new season???