Friday, February 20, 2009

Less Than 10 Days

It's less than 10 days now until the Wizards have to comply with MLS roster regulations, so I figured I'd go ahead an again do as Steven Goff did, and break down our roster again.

Since the last time I did this, we know that the Wizards have signed Santiago Hirsig from San Lorenzo, so he'll be taking one roster spot. Other then that, there hasn't been much movement, Doug DeMartin and Eric Kronberg haven't appeared for a while, word is that both are injured and while the Wizards still want both players, they'll likely be on some kind of injured reserve type thing until they are healthy.

Goalkeepers (3)
Kevin Hartman - The undisputed number 1 keeper right now, especially with Kronberg out.
Boris Pardo - Last seasons number 3 keeper, Pardo has to be the lead for the back up spot with Kronberg out, but when/if Kronberg returns, Pardo will likely have to fight to keep his job if the Wizards keep 3 keepers on their roster.
Chris Brown - Trialist, still with the team, only other option currently for the number 3 spot, would likely be a developmental player.

Defenders (8)
Jimmy Conrad - KC's captain, not going anywhere.
Michael Harrington - Entering his third season, Harrington has a lock on the left back spot.
Aaron Hohlbein - Favorite coming into the season to start along side Conrad.
Jonathan Leathers - With Chance Myers out, Leathers would seem to be the favorite to be the starting right back.
Chance Myers - Will miss the start of the season again due to injury, Generation Adidas.
Matt Besler - First round pick, likely will fight for a senior roster spot.
Matt Marquess - Second year player. Likely fighting for a developmental roster spot.
Rauwshan McKenzie - Second year player, also likely fighting to make the developmental roster.

Midfielders (11)
Davy Arnaud - Can play anywhere in the midfield or up top, signed a new deal this offseason.
Jack Jewsbury - Holding midfielder or possibly right back, also signed a new deal this offseason.
Roger Espinoza - Left midfielder, starting to get time with Honduran national team, Generation Adidas.
Santiago Hirsig - The Wizards new signing, from talk, he's a box-to-box midfielder.
Kurt Morsink - Morsink seems to be falling further down the depth chart, especially with the signing of Hirsig.
Nelson Pizarro - Open tryout participant, likely fighting for a developmental spot.
Kevin Souter - Another open tryout participant, likely to benefit of the senior roster expansion.
Lance Watson - Can play on the wing or as a wingback, but likely will need to make the senior roster to make the team.
Graham Zusi - Rookie from Maryland, could make senior roster or fight for developmental slot.
Akeem Priestley - 4th round draft pick, hasn't been in camp, instead is trying his luck in Europe.
Ferenc Béres - Trialist from Hungary, has missed some time this preseason with injury.

Forwards (6)
Adam Cristman - The Wizards first acquisition of the offseason is coming off an injury but should battle for plenty of playing time.
Herculez Gomez - Gomez will likely see more time in the midfield, but is also coming off an injury early in the preseason.
Michael Kraus - Finally got on the field in an MLS game, but likely needs to make the senior roster to be on the team this year.
Claudio Lopez - Last years DP is now not longer, but is the favorite to start up top.
Abe Thompson - A late season acquisition last season Thompson appears to be in a fight with Cristman for playing time.
Josh Wolff - The other favorite with Lopez to start at forward this season.

Some players may appear multiple times in this list as they are players that could end up on different parts of the roster.
Senior players (13 of 20) - Hartman, Conrad, Harrington, Hohlbein, Arnaud, Jewsbury, Hirsig, Morsink, Cristman, Gomez, Lopez, Thompson, Wolff
Senior candidates - Pardo, Leathers, Besler, Marquess, McKenzie, Pizarro, Souter, Watson, Zusi, Béres, Kraus
Developmental Players (2 of 4) - Myers, Espinoza
Developmental Candidates - Pardo, Brown, Besler, Marquess, McKenzie, Pizarro, Souter, Watson, Zusi, Priestley, Kraus

What do I think? My feeling is that the Wizards will only carry 2 keepers until Kronberg comes back, and should they have an injury they'll go with one of the league keepers, possibly Andrew Kartunen. I expect guys like Leathers and Souter to be offered senior contracts, as well as at least Besler and maybe others. Anyways here is my guess for the 24 roster spots if Béres doesn't make the team.

Senior roster: Hartman, Conrad, Harrington, Hohlbein, Arnaud, Jewsbury, Hirsig, Morsink, Cristman, Gomez, Lopez, Thompson, Wolff, Leathers, Besler, Souter, Zusi, Marquess, Piazrro, Kraus (Kraus waived when Kronberg is healthy).
Development roster: Myers, Espinoza, Pardo, McKenzie

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