Thursday, February 05, 2009

Wizards Roster Break Down

Yesterday Steven Goff with the Washington Post broke down DC United's roster with the current players that they have in camp on trial, drafted, and returning players. I figured I'd try to do a break down of the Wizards, since there are only 25 days until the Wizards have to finalize their roster down to the 24 man roster (18-20 senior roster spots and 4 developmental)

Kevin Hartman is the undisputed number one keeper for the Wizards, since he's arrived in KC he's played in every MLS game, and only missed 3 competitive games total (all in the US Open Cup last year). Behind him is Eric Kronberg, who hasn't appeared in a preseason game yet. I've heard he's recovering from offseason surgery, but there's been nothing officially announced about what's going on with Kronberg. Last seasons number 3, Boris Pardo has gotten a lot of time in place of Kronberg with him not there. With Neal Kitson already being waived before the team left for Florida, the team has had two rookie free agents in camp. Kevin Guppy from Cal State Northridge got 30 minutes against the US Under 17 team, while the team now has Chris Brown, the younger brother of Adin Brown in camp.

Jimmy Conrad
and Michael Harrington both are the two locks into the back line heading into the season. Aaron Hohlbein would appear to be the favorite to land the starting central defensive position with Conrad, but will face challenges from first round draft pick, Matt Besler and second year man, Rauwshan McKenzie. The right back spot will likely come down to two players, last year's starter for much of the season, Jonathan Leathers and last year's number 1 overall pick, Chance Myers. Leathers would likely seem to be the early favorite for that spot. The other defender currently on the roster, is Matt Marquess, who started a few games last year, but would appear to be stuck behind Harrington for the left back spot.

Davy Arnaud
and Jack Jewsbury became the strong central midfield pair down the stretch and will be favorites to start in that spot this season. Herculez Gomez is the favorite to be on the right wing, but is missing preseason right now due to a knee injury at the very beginning of preseason. The left wing spot has a few different candidates to start there this season. You have the new non-DP, Claudio Lopez, who can also play up top. You then have one of the open tryout winners from last year, Kevin Souter who got quite a few starts late in the season and Honduran midfielder, Roger Espinoza, who hasn't been in camp yet. On the bench, you have more central midfield depth in Kurt Morsink, while on the wings are Lance Watson and Nelson Pizarro. The Wizards also have two rookies fighting for time as well, with Graham Zusi and Akeem Priestley. Finally, it would appear that trialist Ferenc Béres has spent time in the midfield on the wing, even though he's been listed as a forward on his team's site.

The Wizards have already added to their forward line earlier this offseason bringing in Adam Cristman, who hasn't been able to play yet in the preseason due to injury. Along with Lopez, who spent time in the midfield as well, the Wizards also have two more players brought in midseason up top in Josh Wolff and Abe Thompson. Also returning to the team is Michael Kraus, who made his first MLS appearance in the playoffs against Columbus last year. Rounding out the forwards, is Michigan State rookie, Doug DeMartin. There is also the rumored signing that Robb Heineman mentioned, but we don't know where he'll play.

Senior Roster Locks (10): Hartman, Conrad, Harrington, Arnaud, Jewsbury, Gomez, Lopez, Cristman, Wolff, rumored signing
Senior Roster Probable (3): Hohlbein, Morsink, Thompson, Kronberg
Senior Roster Candidates (4): Leathers, Souter, Watson, Béres
Developmental Roster Candidates (13): Myers(GA), Espinoza(GA), Pardo, Guppy, Brown, Besler, McKenzie, Marquess, Zusi, Priestley, Pizarro, Kraus, DeMartin

While I have 13 players listed under developmental, there are only 4 developmental roster spots, and 2 of those go to Myers and Espinoza. If the Wizards decide to carry a 3rd goalkeeper, he's likely to take up the 3rd spot, leaving 1 spot left for other players. I have only listed 13 senior roster spots that are probable to be filled, leaving plenty of space for those developmental players to earn spots.


News Buzz Buzz said...

Thanks for the rundown dude

minnichmj said...

Thanks Mike. Good stuff. I'll try to make a match in the Cauldron sometime this season.