Game recap tonight (if I can quit laughing about it long enough to write it), salary discussion tomorrow, but first this. Colorado just announced that they've signed German Mera, a big left-footed centerback on loan from Deportivo Cali until the end of the season. He fills the roster and international spot freed up by Calderon (or Castrillon, or Harbottle) being on IR.
Today Colorado announced they signed their 2nd Round Supplemental draft pick (first pick the Rapids had in the draft) Brenton Griffiths. Griffiths is a Jamaican international youth defender, playing for their U-17 and U-20 teams and played college ball at Tyler Junior College and the University of South Florida.
The Rapids made what will probably be their final move of the preseason today, sending their first round pick in 2015 to Portland for forward Danny Mwanga. The Congolese forward was the #1 pick of the 2010 draft by the expansion Philadelphia Union and had 12 goals in 61 appearances for the club before he was traded to Portland in the middle of last season.
Today the Denver Post revealed that trialist Cesar Romero and Supplemental Draft picks Stefano Pinho and Machael David have been released from camp. That leaves defenders Marcello Castro and Brenton Griffiths and forwards David Cortes, Matthew Dunn, and Marcos Pirchio still in camp trying for the final 2 spots.
One of my sources at the Rapids has told me that the team is close to signing their 2nd round draft pick LB Kory Kindle and trialist Clint Irwin as the 3rd GK. I would expect official word sometime this week. That would put the team at 29 signed players against a roster limit of 30, with two international spots still available.
Heads up, long post ahead. Time to catch up on some stuff from the week.
The big news is that the Rapids re-signed Jamie Smith today. Actually, based on the scrimmage report from Wednesday, it appears to have happened earlier this week but it was announced today. Good move from the team.
Just a quick roster update. Pery Martinez did not come back to Colorado with the team, but Colombian forward David Giraldo has joined the team in Commerce City.
Updated camp roster:
Goalkeepers: Steward Ceus Matt Pickens Clint Irwin - Unsigned trialist Jim Mauer - Unsigned trialist
Defenders: Diego Calderon - International Marcello Castro - Unsigned draftee, International Brenton Griffiths - Unsigned draftee, International Kory Kindle - Unsigned draftee Chris Klute (Atlanta loan through late-Sept) Drew Moor Anthony Wallace Marvell Wynne
Midfielders: Davy Armstrong - Homegrown Player Tony Cascio Jaime Castrillon - International Machael David - Unsigned draftee Kevin Harbottle - International Nick LaBrocca Pablo Mastroeni Brian Mullan Shane O'Neill - Homegrown Player Dillon Powers Martin Rivero (Rosario Central loan through 2013) - International Dillon Serna - Homegrown Player Nathan Sturgis Hendry Thomas - International Jamie Smith - Unsigned trialist
Forwards: Andre Akpan Deshorn Brown - Generation Adidas, International Edson Buddle Charles Eloundou - International Atiba Harris Kamani Hill Stefano Souza Pinho - Unsigned draftee, International David Giraldo - Unsigned trialist, International Cesar Romero - Unsigned trialist
That leaves 10 international players in camp, 6 already signed to a deal.
Hendry Thomas' Honduras National teammate, Walter 'Pery' Martinez, has joined the Rapids on trial in Arizona. The team will play their first preseason game tomorrow against Portland in Tucson, and the game will be streamed live on MLSSoccer.com. Kickoff is 11am Denver-time.
Today Colorado also confirmed that the 4 picks from last week's Supplemental Draft are still with the team despite not being on the Arizona travel roster.
Goalkeepers: Matt Pickens, Stew Ceus, *Jimmy Maurer, *Clint Irwin Defenders: Drew Moor, Diego Calderon, Chris Klute, Anthony Wallace, Marvell Wynne, *Kory Kindle Midfielders: Pablo Mastroeni, Hendry Thomas, Nick LaBrocca, Tony Cascio, Brian Mullan, Shane O'Neill, Martin Rivero, Dillon Serna, Nathan Sturgis, Dillon Powers, *Jamie Smith Forwards: Andre Akpan, Deshorn Brown, Kamani Hill, Atiba Harris, *Cesar Romero
* not under contract
Dropped from the last camp roster we had: * = Unsigned Supplemental draftee ^ = Unsigned trialist GK: Joel Helmick^ DF; Marcello Castro*, Brenton Griffiths*, Luke Vercollone^ MF: Davy Armstrong, Jaime Castrillon, Kevin Harbottle, Machael David*, Carlos Diaz^ FW: Edson Buddle, Charles Eloundou, Stefano Souza Pinho*
Buddle, Castrillon, and Eloundou are expected, the first two injured and the latter with the Cameroon Nats.
I haven't had time to watch it yet, but here's part two of the Inside the Superdraft series:
The big news today was two signings by the Rapids. First this morning Colorado participated in a lottery for the rights to Charles Eloundou, a Cameroonian striker who signed a contract with the league prior to the SuperDraft but a delay in his work visa prevented him from being available on draft day.
Pareja confirmed today that Jaime Castrillon is on the trading block. He was also apparently diagnosed with a significant injury int he post-season exam last fall. He is at the Dick with the rest of the team in preseason but not participating in team drills.
Ruben Luna has left camp after getting an opportunity in another league.
Today the Rapids signed their thrid homegrown player, Brighton's Dillon Serna. He joined the Rapids Academy in 2009 and played with the U.S. U-17 and U-20 teams. He spent this past fall at Akron University, starting regularly as a freshman. He now leaves college to join the Rapids first team where he can play a number of positions in midfield and defense.
First and foremost, DSG Park will host the first home World Cup Qualifier for the U.S. this year. USA - Costa Rica on March 22nd. Ticket details are yet to be announced but they have said that Rapids full-season ticket holders will get a pre-sale before they're available to the general public.
Marvell at the Cat Care Society in Lakewood, where we adopted our cat Today the Rapids made the official announcement of Marvell Wynne being re-signed that Tim Hinchey tweeted before the holidays. The other news is that they have, according to MLSSoccer.com's Chris Bianchi, also signed attacking midfielder Kevin Harbottle from Chile but there's been no official announcement or comment from the team.
The long rumored signing of Calderon was made official today. There was also a rumor of a couple of other players being loaned to the Rapids but the team clarified that it was incorrect. So the current roster is below.
Goalkeepers: Steward Ceus Matt Pickens
Defenders: Diego Calderon Chris Klute (on loan from Atlanta through late-Sept) Drew Moor Anthony Wallace Marvell Wynne
Midfielders: Davy Armstrong Eric Avila - Unsigned Tony Cascio Jaime Castrillon Jeff Larentowicz Pablo Mastroeni Brian Mullan Shane O'Neill Martin Rivero (on loan from Rosario Central through 2013) Nathan Sturgis Hendry Thomas
Forwards: Andre Akpan Edson Buddle Atiba Harris Kamani Hill
So much for the quiet holiday period. ;) Multiple reports out of Ecuador are stating that Ecuadorian National Team member and LDU Quito defender Diego Calderon is coming to MLS, and one report links him with the Rapids. Tim Hinchey tweeted last night they he expects to announce the signing of a left-footed CB/LB by the end of the week.
Just a couple of notes on the eve of Phase 2 of the Re-entry Draft.
Hunter Freeman tweeted that its been good to be back for a year, but there's a new challenge ahead. I think its safe to say he and the Rapids did not come to an agreement on a new contract and he won't be back next year.
Now that the Rapids have waived 8, let's review who's left and what I think they should do with them. My ratings reflect the fact that its very hard to turn over a large number of roster spots with MLS budget and acquisition rules. There are a number of players that are worth keeping because replacing them would be difficult, not because they've particularly stood out.
The Portland Timbers added some veteran experience to their forward core by signing former West Ham United forward Frederic Piquionne to a contract. He will be officially added to the roster once his international paperwork is received and approved, which likely rules him out for the March 3 match versus New York.
The Portland Timbers made another roster adjustment on February 28 when they traded away former Jefferson High, Oregon State, and Timbers forward Danny Mwanga to Colorado for a 2015 first round MLS Super Draft pick. The Timbers are rumored to be targeting Frederic Piquionne for a contract, as the former West Ham United forward was on trial with the team last week before returning back overseas.
The Portland Timbers added another player to their overall roster by signing former University of Akron player (and Vancouver Whitecap) M/F Michael Nanchoff. The signing now puts the Timbers at 31 players officially on the roster, meaning the Timbers will need to make some type of roster adjustment before the March 1 MLS compliance deadline.
The Portland Timbers returned to Portland after 10 days of training in Arizona to prepare for their pre-season tournament next week. While players resume the search to find roles within the team's depth chart, the Timbers are also exploring other options to solidify their group. To that end, midfielder Eric Alexander was traded to New York for allocation money in what Merritt Paulson indicated on Twitter to be a potentially busy week for player news.
The Portland Timbers added another defender through a weighted lottery that could provide benefits in the future, while rumors of some significant changes within the MLS Reserve League could be the key towards future player development in North America.
FC Kansas City today announced their 18 player roster for the start of the inaugural NWSL season. The roster certainly on paper should make the Blues one of the candidates for the best team in the league this year.
Here's a look at how FC Kansas City built their current roster.
The team has their three US allocated players in Nicole Barnhart, Lauren Cheney, and Becky Sauerbrunn.
We're a week away from the start of the MLS season and Sporting KC kicking off against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park next Saturday, March 2nd. Saturday, Sporting finished their final preseason game, beating Toronto FC 1-0 at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic.
Before the team heads to Philadelphia though, there are some roster decisions that have to be made before the season starts.
Join the guys as they look back at United's pre-season and as they look forward to United's 2013 Campaign. They go over all of the roster moves that United has made during the pre-season, including the signing of El Pescadito...
Now that I'm back from my holiday travels time to get into this trade that happened at the oddest time I can remember, Sunday morning two days before Christmas. The Rapids gave up the other half of the C+C Goal Factory, Omar Cummings, in return for allocation money and Nathan Sturgis.
My first instinct is much like the Kimura trade from last year (oddly, Cummings and Kimura were roommates and were considered the Odd Couple of the team).
Time to play virtual Director of Football for a moment and assess D.C. United's current playing roster...
GOALKEEPERS Between Hamid and Willis, United are pretty well set between the posts. While Hamid's temperament and occasional rash decisions probably leave him on the outside in any conversation about elite MLS goalkeepers, he's edging into that territory.