With the regular season now within sight, the clock is ticking for Heaps and his staff to round out the Revolution roster. Before this week, the Revs had 24 players on their roster. The addition of Lee Nguyen brings that number to 25 and the expected signing of Blake Brettschneider would make it 26.
Although the team can have up to 30 players on the roster, Jay Heaps has mentioned in the past that the Revs will be looking to keep that number to 28. Staying at 28 players awards the team with additional allocation money, and it also leaves two open spots for some transfers in the summer window. So, that leaves us Revs fans with two main questions at this point: who is coming and who, if anyone, is going?
Let's first take a look at the 25-man official roster as it stands right now (after the jump):
- McCarthy (I'm counting him as a CB here, instead of CDM, because that seems to be the plan moving forward)
It's quite obvious that we have an abundance of midfielders, and are clearly still thin on defenders and forwards. If there were only 2 players to be signed (after Brettschneider, which, again, has still not been confirmed), then one would think that we would sign either one forward and one defender or 2 defenders.
But before we make any predictions here, let's consider a few things about last night's game that might offer us some clues: Firstly, of the many trialists we have in camp, Bjorn Runstrom, Jeremiah White, Gabe Mercier, and Bobby Devyne did not dress. Florian Lechner, Alec Purdie, Mike Roach, and Rick Smith did dress but did not see any minutes. Could that be a sign that these players are still fighting for minutes or that their respective futures are already pretty certain to be with the Revs?
Both Purdie and White appeared to have a good camp with the team this pre-season-I would argue Purdie moreso. The question has to be asked, however, of whether the Nguyen signing renders them both surplus or unnecessary now.
Trialist Austin Da Luz dressed and saw minutes last night, which is interesting as well. Da Luz has MLS experience playing with DC United and does not take up any sort of international spot, so could his playing last night be telling of an impending signing? To that I would also ask, do we really need more midfielders?
And then there's the question of where some of our already rostered guys stand-players like Zack Schilawski, Zak Boggs, Sainey Nyassi, and Kenny Mansally, for example. Now, Boggs and Nysassi have both been injured for the majority of this pre-season, and Mansally has been on international duty with the Gambian national team, so that explains their absences from camp. Nevertheless, one wonders just how much Heaps sees these "fringe players", so to speak, in his plans for the 2012 season.
If I were a gambling man, which I am, I would put my money on the Revs signing at least Florian Lechner and Alec Purdie. I think that Purdie's camp has been too good to ignore and although his addition may find him pretty low in the pecking order, I think he is a good signing for the future. Plus, I think he can play up top, but I could be wrong on that. And Lechner just plain makes sense. He uses up an international spot, but we have I believe 3 available. He can play RB or LB, which gives us some much-needed depth at both positions. I also think that he could challenge Alston and Tierney for minutes, which would likely be a good thing.
I think that the potential signing of Brettschneider may spell the end for Zack Schilawski. If Schilawski is out, then we have an open spot. That spot, however, is difficult to predict. I want to say that either Rick Smith or Mike Roach would get it because they would be cheap. But the Revs could also splurge and sign Runstrom.
More spots could of course be cleared as well, but I just don't think that there will be many subtractions, if any. Regardless, I think we may be in for some surprises this week. And I can't wait to see what ‘s going to happen.