Tuesday, July 13, 2010

State of the Roster at the July 2010 Transfer Window

With the transfer window about to open, it's time to take a look at our current roster and think about what changes will have to be made as the Red Bulls are about to sign one, and possibly two, new Designated Players in the coming days.

Roster regulations

A team must have between 18-20 players on the Senior Roster. Their salaries count against the $2,550,000 salary cap. Included on the Senior Roster are up to 2 Designated Players (DP), who have no maximum salary, and whose salaries only count $335,000 each against the cap. A team is allowed to purchase the right to a third DP.

A team has a Protected Roster, consisting of up to 6 additional players. Their salaries do not count against a team's salary cap. The 6 roster slots are subject to the following rules:
  • Players signed to Generation Adidas contracts

  • From 2 to 4 players can be signed to Homegrown contracts. Homegrown players must be under 24 years of age, and must have spent at least one year training at the teams developmental academy. These are players may be signed to an "apprentice" salary of $31,250. Up to two Homegrown players can be signed to GA contracts.

  • The remainder of Protected players are those signed to the minimum Senior contract, $40,000.
  • A team can have up to 8 International players (INT) on its roster. An International player is one who does not have citizenship or permanent residency (ie, a Green Card).

    Also note, players on Injured Reserve (IR) do not count against the active roster. If a player is put on IR, they must remain inactive for six league matches.

    Senior Roster (20 allowed--20 active, plus 2 on IR)

    * Chris Albright
    * Juan Pablo Angel (DP,INT)
    * Danleigh Borman
    * Andrew Boyens
    * Bouna Coundoul
    * Austin Da Luz
    * Kevin Goldthwaite (IR)
    * Jeremy Hall
    * Salou Ibrahim (INT)
    * Joel Lindpere (INT)
    * Macoumba Kandji
    * Carlos Mendes
    * Roy Miller (INT)
    * Brian Nielsen (INT)(IR)
    * Mike Petke
    * Dane Richards
    * Carl Robinson (INT)
    * Luke Sassano
    * Seth Stammler
    * Greg Sutton
    * Sinisa Ubiparapovic
    * John Wolyniec

    Protected Roster (6 allowed, 6 on roster; 2-4 must be Homegrown (HG))

    * Juan Agudelo (HG,GA)
    * Conor Chinn
    * Georgi Chirgadze (HG,IR)
    * Irving Garcia
    * Tim Ream
    * Tony Tchani (GA)

    Things to note as you consider what moves Sporting Director, Erik Soler, and Head Coach, Hans Backe will be making. First, our roster is full. When we add a player, we'll have to cut or trade one. Adding a second player will necessitate another move as well. Next, we have two empty International spots, so given that our first addition is Thierry Henry, our second player can also be an international without forcing one of our transfers out to be an international.

    The two hottest rumors that have been getting lots of press in recent days concerning a second acquisition have circled around Rafa Marquez, the defender/DM from FC Barcelona and the Mexican National Team, and Freddie Ljungberg, the Swedish midfielder currently playing for Sounders FC in Seattle. If the second player is from a non-MLS side, then, obviously, moves involving our current squad can be as simple as waiving a player. But, if we're talking about a move for Ljungberg, then it is likely to involve a trade of some sort.

    If I had to guess which two players we are most likely to waive outright, I'd have to guess John Wolyniec and Andrew Boyens. Woly, because we have an abundance of strikers, and adding Henry nearly guarantees that we will cut a striker, in my opinion. Adding a defender like Marquez would push Boyens further down the depth chart in the back, and given that he's yet to play a minute of a league match, I think he's on the bottom. We got our compensation for his time away on World Cup duty, which more than paid his salary, and now I think he's considered expendable.

    However, if a trade is involved with Seattle for Ljungberg, things change. What would they ask for, and what would we be willing to give? If his signing can take place simultaneously with Henry's, we could trade two players to Seattle and waive no one. With the addition of Ljungberg, I'd expect to see a midfielder go, someone with some sort of trade value. If we are trading players, I expect it would be some combination of Jeremy Hall, Mac Kandji, Dane Richards, and maybe Sinisa Ubiparapovic; younger players with some upside, and players with whose ego Seattle coach, Sigi Schmid, wouldn't have to contend. In my honest opinion, I don't think Seattle would want any of our mid-level talent and would be looking for some allocation cash relief and a draft pick instead.

    Do you think the Red Bulls will bring in a third DP? Do you think it will be Marquez? Ljungberg? Who would you like to see brought in? Who would you choose to be waived or traded? Let us know what you think!
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