Wednesday, February 2, 2011

State of the Roster: 2011 Preseason

With our New York Red Bulls about to escape the ice and snow for the sunny climes of Cancun and Guadalajara as they begin their pre-season training in earnest, we thought we'd take a moment to look at the roster.

The brief version of the roster regulations:
  • 30-man roster. Slots 1-20 count against the cap of $2,675,000. If a team chooses, it can leave slots 19 and 20 empty in order to spread the cap out among fewer players.
  • Slots 21-30 are off-budget. All GA players are automatically placed off-budget. 2 slots may be left empty in exchange for $35,000 in allocation money for each slot.
  • Each team may have 8 international players, and may trade for more. While it is nearly impossible to get clear info about how many slots a team has, the best guesses at Metrofanatic and BigSoccer are saying that RBNY currently has 10 international slots. Players with their Green Cards do not count as Internationals.
  • Each team may have 2 or 3 Designated Players, who will count $335,000 against the cap, or $167,500 if signed during the summer transfer window.
What was unclear with last week's release of the new roster regulations was what kind of restrictions are placed on the off-budget roster. There are probably some sort of age or salary limitations on this part of the roster. Since we don't know what they are, we'll leave the specifics of roster compliance to Erik Solér. Here, let's just take a look at who is currently with the team.

Below is a list of players currently with the Red Bulls. The salaries listed are last year's salaries. Players who were at the league minimum of $40,000 last year are listed at this years minimum of $42,000. Also, keep in mind that players who were drafted this year, who did not already have a GA deal with the league, are not yet signed with the team.


Bouna Coundoul - $156,250
Jimmy Maurer - not yet signed
Greg Sutton - $76,500


Chris Albright - $84,000
Danleigh Borman - $42,000
Sacir Hot (HG) - unknown
Steven Keel - on trial, not signed
Tyler Lassiter - not yet signed
Carlos Mendes - $92,375
Roy Miller (INT) - $99,996
Tim Ream - $42,000
Teddy Schneider - not yet signed


Medhi Ballouchy (INT) - $88,800
Austin Da Luz - $52,125
Billy Cortes - not yet signed
Irving Garcia - $42,000
Matt Kassel (HG) - unknown
Joel Lindpere (INT) - $115,000
Rafa Marquez (INT, DP) - $5,544,000
Brian Nielsen (INT, on loan) - $156,000
Marcos Paullo (INT) - unknown
Dane Richards - $146,500
Carl Robinson (INT) - $315,000 last year. Resigned, presumably for less
John Rooney (INT) - not yet signed
Jan Gunnar Solli (INT) - unknown
Tony Tchani (GA) - $179,000


Juan Agudelo (GA, HG) - $70,000
Conor Chinn - $42,000
Giorgi Chirgadze (HG) - $42,000
Thierry Henry (INT, DP) - $5,600,000
Corey Hertzog (GA) - unknown
Luke Rodgers (INT) - unknown
Salou Ibrahim (INT) - $264,000

Quick numbers:

33 players in camp. The Red Bulls have the rights to 32 of them, and 1 is on trial. Of the 32, 28 players are currently signed to contracts, 4 are not. 12 of the players count as Internationals.

Thanks to Major League Soccer's semi-official Policy of Obfuscation, we don't know how much allocation money we have, but we do know that Erik Solér said that they have a cushion of a couple hundred thousand dollars; and we also don't know how many international slots we have, though we think it is 10.

It looks as though two international spots will have to be cleared out or traded for. Also, it looks as though a couple of players who have been drafted in the last two years will be fighting to earn a spot in the final 30. Add to the mix the frequent mentions of signing another defender and a central midfielder or defender, and we have the making of an interesting pre-season. Anywhere from three to five of the players listed above will not be with the team come March. The Injured List will likely also come into play, and save a player or two on the bubble.

The one player who really sticks out like a sore thumb (knee?) to me right now is Brian Nielsen. While I'd love to see what we could do with his speed on the left side, reports are that he's in camp with a wrapped knee and not training. Considering that he is on loan, getting paid more than $100 grand, and using up an International slot, if he doesn't start showing Coach Backe something in Mexico, I say it's time to send him back to Europe.

Who do you think should go? Who should stay? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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