Yesterday, D.C. United tweeted a roster update that indicated, among other things, that they have two available international slots. This was news to most of us, as most people's math had the number pegged at one. As is usually the case, Steve Goff, the Post's Soccer Insider, has the scoop today and is reporting that LEWIS NEAL has received permanent residency in the U.S. (i.e. his Green Card) and per league rules will no longer require an international roster slot. With Goff also reporting that Hamdi Salihi's all-but-finalized departure has in fact been finalized via contract buy-out, United has two unclaimed international slots at their disposal. Ryan Richter has also left camp without a contract offer, earning Preseason Mr. Congeniality for the second year running.
This seems like as good an excuse as any to debut our roster table, which was requested by a few people back when we opened things up to general comments. (To be clear, we're working on some of the other requests, too.) Without further Adu (see what I did there?):
|No.||Pos.||Player Name||Age||Ht.||Budget Status||International?|
|1||2||D||James Riley||30||5' 10"|
|2||3||D/M||Robbie Russell||33||6' 2"|
|3||4||D||Brandon McDonald||27||6' 1"|
|4||5||D||Dejan Jakovic||27||6' 2"||International|
|5||7||M||Dwayne De Rosario||34||5' 10"||Designated Player||Green Card|
|6||8||M||John Thorrington||33||5' 8"||Naturalized|
|7||9||F||Rafael Teixeira de Souza||20||6'||Designated Player||International|
|8||11||M||Marcelo Saragosa||31||6'||Green Card|
|9||12||M||Raphael Augusto||21||5' 11"||Off-Budget?||International|
|12||16||F||Casey Townsend||23||5' 11"||Off-Budget?|
|13||17||M||Conor Shanosky||21||6' 4"||Homegrown|
|14||18||M||Nick DeLeon||22||5' 10"||Off-Budget?|
|15||20||F||Carlos Ruiz||33||5' 10"||Green Card|
|16||21||D||Daniel Woolard||28||5' 10"|
|17||22||D||Chris Korb||25||5' 9"|
|19||24||M||Lewis Neal||31||5' 11"||Green Card|
|20||25||M||Lance Rozeboom||23||6' 1"||Off-Budget?|
|21||26||F||Lionard Pajoy||31||6' 1"||International|
|22||28||GK||Bill Hamid||22||6' 3"|
|24||31||GK||Joe Willis||24||6' 5"||Off-Budget?|
|25||33||D||Taylor Kemp||22||5' 11"||Off-Budget?|
|26||50||GK||Andrew Dykstra||27||6' 4"|
|27||--||M/F||Syamsir Alam||20||5' 8"||Off-Budget?||International|
Recall that D.C. United traded one international slot from their original allotment of 8 to the Portland Timbers last season in exchange for allocation money; Portland subsequently traded it to the Montreal Impact. That slot will revert back to United at the end of this season. Also note that this is a pretty quick draft of the table, so if you spot any mistakes, don't hesitate to let us know down in the comments.
UPDATE: I've added more guesses as to whose salaries might be off-budget. We know that Homegrown players on their first professional contracts are off-budget, and up to a total of 10 players can be moved there.
So what's it all mean? Well, if United keeps everybody currently in camp, including all three trialists, they'll still be roster compliant. The maximum number of players an MLS team can carry is 30, the same number United currently have in camp. They'd get an allocation bonus if they forego the use of slots 29 and 30, but the big injection of allocation money from Andy Najar's sale to Anderlecht - $650,000 of the transfer fee comes to the club from MLS in the form of allocation - makes it a bit easier to live with the "extra" players.
That said, it would make sense for United to keep one or both of those slots free to make any midseason player acquisitions less complicated. Without a free roster spot, United would need to trade or release a player to make room before they could sign a new designated player (or any new player, for that matter).
Now that we're down to three, let's play another game of Contract/No Contract - let us know in the comments whether Sanchez, Porter and Martinez should be given contracts with United between now and the start of the season 8 days from now.