USA TODAY Sports
As the 2013 MLS season approaches, we're counting down the days to March 2 and running the proverbial rule over each player on D.C. United's roster. Today's subject: Lance Rozeboom, a midfielder who saw his rookie campaign ended by injury before it started last year.
Last year, during the preseason, several players pegged a rookie taken in the Supplemental Draft to be a revelation during the 2012 season. Lance Rozeboom was the 64th player taken in the combined college draft, but his new professional teammates told me that he would see first team minutes once the games started to count. Of course, just two games into the season, without having seen any playing time, Boomer tore his ACL in practice, effectively ending any chance he had at a successful rookie campaign.
But United's #25 is back and 100% for 2013. So our question for today: what's a reasonable expectation for a guy who twelve months ago looked like the potential to be a Suppie steal?
First, though, what's his position? Rozeboom is really a box-to-box midfielder - he's got good defensive bite and works well from that deep midfield position, but reports are that he is comfortable pushing forward from midfield and can pick a pass. So he seems a decent back-up for Marcelo Saragosa alongside the more defensively-focused Perry Kitchen.
It's probably too much to set his standard as a regular starter, but I think Boomer wants to see significant first team minutes this year. He might be a candidate for a long-term loan to Richmond this year, but I reckon he's more likely to find himself sticking around in D.C. and forcing his way onto the 18-man gameday roster - if not from the outset of the year, then by midseason. I do wonder whether he could find himself in an honest-to-god competition with the 31-year-old Saragosa for the starting gig, but I think that might prove a bit much for this season. Next year, though? Who knows?
Let us know your thoughts on Boomer in the comments. Where do you think he fits into the depth chart for central midfield?