Back from the little hiatus, time to get right back to it: Covering the Crew posted the latest full roster for the 2008-vintage Columbus Crew. You can check the post for names, details, plus more. I’ll steal his roster layout to frame the discussion, but I won’t borrow the commentary…that’ll come after the stuff I stole. Here goes:
Senior roster (17 of 18 slots filled)
Goalkeepers: Will Hesmer, Andy Gruenebaum.
Defenders: Frankie Hejduk, Chad Marshall, Danny O’Rourke, Ezra Hendrickson, Leonard Griffin, Andy Iro.
Midfielders: Brian Carroll, Duncan Oughton, Stefani Miglioranzi, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Eddie Gaven.
Forwards: Alejandro Moreno, Nicolas Hernandez, Jason Garey, Brad Evans.
Developmental roster (10 of 10)
Goalkeeper: Kenny Schoeni.
Defenders: Andrew Peterson, Jed Zayner, Ryan Junge, Ryan Miller.
Midfielders: Robbie Rogers, Adam Moffat, Kevin Burns.
Forwards: Steven Lenhart, George Josten.
OK, so who’s new here? And I don’t promise a complete list, necessarily, but a useful approximation.
So, in defense, there’s Iro (and, maybe, Griffin), in midfield there’s Carroll – so that’s a rookie, basically, not a ton with which to get excited as yet – but smack in the middle of your “cheap talent” sits a nice up-n-comer in Rogers. At forward, you’ve got Lenhart and Josten – again, rookies – but a new brand-new joker popped into the deck when Hernandez came on board. Review it all and wrap it together, it’s basically a bunch of rookies, a wild-card player, and a defensive midfielder….a fizzling set of Saturdays throughout 2008 to be blunt about it.
That comparatively small haul is what that is. It may change before the season kicks off or it may not. But the real question in play is, when do you stop trying to add players in pre-season and start focusing on firing on as many cylinders as you’ve got in the regular season?
I’ll defer to long-time Crew fans on what all of us ought to expect between now and late, late March. But speaking as an outsider looking in, I have to wonder if the front office (that’s Brian Bliss now, right?) has a specific player in mind or just a set of positional criteria. My money is on the latter…for now…here’s to hoping for something better.
Based on this roster, however, what do I see the Crew doing in 2008? Missing the playoffs, sad to say. They need more people on the goal-scoring side of the ball. That, or rock-star-plus years for Gaven, Rogers, Garey…Josten…Hendrickson…hell, even Crew Cat if they’re going to make the post-season against a broadly improving East. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m just saying this isn’t papering out so hot…