Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Who goes this week?

The coach is speaking, and its somebody's time to go this week. Right now the Rapids have 19 first team players with a MLS roster limit of 18 players. Casey and Petke don't count towards the limit since they are on 6-week IR. That 6-week period ends on Saturday though, so somebody will have to be cut from the senior roster.

To try to find out who might be likely to go, I've combined the game-day rosters and injury reports for the first 6 games this season. This will give us an indication of who is being used and who seems to be surplus to the team's requirements.

As you can see there's a handful of players who have been available for games, but not even made the game-day roster. I think that those players are the most likely ones to be dropped from the first team. Of this group two names stand out, Mehdi Ballouchy and Jovan Kirovski.

Ballouchy was brought to the Rapids last year from FSL in trade for Kyle Beckerman. The move was expected to give us a more dynamic midfield, but Ballouchy largely disappointed last season, and has found himself replaced by Christian Gomez. Ballouchy is also taking up one of the Rapids 8 international roster spots.

Kirovski came to the Rapids from LA in 2005 in exchange for a 1st round draft pick. He has been a favorite of Fernando Clavijo's, retaining his spot in the starting lineup when most would agree that his play hadn't warranted it. He's alternated from the attacking midfield role to forward, without really excelling at either. Its notable that even when the Rapids were low on healthy strikers early this season Kirovski wasn't considered. His contract is also been reported to be guaranteed, so even if the Rapids cut him they are still on the hook for his $220K.

My guess is that Ballouchy is in his last week as a Colorado Rapids player. Kirovski will be kept around for his "experience" and "veteran leadership". Also this organization has a history of keeping personnel who are under contract, figuring that if we have to pay them they might as well stay with us, even if there are better options.

There are a couple of other possibilities. The Rapids could demote somebody to development status and git rid of one of the current 10 development players. Somebody like Omar Cummings would be the most likely candidate, if he still qualifies. The other possibility is that a player goes onto 6-week IR. Last week's injury report only listed 4 injuries. DiRaimondo, who was reported to not be that serious, Hughes, who is starting to see time in reserve games and will be needed in a couple of weeks when Bouna Time! gets called up for his National Team, Casey, who's been seen training with the team and playing in reserve matches, and Petke, who's news has been quiet lately. If anyone goes on IR for another 6 weeks, it would probably be Petke.

Still, my money is on Ballouchy being shown the door in the next week.

1 comment:

Jason B. said...

Great breakdown of the player's weekly status for the season. I agree that it comes down to Ballouchy or Kirovski. I'd hate to keep Kirovski though if he has no chance of seeing the field. To me Ballouchy still has a chance under the right situation. Either way, the X factor is what the coach sees as far as practice and attitude. If Ballouchy is not showing it, then I'd have no problem showing him the door.