Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Transfer Window Preview

He's here! (Image from Denver Post)

Next Monday the summer transfer window opens.  THe big news will of course be the official signing of Tim Howard but beyond that what are the Rapids likely to be looking for (if anything)?

Here's the makeup of our current roster:

28 of 28 roster spots full (not including Greenspan)
9 of 8 international spots filled
4 of 3 Designated Player spots filled

No, those numbers aren't a type.  We have one more international and DP than we're allowed.  Namely Juan Ramirez will be returning from his loan.  for the rest of this article I'm going to assume that there's already a plan to either loan him out again or transfer him permanently to Almeria.  Otherwise most of our summer transfer window will be getting us back under the roster requirements.

So moving forward without Ramirez means that we have 1 open roster spot.  Of course that's only half of what we need.  The other part is having salary cap room.  As we saw last month Colorado is pretty much up against the cap so if we're going to fill that open spot with anything other than a developmental player we're probably going to need to make a move to clear some space.

Given that, lets look at who's possibly on the trading/sale block.  I'm going to assume that the standard starting XI plus a couple of players won't be moved barring an offer we can't refuse.  To me that means the following: Howard, Williams, Burling, Sjoberg, Miller, Burch, Cronin, Azira, Gashi, Jones,, Pappa, Solignac, and K. Doyle.

I'll add St. Ledger onto that list because his injury (combined with the circumstances that got him cut for Orlando) means there will likely be no takers.

Serna will also be on the list due to his value as a homegrown player.

The next group is players who would not free up enough space to be worth moving them.  To me that's Badji, Berner, Calvert, Castillo, C. Doyle, and Watts.

That leaves us with a small group: Froschauer, Hairston, MacMath, Pfeffer, and Powers.

Froschauer is only on this list because I don't see the Rapids carrying 4 keepers.  If they don't decide to move MacMath I assume Froschauer will be cut to free up a roster spot.  He won't help our cap issue though.

Hairston and Pfeffer are unlikey to be moved but they would free up about $100K each so if the right offer came along I could see it.

MacMath is one of the two obvious choices.  With Howard arriving there isn't really room for another MLS quality keeper.  At $140K that would free up a bit of the cap to make a move.  I'm not sure there's a team looking for a keeper though.  I just think that the Rapids will keep him around until the offseason.

That, finally, brings us to Dillon Powers.  A $300K salary sitting on the bench.  When he has played he's looked like his confidence is gone.  Ever since that PK miss in Sandy last year he hasn't been the same player but its gotten worse this season.  His role on this team would be in the spot that Cronin and Azira have locked down for a lot cheaper.  Meanwhile Philly just had a hole open up in their midfield and they're hardly the only MLS team that would take a chance on a former Rookie of the Year that needs a change of scenery.

So my bet is that the Rapids move Powers this window to free up some salary cap.  Now, how iwll we use that room?

As mentioned earlier the Orozco rumor is bouncing around.  It makes a lot of sense for the Rapids as by far their weakest area right now is center back.  It seems odd to say that given our defensive record but I don't think anyone is real happy that we're down to Jared Watts as a starter due to injuries.  Orozco is currently with Club Tijuana but there's been some talk that the club wants to unload some salary and international players.  I don't think he would take a max (or higher) salary so the real question is what he would cost in transfer fee and could we get him for under DP level.

If not Orozco I think the Rapids still look at CB.  They have pretty good coverage elsewhere so that's the real weak spot in the team. 

So my prediction for this summer transfer window.  Powers out, new CB in.

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