Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 Crew taking shape

2017 is here and the Columbus MLS team is starting to shape up. First question has to be the same as the one publicly made by operator/investor Anthony Precourt as the 2016 season came to an early close; "Let Gregg do his thing. Expect FINAL roster by end of January."

We are 24 short days away from hitting that deadline, so let us take a look at the look of things. High-level, as always.

My observations:

1. Early action to improve was taken by the team after the season ended. Which is great! It's what Precourt wanted and what Gregg Berhalter said he would do. 
2. Berhalter is putting together a group of starters that is long in pro experience outside MLS. Raitala, Mensah are joining Afful, Kamara, Martinez and Naess as guys who have 61 years combined experience in not receiving SUM paychecks. 
3. 23 rostered players means the remaining slots will likely be draft picks and/or projects. There could be one more starter in the works but big 5 windows are open now. Makes business hard for teams on a budget. particularly one carrying dead weight (Sauro).

In keeping with my last post before the holiday break - here is a couple visuals that help us get a better understanding of the current roster. Frist up is one sorted by the number of years each player has been pro. This is essentially "real age." That big gray area is what point 2. is referencing.

This next one is similar, but is organized by age (at top).

It's impressive the way Columbus has gone out to find players with lots of playing experience at relatively high levels. Real players in the 25-29 age range. So far, so good from my point of view. A good offseason will put this team firmly in a playoff position come summer.

All I've got for now. Hope everyone had a nice holiday season.

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