What’s Goin’ On By Marvin Gaye
“Is it true that if you don’t use it, you lose it?”
A classic line from the film The 40-Year-Old Virgin, aside from raising the question of what exactly “it” is, also describes the current status of the FC’s roster.
As everyone knows, Brenner and Barreal missed the entire preseason finishing their green card process. Now neither of them takes up an international slot, which is the first time (probably, I don’t know I guess) in FC’s MLS history that it wasn’t over the slot limit. In fact, FC appears to have two freed up.
In addition, FC bought out the contract of Kamohelo Mokotjo and allowed Kyle Scott to leave on a mutual termination. Ben Mines is loaned out to Colorado Switchbacks (or something, not going to Google it) and a host of other players weren’t brought back after last season.
So even with a few new additions, FC not only has some open roster spots and international spots, but it bent over backwards to free up those spots. Kyle Scott might not have been in the plans, exactly, but he’s midfield depth in a team that doesn’t have a lot of it. Brenner and Barreal haven’t started a game yet this year, they aren’t match fit after missing the preseason, and Brenner is now hurt. Choosing for them to miss the entire preseason to make sure those green cards go through shows the team was willing to accept some early-season limitations on the roster for a longer term payoff. So it’s clear, then, that Albright has some specific plans for those roster spots.
I mean, we haven’t really seen much about what those plans might be. Chris Durkin’s agent tried to tease him here, Tche-Tche DM’d anyone who ever tweeted about the FC to try to drum up interest, and a few other names (Yoshi Yotun, Joe Corona) were tossed out without much behind them. There has been some solid reporting around interest in Carlos Gruezo, although Gruezo has been in the team for Augsburg lately. (And anyway, Gruezo has a green card, so it wouldn’t be clear exactly what the urgency was with those international slots…)
Junior Moreno looks to be a decent, but not season-altering, signing. But, like Gruezo, he has a green card. So it’s not like you needed to hold out Brenner and Barreal to make room for him.
The other signings in the offseason (Dom Badji, Ray Gaddis, Alvas Powell, Alec Kann, etc.) all seem fine, with Kann being the biggest difference-maker (obviously) over the prior goalkeepers.
So what gives?
I don’t know. But I’d like to.
Since Jeff Berding was promoted, there have been various reports about the team hiring a new executive (Chief Soccer Officer, Sporting Director, whatever) to oversee the soccer side. Part of me wonders if they’re waiting for that hiring before they commit to any big splashes. But I really, really hope that’s not the case.
Albright was brought to the team to be the GM, and he was unequivocal in early interviews that he was going to have the authority he needed to build the roster. I don’t see why we’d need to wait for him to have another boss before we let him do his job.
But maybe that’s not the case at all. Maybe he’s just striking out on the targets he wants, and he’s not confident enough in the available players to pull the trigger. That might be understandable, depending on the circumstances.
Or maybe he’s targeting the wrong guys, and avoiding realistic options that would help the team.
So, yeah, maybe the team is holding Albright back, or maybe Albright just isn’t getting the job done, or maybe Albright is doing a great job and he’s going to make home run signing after home run signing any day now.
But, no one is telling us anything, so how can anyone know what the case is?
All we know is we have a couple of senior spots, some open international slots, some amount of GAM, and potentially a DP spot, all sitting unused.
These are all season-by-season assets, so, you know, if you don’t use it, you lose it. And we’ve done too much losing to not have any urgency.