In, Out or Somewhere Between

With two roster moves already complete the Crew have officially started the off-season rebuild for next season. Patrick Guldan (Managing Editor of Massive Report) and Larry W Johnson take a look at the players that are in, out and on the bubble.

Below will be an informal look on which players Patrick and I (Larry) think are coming back

A simple way we thought to do this was by giving percentages on the likelihood of return each player on the Crew roster has. This isn't based on what we would like to see; rather, it is based on the information publicly available to us and what the organization (or Mark McCullers, as he is likely the one making final decisions) tend to do.

We’ll start with the most likely to be with Columbus next year. This group is made up of players both Patrick and I agree on that are 100% coming back:

Chance of Returning Name PG % Chance of Staying PG Note LWJ % Chance Staying LWJ Note Years With Team Salary Contract Notes
100% Federico Higuain 100% He's guaranteed for 2014 and the Crew won't let him go. 100% He may have bigger options but likely back next year 1.5 $604,000 Guaranteed
100% Eddie Gaven 100% He's very valuable at $200k 100% Signed New deal before last season 8 $195,000 Guaranteed
100% Wil Trapp 100% Probably second most vaulable player on the team. 100% Trapp is proving what many think, it's Crew or overseas at this point 1 $127,000 Guaranteed
100% Ryan Finley 100% He'll get at least another year to adapt to MLS. 100% 1st Round pick, has a skill set Crew need as well 1 $74,000 Likely options
100% Ben Speas 100% To early to cut ties on Speas. He's shown flashes 100% One more year for Speas to try and break out 2 $62,000 Team Options (Likely)
100% Chad Barson 100% He's cheap and effective. 100% I think we'll see Barson for at least 2 more years 1 $46,500 Likely options
100% Matt Lampson 100% He's either number one or two. 100% Next Year's GK 2 $46,500 Team Options (Likely)

First thing that jumps out is that out of the whole team Patrick and I only agree that seven are locked in to Columbus for next year. There is no arguing with finishing 16th in the league so it makes a lot of sense that there would only be a few that are for sure coming back.

WILL PROBABLY BE BACK

Chance of Returning Name PG % Chance of Staying PG Note LWJ % Chance Staying LWJ Note Years With Team Salary Contract Notes
88% Chad Marshall 75% The team may have an option on him, but he's likely guaranteed for 2014. 100% Signed new deal last year 8 $361,250 Guaranteed
88% Dominic Oduro 75% The Crew wil try to resign him, but it will depend on his pricetag. 100% Worth 3x his contract now but will come back to earth next year. Check his history 1 $122,015 Out of Contract
88% Bernardo Anor 100% No way he leaves. He's probably got an option and the Crew will exercise. 75% Will probably require a new contract, he's worth it. 3 $46,500 Team Options
75% Jairo Arrieta 75% He might get another year, but he's getting on the old side for a forward. 75% Somewhat interupted year with Int duty. Also, Warzycha benched him. 1.5 $225,375 -
75% Agustin Viana 75% Supposedly hit his contract renewal clause. 75% Took a bit but became solid left back, salary high for a team like the Crew though 1 $131,667 Renewal clause reached
75% Daniel Withrow 75% Cheap backup, but they churn 3rd string GKs in MLS. 75% Likely back up for Lampson next year 1 $35,125 Team Options

Strikers are tough to call as their services are always wanted as long as someone is willing to pay. Oduro and Arrieta themselves make up almost 10% of the total team budget but where else can you find a couple players like this where you know they have the ability to score.

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN

Chance of Returning Name PG % Chance of Staying PG Note LWJ % Chance Staying LWJ Note Years With Team Salary Contract Notes
63% Ethan Finlay 50% He's got options left, but has he done enough to warrant another year. He is cheap though. 75% Likely on three year deal 2 $62,300 Team Options
63% Aaron Schoenfeld 50% He's cheap, but is limited. May not be enough time to let him develop. 75% New Owner seems to like him 2 $46,500 Team Options
63% Glauber 75% Likely on a guaranteed salary. He's an above average defender with limitations. + $250k is a little rich. 50% Took a good deal of citicism early in year. Huge salary, might be where Crew make room 1 $263,333 -
63% Josh Williams 75% Likely will get a solid raise unless he really wants to go overseas. 50% Williams is one they should keep but likely due a decent increase that Crew traditionaly don't like paying 3.5 $52,313 Out of Contract
63% Drew Beckie 75% He'll likely get another year to adapt to MLS. 50% Needs an opportunity, tall and athletic but did he stand out enough in reserve? 1 $35,125 Team Options
50% Tyson Wahl 50% He shouldn't be a starter on an playoff team at this point. He is relatively inexpensive 50% Tyson likely a year to year MLS player this point in career 1 $80,667 Team Options
50% Kevan George 50% He's shown flashes, but not consistency. He may get one more year. 50% Might be closer to 75% because of contract but holds valuable international slot 2 $46,500 Team Options
50% Kyle Hyland 50% One of the guys that fills out the roster. 50% Hyland was a solid reserve player this year 1 $35,125 Team Options

Glauber is the big one on this list. Between him and Chad Marshall at CBs you have over a half million dollars of salary budget tied up.

LIKELY NOT BACK

Chance of Returning Name PG % Chance of Staying PG Note LWJ % Chance Staying LWJ Note Years With Team Salary Contract Notes
38% Justin Meram 25% Time is likely up for J9. Too inconsistent. 50% Similar to Gehrig but makes slightly more. Worth a new deal? 3 $80,695 Team Options
38% Eric Gehrig 25% One of the good guys, but the Crew probably will decide move in a different direction. 50% Deal likely up, MLS contract structure for 2nd contract likely calls for decent increase if kept 3 $46,500 Team Options
38% Shawn Sloan 25% Likely will get caught in the bottom of the roster churn. 50% Would like to see back next year, multi-position player but bottom of rosters see heavy turnover 1 $35,125 Team Options
38% Andy Gruenebaum 50% It really depends on what offer the Crew will tender. They could try and trade him or he could go overseas. He's also re-entry draft eligible. 25% Just doesn't feel like he's coming back 8 $93,887 Out of Contract
25% Danny O'Rourke 25% Betting he's on options. It's one that the Crew should decline. 25% Danny was on a one year deal after almost moving on last year. He's salary is getting up there 7 $175,000 Team Options
25% Tony Tchani 25% Can't see him returning. He's never developed the needed consistency to be an MLS starter. 25% Lots of budget space and time have gone into Tchani. Deal likely up in Columbus 2.5 $155,000 -
25% Konrad Warzycha 25% He's not back. 25% I don't see him back 1 $46,500 Team Options

Never easy to list out players you think will not be with the Crew next year, makes it even harder when you have guys as likeable as the one’s mentioned above. Just a reminder that this is who we think the Crew will not bring back (as opposed to what we think they should do).

Most of the guys above are good enough to continue careers in the sport past Columbus.

NOT RETURNING

Chance of Returning Name PG % Chance of Staying PG Note LWJ % Chance Staying LWJ Note Years With Team Salary
38% Matias Sanchez 25% Only way he's back is if he's guaranteed. 50% Fell out of favor at some point this year, struggled to adapt and big salary 1 $230,000
25% Aaron Horton 25% He's gone unless he's guaranteed. 25% Horton was the first in line of local kids with team, never really gained favor of coaches 3 $80,500

As this was being put together fans found out that both Sanchez and Horton were released, Patrick had this to say before posting up more thoughts (link):

The only way that Sanchez and Horton were going to be in Black and Gold in 2014 is if they had guaranteed contracts. Horton consistently struggled for playing time even after being loaned out the the L.A. Blues in the PDL. He will likely be looking for a spot in the lower division. Sanchez made 10 starts, but struggled to get into the lineup early in the season. He made his last appearance in August and fell to the bench and eventually out of the 18.

I would have liked to see Matias Sanchez get some more time to adjust to the league. He proved to be a little on the wild side but not many doubt his talent level. I'm of the belief that you can't expect a player to come into MLS and produce right away, look at the latest high profile example of Clint Dempsey. A secondary and slightly more abstract concern that might get more attention here is how this affects Federico Higuain as they seemed to be close.

As for Aaron Horton; He did well in exhibitions and reserve matches (at least the ones here in Columbus). I'm hoping he gets a chance with another team out there.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Would just like to reiterate that this is what we think will happen and not what we think should happen. It's meant more to be informative and keep the conversation open on what to expect this Crew off season.

Since the end of 2010, the Crew have become one of the most turned over team in the league. With two players already out just two days removed from their final season game it's looking like this off season will be no different.

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If you would like to hear more about who might be in and out, check out this week's Massive Report podcast where Matt Goshert, Chris LaMacchia, Jim Bach, Justin Bell and myself discuss this same topic.

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