The Gregg Berhalter Era continues to look a lot like the Warzycha/Bliss era. The latest news was that Dominic Oduro was re-signed on Monday. The Ghanian scored 13 goals for the Crew in his first season and will likely see a big pay bump. Oduro joined Josh Williams in returning to the team.
Two of the team's first new additions also have a distinct Crew background. Brad Stuver was one of the league's pool goalkeeper, spending his time with the Crew. Defender Matt Wiet is another home grown signing. Only Costa Rican left back Waylon Francis has come from outside the organization.
With 23 players under contact, there is still plenty of maneuvering to reshaped the roster. The first round of the Re-Entry draft is tomorrow. Teams can pick over other team's roster cuts and sign players to their contract option.
Low salaried players are the likely targets. Think former Portland defender David Horst's ~$70,000 option rather than Kenny Cooper's budget busting ~$350,000 option. The Crew, and other teams, will be looking for depth and value.
On the list of available players, the Crew could look at Blair Gavin who's career has derailed after playing 43 games with Chivas USA, but has two appearances in two years with New England and Seattle. Gavin is only 24 years old and could still develop some consistency. At 23, forward Corey Hertzog has bounced around, but may develop into a serviceable MLS forward.
There are also some players who might provide a veteran presence to a still young Crew team. Brandon Barklage is 27, but has starting experience in both midfield and defense in the league. Khari Stephenson is starting to slow down at 32, but was used effectively by Real Salt Lake as a veteran backup in midfield.
Columbus won't be able to fill the holes they have tomorrow. The Crew won't find a goal scoring striker or a undervalued game changing winger tomorrow, but there will be some role players that can fill a hole. Next Thursday's draft gets more interesting. Bigger names with bigger contract numbers get an awful lot more interesting once contracts can be renegotiated.