Just yesterday I noted that the Crew suffered from a lack of experience. Milovan Mirosevic made up the full contingent of the team's veterans heading into the 2013 season. Now it looks like he will depart too.
Mirosevic been the subject of rumors for over a month that he will return to Chile, but the Crew and supposedly Mirosevic has denied it. Today, Adam Jardy confirmed that sources say it's unlikely that the Chilean will play for the team again. Sources close to Mirosevic likely. The Crew released a statement saying that they expect him to be in camp.
This is yet another blow to a team that has seen a significant roster turnover. If Mirosevic and the trade listed Dilly Duka don't return, the remaining Crew players will have played in 58% of the minutes. That's a nearly unheard of level of turnover for a team vying for the playoffs. It's more in line with a club struggling to turn around (see 2006 Columbus Crew).
Mirosevic wasn't the on field influencer that perhaps the team was looking for. He only had four goals and two assists, but there probably wasn't a bigger influence in the locker room. He was the pro's pro, always with a kind word for a teammate or ready to face the press no matter the result. Beyond his minutes, that's a loss the Crew can ill afford.
The impending loss of Mirosevic leaves the team with yet another hole in the lineup. Milo capably manned the two way central midfielder spot even though defense is probably the weakest part of his game. Now the Crew likely will look to Tony Tchani in the short term to replace Mirosevic.
This week's events are turning a quiet offseason into a lost one. While other teams have been retooling and getting better in a lot of cases, the Crew went through another aggressive roster turnover. They failed to bring in adequate replacements so far.
Comments from the front office imply that the team missed out on several players and a couple international signings are imminent. Even if the signings turn into two starters, the team is still having to aggressively build the roster late into the offseason.
More troubling is the sudden exodus of players. Sebastian Miranda, Cole Grossman, Emilio Renteria, and now possibly Mirosevic have tried to further their career elsewhere. Grossman and Miranda went on the record with their dissatisfaction.
After another significant overhaul, the Crew have gone beyond retooling. They are essentially rebuilding the roster for the third time in three years. Fans aren't likely to be patient as the team apparently still hasn't found the right mix of players. The front office just has to hope that Hunt Sports Group is more accommodating as it looks like 2013 will be another bumpy year.