When discussing the team's 2014 roster one cannot focus on off-budget players alone. So a quick refresher for fans on where the on-budget (formerly known as the senior roster) looks heading into next year.
In MLS, the on-budget roster is between 18 and 20 guys. If you end up with less than 18, you are charged the minimum salary anyway so you might as well put a body in those spots. In essence, these are the guys that hit your budget. That is an important distinction because it doesn't mean your starters must come from this set of players. Guys like Sarkodie and Bruin in the past were starters under Generation Adidas contracts meaning they were actually off-budget (aka did not count against the budget).
So where do we stand a week before camp opens?
We have 16 on-budget players as of the writing of this post:
Keeper: Hall and Deric
Defenders: Taylor, Sarkodie (recently graduated GA contract), Ashe, Brunner, Horst
Midfield, Garcia, Davis, Clark, Cascio (I assume on budget here as it is a loan), Lopez, Carrasco
Forward: Cummings, Barnes, Bruin
So at a minimum, the Dynamo will add two more on-budget players before the opening week of the season. Given the probable budget constraints the team is under this season, these are likely to be additions for depth as opposed to high cost players. The two additions could even come from the list of off-budget players if one is moved up to count against the salary budget to make room for a new draft pick. You may see some of the possible signings in camp in the coming weeks. Maybe Carr sticks around and tries to earn a spot back. Driver is still looking for a team in 2014. At any rate, the team is not quite complete yet and look for at least two more additions either from the selected draftees or new signings. And we didn't even discuss future trades.
Of course, the above list is not the full team. We also have several guys classified as off-budget including some heavy contributors. In MLS, the difference in the two rosters has little to do with contribution since anyone can make the game day team, but simply a distinction for the salary budget/cap. See where we stand there: