Dwain Capodice from MLSSoccer.com interviewed Houston Dynamo COO Chris Canetti last week and got some good information concerning the team's salary cap situation going in to the off season. I encourage you to read the article, as Canetti also discusses some of the big trades from the past few seasons.
Here are the important points from the interview and my thoughts about what they mean for the team:
There are two players who will be out of contract at the end of the season: Corey Ashe and Dominic Oduro
Canetti says he expects to re-sign both players and this seems like the right choice in my opinion. Oduro has been very strong at the end of the season and is the type of guy you love to have on the roster for his speed and ability to test the opponent's defense. Corey Ashe is a guy that gives you some flexibility, especially with him dropping back in to a fullback role at times this season.
The Dynamo will have significant salary cap space for the first time since moving to Houston
This is what the front office has been building towards over the past couple seasons. It's why De Rosario was traded and why the team parted ways with Waibel and Landin this season. Between the contracts that will likely move on during the off season, allocation money from trades and for not making the playoffs, the Dynamo will be in great shape to sign any type of player they want to get. More importantly, it will allow the team to make a strong offer to Geoff Cameron or being looking for a new face should he decide not to re-sign.
"Then we will naturally clear some cap room by some contracts moving on."
I'm glad to hear Canetti saying this. This season has proved that the entire roster must be evaluated from top to bottom and some tough choices will need to be made. There are players on the team who have been a huge part of the Dynamo's success since 2006, but they cannot afford to live in the past.
"We are currently having discussions to extend Geoff Cameron’s contract, as he is under contract next year."
Either Cameron will re-sign or he will follow in the footsteps of Stuart Holden by playing out the final year of his contract and leaving on a free transfer. It's hard to predict what Cameron will do, I'd love to see him sign one more contract but by gut feeling is that he won't. MLS is struggling with situations like this thanks to their single-entity structure and iron-fisted control on transfer fees. More and more players seem to be getting advice from agents to just play out a contract and leave the league. Instead of making money off a young player you developed who wants to move on by transferring him, MLS and the involved team are getting nothing as talented players are able to walk away.
It's going to be an interesting off season in Houston.