While many are still having trouble adjusting to the MLS Cup loss, the Dynamo are knee deep in roster decisions, while preparing to build the 2013 club.
Training camp will open in a short eight weeks and the season kicks off in early March. Dominic Kinnear added key pieces during the 2012 season (Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark, Giles Barnes) that will benefit from having a full offseason with teammates. But there is still work to be done. There are a number of opportunities to replace possible departures, pick up players other teams drop, the trade market, and of course the MLS SuperDraft.
Roster moves are expected to be a hot topic across MLS over the next couple weeks, so this article serves as just an appetizer. Stay connected to Dynamo Theory and our writers and we'll keep you up to date with any moves the men an orange make.
The MLS Cup was just two days ago, but Dominic Kinnear is already having to make tough decisions regarding this year's roster. MLS' Re-Entry Draft will be held in two parts over the next two weeks - this Friday, December 7 will be round one, while next Friday, December 14 will complete round two.
MLS roster rules state the following regarding eligible players for the Re-Entry Draft.
Players who are not selected in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft will be made available in Stage 2. Clubs selecting players in Stage 2 will negotiate a new salary with the player. Players who remain unselected after Stage 2 will be available to any MLS club on a first come, first serve basis.
- Players who are at least 23 years old and have a minimum of three years experience in MLS whose options were not exercised by their clubs (available at option salary for 2013).
- Players who are at least 25 years old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them at their previous salary (available for at least their 2012 salary).
- Players who are at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them (available for at least 105% of their 2012 salary).
It's difficult (translation: next to impossible) to determine which of our players are on either a team or player option year, but the good news is MLS will release available players in the Re-Entry Draft this Wednesday. It's likely names will start to circulate prior to that.
In addition, a player has the right to refuse entry into the draft allowing their club to retain their rights and renegotiate a contact with that club.
Players Out of Contract
The majority of our core players should be in orange in 2013. Only four players currently on the roster would have the option of leaving via free agency. Last year's Dynamo defender of the year Andre Hainault headlines the group, followed by Macoumba Kandji and Cam Weaver.
Hainault is currently listed on the books at a guaranteed salary of $163,125 according to the MLS Players Union. Kofi Sarkodie ($135,500) took over the starting duties at right back midway through the season and it'll be interesting to see if Hainault would want to stick around as a back up.
Mac Kandji has had mixed success in Houston. His lack of consistency and finishing has been a big target by fans and you'd have to think players and coaches notice the same things we do at times. He has a number of positive qualities and early in the season looked as if would be a big part of the Dynamo offense. But his lack of control and quality finishing has many fans comparing him to a second coming of former Dynamo forward we enjoy forgetting about (cough, cough..Oduro).
I'm interested in how the Dynamo handle the Cam Weaver negotiations. I can't imagine letting him go quickly. He did afterall have a tremendous season scoring goals in the Reserve League. With Brian Ching stating he'll take about a month to decide his future, Weaver appears to be an important piece to maintain depth in the roster.
Lastly, Colin Clark appears to be the first player out. Based on his tweet on Monday thanking the organization and fans, I'd say the Dynamo declined to offer him a new contract and have parted ways.
Brunner to Dynamo
Following the Dynamo's first player out, Houston added depth in their backline. The Houston Chronicle reports the Dynamo have aquired defender (CB) Eric Brunner from the Portland Timbers for allocation money. This will be interesting to see how it affects Hainault's situation.
With the Re-Entry Draft coming quickly and we've seen our first player out the door, what's on Dynamo fan's minds? Give us your thoughts on the players mentioned above and holes we need to address?
Have your say below in our comments. This is only the beginning of a fun offseason.