Off-budget players, a look at the Houston Dynamo roster

Houston Dynamo draftee, AJ Cochran - Stephanie Greene-USA TODAY Sports

There is some discussion of the importance of the draft and the ability to add some undrafted guys to the roster; particularly with the new partnership in PA. But MLS' small roster sizes get in the way of grabbing young developing talent and stashing them on loan for awhile. In MLS you can have at most, 10 off budget players. Of those 10 your Generation Adidas and Home grown signees take up several of the first few spots. In addition, if spots 9 and 10 are left open the team is rewarded with allocation money. So how do you continually add young developing talent? It is difficult.

A quick look at this year's team shows that as of this post we are unlikely to add much in the way of draft picks to the roster beyond AJ Cochran (Generation Adidas). Given the documented challenges with the budget this year, we can assume the team will look to keep the last two spots open and grab the allocation money. That leaves the Dynamo with 8 off budget spots.

Well, as of the writing of this post we already have six of those taken with the seventh likely earmarked for a third keeper. Anthony Arena, AJ Cochran, Warren Creavalle, Jason Johnson, Brian Ownby and Bryan Salazar are all off budget players right now. If you add in the third keeper [Michael Lisch picked in draft] that leaves 1 open spot for Mark Sherrod, today's draft picks, and any undrafted rookies.

So as people discuss today's draft picks and the possibility of players like Kristopher Tyrpak [Picked today by Chivas] being added to the roster, remember the likelihood of some of these guys making the team is fairly slim. That is not to say other options don't exist; team could use the final two spots. The team could move someone else to on budget. One of the above listed could be released. But they really have to like one of these draft picks today in order to make moves to get them on the roster. At least until MLS decides to increase the roster sizes to help facilitate youth and player development.

* The above assumes draft picks (other than top picks and GA guys) are offered minimum salary contracts; this putting them on the off-budget roster. This is a safe assumption for later second round to fourth round picks.

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