Thursday, February 26, 2009

Training Camp Updates

Here is an update from training camp. I wanted to especially focus on how the roster looks to be sitting with the impending contract/budget compliance date coming up for the league on Monday. I will also post something later on that analyzes how I think the roster will look come March 28th.


The team is looking good. It appears that at this point the focus has been on the same diamond 4-4-2 formation that we saw last season. The returning players appear to be very comfortable in these roles. There is more of a focus on wing-backs with Beltran, Joy and Wingert filling in out wide. Speaking of Beltran - one observation is that he is vastly improved. Look for him to be a contributor this season.


Cox - I heard some comparisons to Tony Beltran from a season ago. A quick player that can play left-back or left-wing. Has a good soccer knowledge, and a high confidence level. Seems to be adjusting well to the pro level, although there is definitely still a learning curve. He's more of an attacking player than Beltran, but look for him to make the roster.

Alexandre - No updates on him, but since he is already signed by the league, he's a lock to make the roster.


Escalada - As reported earlier, his fitness is improving. The team reportedly likes his finishing ability (despite the missed PK). Look for him to move on in the game of Real Salt Lake Survivor and stick with the team through the Charleston Tournament.

St. Preux - Again a marginal, developmental player. I'm guessing it's a long-shot that he'll make the team, especially if the team is high on Escalada. If he makes the Charleston roster it will be a minor surprise.

Salazar - Appears to be an average player, but he is a left-sided guy. As of now, Will is likely the starter at this position, and the team would ideally like to see him playing on the right. The team would also like to add a true wide player to go along with Will's tremendous enjoy and Javi's technical ability. If Salazar makes the team, it's likely just to add depth and it may be a temporary move which brings us to...

El Khalifi - As reported yesterday, the team is still active in negotiations with him. I assumed that there was a big rush to get him in for the last few weeks of pre-season. I'm sure they'd like to do this, but also don't write-off the possibility of him joining at a later stage (either prior to the April 15th window close or even during the summer window). I think the bringing in of a left-sided midfielder in Salazar is an indication that the team is looking for an insurance policy at this position.

Clark - No update on this player (as keepers tend to be off in their own little world during practice), but I think we'll know all we need to know by next Wednesday. I would be surprised to see the team take 4 keepers to Charleston.


Morales- has a minor injury, and is being held out largely for precautionary measures. Unknown at this point if he will play in the exhibition tomorrow.

Nunez - recovering from surgery.

Borchers/Russell - Both appear to be back at around 90%, and are participating fully in practice.