I caught up with the Sounders FC GM before he left for the combine and we talked about the formation of the roster. The club has 15 players now (14 under contract until Jeff Parke signs) and will be hard-pressed to have 20 players signed when training camp opens.
“We’d like to have some flexibility,” Hanauer said. “We’ll also be be bringing in guys after camp starts.”
Hanauer has said he’d like upwards of 30 players in camp. Those ranks will be filled with players on a trial basis, former USL Sounders and others who get invites as camp goes along.
A few players are guaranteed roster spots — Keller, Jaqua and Ljungberg come to mind — but those who are not will have to earn their spot on the 20-man senior roster and four-man developmental roster. The draft should add a couple of more bodies, and if Seattle drafts Steve Zakuani or another Generation adidas player, that player will fit under the salary cap as a developmental player and not a senior roster member. That’s a good savings if the league minimum for a senior player is roughly $35,000 in 2009. Zakuani has probably signed with MLS for more, but the cap hit to the team is minimal.
If Seattle drafts a college senior in the first round, he is automatically on the senior roster. A college senior picked after the first round could be signed as a developmental player.
Assistant coach Brian Schmetzer remains an advocate for his former charges from the USL Sounders. I asked him about Danny Jackson and he said he and Sigi Schmid want to give the former Sounders a long look.
“Danny’s certainly on that list of guys,” Schmetzer said. Schmetzer and Schmid are working on that list and it could be more than half of the USL Sounders roster.