Saturday, August 22, 2009

8/22/09: Who Will The Crew Go After With Their Last Roster Spot?

The Columbus Crew still have one roster spot open and $100,000 to $150,000 to give to whoever they want for the rest of the year. I received news a few weeks back that the last player that the Crew were giving an extensive look(to sign in Nyazamba's unoccupied spot) is a young 19 year old African. Nevertheless, with no news on that front, the Crew might of hit a snag with those negotiations. Still, it appears from Bliss's comments lately that the Crew are not about to rest on their depth laurels. From Bliss's discussion with Mitchell the other day, "the league doesn't give out awards for not using (salary) money." However, Bliss cautioned, "there is a reason why guys are unattached at this point," Bliss said. "It's tough to find someone who is going to help you. There are exceptions, though."

With how well and how close the Crew played the Renteria move to their chest, I can almost guarentee there is an exception. The Crew want to push for the FIFA World Club Cup and to get there, first things first, they are going to have to get out of their CONCACAF Champions League group this season. To give themselves a better opportunity they will spend the remaining $150,000 or so(usually a starter's salary) to get one more quality player.

So, what sort of player could the Crew possibly be looking for? Bliss discussed this with fans in the pregame coaches corner last Saturday stating that the Crew could use some depth on the left side of the field, a player who could play some left back and left midfield as well. Which is a good point. If Padula or Rogers were to go down, we have no real solid cover there. If Padula goes down it would be the right footed O'Rourke playing out of position and if Rogers goes down it would be Gaven playing out of position or rookie Alex Grendi.

A player that fits the mold (since Bliss visited Ghana earlier in the year) would be someone like Daniel Addy. Young, 19, left winger, left back. Nevertheless, although Addy's team Randers only has about 3,000 spectators a game(man TFC fans would be all over them with the attendance smack), they do play in UEFA Cup and Addy is the sort looking to stay in Europe and make the jump to a bigger league someday. Addy already has two caps for Ghana and is contracted until 2011. I wouldn't expect him to be the player the Crew is or gave a look to.

Francis Coffie though is someone who could possibly be a player the Crew could be looking at. Coffie is a left winger and is contracted until 2010 with Ghanaian side Asante Kotoko (Bliss was in Ghana). However, Coffie was handed a one month trial with newly promoted Bundesliga side SC Frieburg in late May. The trial was unsuccessful but it appears he would be outside of the Crew's price range.

Video of Coffie:

These players are probably too pricey. Others that fit the mold are Ishmael Yartey and Wakaso Mubarak. But, both are doing too well in Europe. Mubarak is stuck in Ghana and hasn't made it back to Elche. But, it's probably a little unrelastic that any of these players are coming here for less than $400,000.

A player that could probably come here for $100,000 to $150,000 is Abdul Naza Alhassan, who played 6 matches for the Ghanaian U-17 team and also has been involved with the U-20 team. He was contracted with Shonan Bellmare of the J League and made 3 appearances in 2008. But, isn't in their team picture on Bellmare's website and doesn't show up on their latest roster on the team website. Abdul Naza could play left midfield but is more of an attacking player, couldn't play any left back. So, I'm not sure if it could be him or not.

Or it could be no one from Africa and maybe the Crew goes a different route and picks up someone who already is familiar with MLS. Someone like Terry Cooke.

So, what do you think? What sort of player would you like the Crew to sign with the last roster spot?


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