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Time Flies In the Offseason

December 14, 2009

It struck me that the Columbus Crew will be coming together for preseason in about a month and a half and it’s only a little less than three months until Toluca comes to town to kick off the Champions League and the 2010 season. Time is ticking on the offseason and any retooling the Crew are going to do in the offseason will have to start soon.

The biggest question for next year’s Crew team is still not solved, whether Guillermo Barros Schelotto will be coming back or not. Mitchell noted last week that they are still working on a deal and it would only happen if Guille accepts a cap number under a Designated Player salary, a 33% pay cut. What I hoped was going to be a quick decision is now closing in on the end of Schelotto’s contract on December 31st.

Even if Schelotto resigns, I also have to think the Crew are looking to upgrade the forwards. There is not a lot of proven goal scoring prowess. With Moreno off to Philly, Steven Lenhart, Emilio Renteria, and Jason Garey are the only true forwards on the roster. There is only 21 league goals between the three of them. After four years in MLS, Garey doesn’t look to be a breakout scorer. Lenhart and Renteria are both talented forwards, but they appear more of a supporting forward rather than a primary goal scorer.

The MLS superdraft doesn’t appear to have a breakout scorer in it. If the Crew are truly looking to upgrade their offense, they will probably have to look for a foreign forward or trade within MLS. A proven MLS goal scorer would probably cost the Crew a player of Robbie Rogers caliber, a pretty high price. I expect to see the Crew look towards South and Central America to bolster the attack.

I am eager to see who the Crew is able to bring in. I would imagine it would have to be a cheap import even if Guille comes back without the DP price tag. The Hunt Sports Group doesn’t look eager to spend their own money on the Crew right now. Warzycha, Bliss and company has made a few of the rounds to some college and international games. I hope they are finding some talent because its less than three months until the first kick in anger.

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