In MLS, you could make the argument that there truly is no such thing as an "offseason."
Roster decisions and League roster mechanisms are rapidly approaching for the Black & Gold. Here's a key list of upcoming dates for the Crew in that regard:
- November 14: Chivas USA Dispersal Draft Order Draw
- November 19: Chivas USA Dispersal Draft
- December 8: Half-Day Trade Window
- December 10: MLS Expansion Draft/MLS Waiver Draft
- December 12: MLS Re-Entry Draft, Phase I
- December 18: MLS Re-Entry Draft, Phase II
Additionally, Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter has some in-house decisions to make on his roster. He confirmed that three players are out of contract entering this offseason: Eric Gehrig, Justin Meram and Bernardo Anor. He also confirmed that he would like to notify the players whose options the Crew would not be picking up by early next week.
Beyond that, there's the matter of the MLS Expansion Draft, with the Crew's 11-player protected list at the top of the Crew boss' mind.
"I think we have a good group of guys," said Berhalter. "We'd like to keep the core group together, as much as that's possible. With the Expansion Draft, you run the risk of losing some guys, but it is a good core and it's a group we believe in. We'd like to keep most of them together."
In some ways, the process of roster management begins tomorrow with the League holding the order draw for the Chivas USA Dispersal Draft. However, the Black & Gold have already made four moves for 2015 by signing Kei Kamara, Mohammed Saeid and Ben Swanson, as well as rewarding Ethan Finlay with a new contract. These are just a few of the puzzle pieces in place as Berhalter looks to retool and reload for next season and beyond.
"We talked about the core being good," said the Crew boss. "What I would say is we want to potentially address every position. You saw in the striker position, we brought in Kei Kamara. We could be looking to add depth in that position as well. You look at central midfield where we brought in Saeid, who's going to give us depth. We would be looking to improve the roster in virtually every position, in some form or another."