The rumored Designated Player signing for the Columbus Crew seems to be more and more imminent every day.
Three players were waived from the team on Wednesday: defenders Shaun Francis, Aubrey Perry, and Korey Veeder. All were full-backs.
Francis has the most playing experience of the three. In fact, he is the only one with any MLS league minutes. Francis began the season as the Crew’s starting left-back, only to eventually lose his spot to Nemanja Vukovic. Francis was always more of a speedster than a defender. He is even currently leading the team in assists this year with three. However, his defensive liabilities and international roster spot proved to be expendable. Josh Williams, Danny O’Rourke, Carlos Mendes, Rich Balchan, and even Bernardo Anor are expected to fill the depth chart at left-back behind Vukovic. I was a fan of Francis during his time with the team, and I wish him (and the other two) the best.
I haven’t been able to watch Perry that much, as the rookie only appeared in scrimmages and reserve matches. Although, I was impressed with his play on the right, and his long dread locks only added to that admiration. Of the three players let go, I was most disappointed about Perry. Behind Sebastian Miranda, I think Perry could have very easily matured into a steady MLS caliber right-back.
I can’t comment much on Veeder. I don’t recall ever watching him play, and, if I have before, he obviously didn’t stand out much.
Many thanks to these players for their hard work and dedication they have put in for the team. Being a Crew fan, I know one or more of them will sooner or later score on us.
These three players opened up some more salary space and an international spot for the Crew. The summer transfer window for MLS teams opened on Wednesday, and the pursuit for a DP is obviously at the top of the team’s to-do list. The first option in South America already went through, but a new one in Europe has arisen.
We know that the player offered a contract is a forward who just missed making his national team’s squad for the currently ongoing Euro 2012 tournament.
Various big-name possibilities being thrown around the interwebs include Ivan Klasnic, Angelos Charisteas, Louis Saha, Peter Lovenkrands, and, to a lesser-known extent, Ireneusz Jelen.
I doubt the Crew are willing/able to dish out the big amounts of cash needed for most of these players, except maybe Jelen.
The most talked about player has been Ryan Babel, formally of Ajax, Liverpool, and Hoffenheim. He has made over 40 appearances for the Netherlands national team, scoring five goals. However, the team has refuted having any discussions concerning the winger/striker. Babel simply tweeted “#Ohio” yesterday morning, before retweeting this:
Ryan Babel (@RyanBabel) June 29, 2012
While Ohio does have a lot to offer for most folks, I’m not too sure what a world-traveling soccer player would find here, apart from maybe his next possible team.