The Loons have until December 1st to decide which contract options they’ll pick up this year, which is the first step towards building next year’s roster. They also have three weeks from today to make “bona fide” offers to players who are out of contract, though that is obviously less pressing.
The issue, of course, is that they don’t currently have anyone in a top-level soccer role - no coach, no technical director, no GM, no nothing. So all speculation on the roster is a little difficult, given that they’ve turned the page on everyone who brought in the current group.
With this in mind, here’s my notes on which players have contracts, options, or nothing at all for next year - along with some guesses at who the club might keep.
Dayne St. Clair: Contract
Clint Irwin: Contract
Eric Dick: Team option, can become a free agent
Fred Emmings: Team option
QUICK OPTION ANALYSIS: I feel pretty sure the club will pick up Emmings’s option; there’s no reason to drop him, at this point. Dick played all of one half this year, in a friendly against FC Kaiserslautern, but he brings good vibes, and the club picked up his option last year.
Miguel Tapias: Contract
Ethan Bristow: Contract
Devin Padelford: Contract
Mikael Marques: Contract
Michael Boxall: Team option, can become a free agent
Zarek Valentin: Team option, can become a free agent
Bakaye Dibassy: Team option
Ryen Jiba: Team option
DJ Taylor: Out of contract
Brent Kallman: Out of contract, free agent
QUICK OPTION ANALYSIS: Andy Greder from the Pioneer Press reported on whether the club was likely to pick up Boxall’s option. That was under previous management, but I think the Loons would be foolish to not keep the veteran center back.
As for the others, I see Taylor and Dibassy coming back, and I’d keep Valentin if I could (but would he accept another uber-cheap contract?).
Hassani Dotson: Contract
Kervin Arriaga: Team option
Joseph Rosales: Team option
Ján Gregus: Team option, can become a free agent
Wil Trapp: Out of contract, free agent
QUICK OPTION ANALYSIS: Greder also reported on whether Trapp would be back. I would be a little surprised if Gregus returned; I would not be surprised if Arriaga or Rosales, or both, were in next year’s squad.
Emanuel Reynoso: Contract
Franco Fragapane: Contract
Robin Lod: Contract
Bongokuhle Hlongwane: Contract
Teemu Pukki: Contract
Caden Clark: Contract
Sang Bin Jeong: Contract
Patrick Weah: Contract
Ménder García: Team option
Tani Oluwaseyi: Team option
Emmanuel Iwe: Team option
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi: Team option, can become a free agent (pretty sure - he wasn’t on the MLSPA list)
Cameron Dunbar: Out of contract
QUICK ANALYSIS: García is just 25, and he played more than 1,000 minutes last year, but he was basically just a sub after Pukki’s arrival. With Oluwaseyi on the way up, one wonders if García is surplus to requirements. I doubt the Loons would let Iwe go, after signing him midseason, but with a new regime, who knows? Same for Tajouri-Shradi or Dunbar, neither of whom seemed to be valued by the previous staff.