Building the 2012 roster

Rennie's game plan

A New Year brings a new season in Major League Soccer and head coaches and general managers from all 19 clubs become professional jugglers.

If you feel inclined to look at MLS rosters, you might notice that this is the time of year where teams need to be at their most creative to stay within the guidelines of the league. Clubs are working around a number of rules that help create parity. They include a salary foundation of $2,808,750 USD, a maximum roster of 30 players, as well as a limited number of international spots.

Martin Rennie and his staff have already been active in making changes to the Whitecaps FC roster for 2012, with recent additions of internationals Martin Bonjour and Darren Mattocks bringing the total of new players added to six. In addition, nine players have moved on - either through trades, drafts, waivers, or options declined.

Each MLS club starts with eight international spots and has the ability to add to those spots via trades. The addition of Bonjour and Mattocks brings Vancouver’s total of international players on their roster to 11. However, as a result of a trade during the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft when Whitecaps FC sent Sanna Nyassi to Colorado Rapids, Whitecaps FC can carry nine international players, if needed. As for the additional international spots, the league’s roster compliance deadline is March 1, so there is still a lot of time for the ‘Caps to weigh up their options. This includes acquiring additional international spots through trades, player movement, or international players convert to domestic players through immigration.

In all my conversations with Rennie, there appears to be a clear plan, and I look forward to seeing what the next move might be.