It may be a friendly, but it will be an enormous crowd at Qwest, dominated by the Rave Green in the lower bowl. Tests like this will test the club, but also give them an opportunity to prove that this game works in the city. 60,000+ should be the goal for seats on this one.
As predicted by me, Taylor Graham has signed with the club.
He and Eylander were two of six that I felt strongly about from the ratings math that I did.
Gardner is not in camp, but all three of the others have a shot. Also look for Besagno and Kante to compete for developmental player slots, though with a strong deep draft and the Super Search taking a slot only 1 may make the club. Besagno plays a position of greater need, but Kante performed better through the season.
Sakuda made my extended list and adds some defensive wing depth, and Treschuk might actually be a leading candidate to start at Center Defensive Mid.
And if the math seems off, that's because I have a feeling a few of the expansion draftees are unlikely to make the club.
Speaking of math, if I adjust the numbers for this season's 24 man roster the AVERAGE MLS club last year had the following # of players per position and Columbus is listed second
Forward - 5.4 / 7
Midfielder - 8.4 / 8
Defender - 7.3 / 8
Keeper - 2.6 / 3
Freddy Montero is in camp, but his status is still up in the air. I'm assuming if the contract can be worked out he'd be a forward and starter with Jaqua.
Under contract the club has;
Forward - 5 + 1
Midfielder - 7
Defender - 4 + 2
Keeper - 2
The + number are the three drafted players who are not signed. I'm assuming that the club can retain Jeff Parke, as he would be invaluable in defense. Roster slotting is going to get difficult, so maybe SSFC can sign some loan outs or transfers of a few of their expansion draftees and retain their MLS rights? One could hope because there are still some positional needs.
Jose Romero has video. I'm not going to embed it. You should check his blog.
In radio news Shannon Drayer was signed by 710 ESPN/Bonneville Seattle to cover the Mariners as their "beat reporter." She will now have had the role for all three stations that had major sports play-by-play in the Seattle market. Congratulations to Drayer, it took too long, but this is well deserved. This is now 710 ESPNs second hire of an on-air person with whom I worked in my nearly 3 years at KJR-AM.
She will likely be blogging at www.myNorthwest.com in the near future.
The club hasn't stopped finding people yet. Hope you aren't use to anyone.