2013 MLS Re-Entry Process flooded with talent
Major League Soccer unveiled its list of 68 players available for selection for selection in the Re-Entry Process over the next two weeks. Included in the list are three former MLS Most Valuable Player award winners in Dwayne De Rosario, David Ferreira and Carlos Ruiz; decorated veterans Bobby Boswell, Bobby Convey and Kenny Cooper; and 2011 MLS Newcomer of the Year Mauro Rosales.
In the Re-Entry Process' three-year history, the Crew has made three selections. The Black & Gold selected former Kansas City Wizards defender Aaron Holbein with the eighth pick in Round One of Stage One of the inaugural Re-Entry Draft in 2010, though the Wisconsin native opted for a career in the North American Soccer League. In Stage Two that same year, the Crew brought back striker Jeff Cunningham from FC Dallas with the 10th pick. Cunningham went on to break Jaime Moreno's all-time MLS scoring record in 2011.
In total, only five players have been selected in the Stage One, in which salaries are mostly non-negotiable for players chosen. The Crew did pick-up veteran defender Carlos Mendes from the New York Red Bulls in the 2011 Re-Entry Process. Mendes played in 12 matches for the Black & Gold in 2012.
2013 could see that trend change, however. While Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter is hesitant to "pay top dollar" for a player in Stage One, the talent could be too tempting to pass up.
Here are some of the top names available for selection this year.
MID - Mauro Rosales | Age: 32 - TRADED TO CHIVAS USA ON 12/11
The winner of the MLS Newcomer of the Year award 2011, Rosales recorded back-to-back 13-assist seasons for Seattle Sounders FC. While he saw his production dip in 2013 with three goals and eight assists, the Argentine could prove to be a solid pick-up for a team in this year's Re-Entry Process.
With his ability to play centrally or on the wing, Rosales could provide a kick to the Crew attack alongside Federico Higuaín should he be selected. A former Designated Player, Rosales is more likely to be selected in the Stage Two when teams can negotiate new deals with players.
FWD - Kenny Cooper | Age: 29
Just one season removed from an 18-goal campaign in 2012 with the New York Red Bulls, Cooper saw his production slow in his return to Dallas in 2013. The target man found the net just six times in 31 matches with the Hoops in 2013, but showed flashes of his past form at times last season.
A proven goalscorer with plenty left in the tank, the Crew could use Cooper up top next season if selected. Carrying a high price tag, expect Cooper to be chosen in Stage Two.
DEF - Sean Franklin | Age 28
A dynamic force at right back, Franklin helped the LA Galaxy to back-to-back MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012. The 28-year-old's talent and experience will be an asset for team's looking for defensive depth in the Re-Entry Process.
Having played alongside Franklin in the twilight of his career with the LA Galaxy, Gregg Berhalter knows what Franklin brings to the table. Though the Black & Gold have depth at rightback with Josh Williams and Chad Barson, Franklin could be an option in Re-Entry.
MID - Steve Zakuani | Age: 25
Once considered one of the top young talents in MLS, Zakuani is one of the most intriguing names on the list. While he hasn't made more than 10 appearances in a season since a horrific leg injury in 2011, the Akron product could be in need of a change in scenery to refresh his career.
With the Crew looking for depth on the wings, Zakuani could be an interesting addition via the Re-Entry Process.
DEF - Bobby Boswell | Age: 30
Boswell has been a rock along the Houston Dynamo and D.C. United backlines for the better part of the past decade. Never playing in fewer than 26 matches in a season over the past six seasons with the Dynamo, Boswell brings durability along with physicality.
Should the Crew look to bolster its defense, Boswell looks to be the top centerback available for selection in Re-Entry.