There have been a number of big days this off-season for clubs in Major League Soccer, but Tuesday may be one of the biggest. And least spoken about. Tuesday is Roster Compliance Day.
First, a brief primer on how an MLS roster is composed (and this is from the MLS website and has not been updated for 2016, but the basic mechanism is the same)
A Major League Soccer club's first team roster is comprised of up to 28 players. All 28 players are eligible for selection to each 18-player game-day squad during the regular season and playoffs.
In addition to the salary budget, each MLS Club spends additional funds on player compensation including money from a league-wide allocation pool (Allocation Money), the cost of Designated Players outside the salary budget, and money spent on the Supplemental Roster (players 21-28).
Salary & Budget:
Players occupying roster spots 1-20 count against the club's salary budget (and are) referred to collectively as the club's Senior Roster.
Roster spots 19 and 20 are not required to be filled, and teams may spread their salary budget across only 18 Salary Budget Players. A minimum salary budget charge will be imputed against a team's salary budget for each unfilled senior roster spot below 18.
Players occupying roster spots 21-28 do not count against the club's salary budget, and are referred to collectively as the club's Supplemental Roster (maximum of eight per team).
All Generation adidas players are Supplemental Roster players.
Basically, clubs have 28 roster spots available on Tuesday. Spots 1-20 are the senior roster and spots 21-28 are supplemental spots and don't count against the Cap.
GOALKEEPERS: John Berner, Zac MacMath
DEFENDERS: Marc Burch, Bobby Burling, Marlon Hairston (GA), Eric Miller (GA), Axel Sjoberg, Sean St. Ledger, Jared Watts, Mekeil Williams
MIDFIELDERS: Micheal Azira, Sam Cronin, Marco Pappa, Zach Pfeffer, Dillon Powers, Dillon Serna (HG)
FORWARDS: Dominique Badji, Caleb Calvert, Conor Doyle, Kevin Doyle, Shkelzen Gashi, Luis Solignac
DRAFT PICKS (that could still earn a contract): Emmanuel Appiah (No. 15), Dennis Castillo (No. 37), Chris Froschauer (No. 43), Javan Torre (No. 56), Bradley Kamdem (No. 58)
NAVAL DUTY: Joseph Greenspan
TRIALISTS (that have been observed getting time): Stephen Keel, AJ Cochran, Brad Spencer
So based on my math, the Rapids have 5 spots available (6 depending on the status of Greenspan) in which to work with on Tuesday. The Rapids Rabbi offered his thoughts on the roster and is a must read on this situation, but Tuesday is the day for the Rapids. Who makes the cut. Who does not.
The one thing the Rapids are good with is that they do not have to cut anyone...just not offer contracts to folks if they don't feel they have earned it. And it would not be a shock if they do not fill every slot available because they don't have to do so. Needless to say, Tuesday will be a fun day of roster moves in Major League Soccer.
The Rapids are in action tonight at 6:30 PM MST against Arizona United SC and will be streamed live on the Rapids website.