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USL roster freeze and what it means for the Colorado Springs Switchbacks

The Colorado Rapid’s Conor Doyle is eligible for the playoffs, but Zach Pfeffer is still questionable.

Conor Doyle in action with the Switchbacks against Tulsa.
Photos Courtesy Isaiah J. Downing/Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

The USL roster freeze came and went without much fanfare this year at 3pm MST on September 6th. The official rules for the freeze are summarized as such:

"Any player on loan must play a minimum of five games during the regular season to be eligible to play in the playoffs. One of these games must occur prior to the roster freeze date."

For the Switchbacks FC, this might make for complications for our newest loanee, Zach Pfeffer. While he filled the requirement to appear before the freeze date, the club only has three more games. In speaking with the team, they indicated that they are working with the USL to see that he is available for the playoffs.

The other two loanees we've had this season are Joe Greenspan and Conor Doyle. Greenspan is currently on loan with the Rapids affiliate, Charlotte. While Doyle missed the LA game to return to service with the Rapids, the team confirmed that he is still on loan status with the Switchbacks, and in fact trained with them this week. Having appeared in seven games so far, Doyle is eligible to play in the playoffs with the Switchbacks.

The other situation the Switchbacks face is the lack of healthy goalkeepers. The USL allows an exception when a team is down to one keeper due to injury or National team call up. With both Billy Thompson and Dan Jackson injured, the team has signed Harpo's FC keeper Zac Gibbons, and Real Colorado's Kobe Gray.

The league had hoped the additional roster freeze rules would prevent MLS2 teams from having a competitive advantage, but clearly there are still loopholes.