It's been a fairly one-way road out of Kansas City so far this off-season, five players have left town with no one officially joining the team as of this writing.
That will change soon, of course. But with only a few days left in 2010, I wanted to take a quick glimpse through the roster for 2011as it stands right now.
There are 21 players on the roster with only Michael Harrington undergoing contract discussions. Zoltan Hercegfalvi is no longer on the team's roster as his 18-month loan from Hungarian side Honved has expired. I've learned that the team is exploring options to have him return for the preseason.
Player movement since November.
Out: Jimmy Conrad (selected by Chivas USA in second stage of MLS re-entry draft), Josh Wolff (selected by D.C. United in second stage of MLS re-entry draft, Aaron Hohlbein (selected by Columbus in the first stage of the MLS re-entry draft), Jonathan Leathers (selected by Vancouver in the 8th round of the MLS expansion draft) and Jamar Beasley (joined the Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League).
In: None**Luke Sassano, a midfielder/defender acquired last week in the MLS re-entry draft, is not currently on the team's roster. Sporting Kansas City hold his rights and can negotiate a new contract, but as of yet, this hasn't happened.
The Dane signed a contract extension this off-season and will be the main-man between the pipes in 2011.
Was pulled back by Sporting Kansas City after Vancouver drafted Jonathan Leathers in the MLS Expansion Draft. At 27 years old, he's far from reaching his peak as a goalkeeper, but he's only had 1 league start (the last game of 2010) in his career.
The team's first home-grown player is a building block for the future. He spent much of the last four months in the youth ranks of the U.S. national team.
•Matt Besler, DC.
Will likely receive every chance to take over the spot vacated by Jimmy Conrad.
•Roger Espinoza, LB.
KC's only World Cup player in 2010 was a nice surprise at left back. He goes into 2011 with this position locked down.
•Michael Harrington, RB/LB.
The team has offered a contract to Harrington, and are awaiting a response from him and his agent.
•Nikos Kounenakis, DC.
The Greek was brought over during the summer transfer window to add depth to the defense but failed to crack the team's lineup.
•Shavar Thomas, DC.
Started the year as a benchwarmer for expansion Philadelphia, ends the year as the senior central defender on the roster. Could be replaced; the team will take a look at many defenders during the transfer window.
•Korede Aiyegbusi, MC/LB.
Perhaps not much more than the new Lance Watson only the team isn't expecting him to start at right back.
•Chance Myers, RB/RM/LB/LM.
The former No. 1 overall pick has never cracked the starting lineup on a regular basis. He was slated to start 2010 on the right wing but an injury forced the team to start Kei Kamara there instead.
•Davy Arnaud, MC.
The captain and first name on the team sheet.
•Stephane Auvray, DMC.
Slowed at the end of the year, but expects to go into 2011 as the starting holding midfielder. If the team can fix its deficiencies in the backline, he might actually get to go forward a bit more this year.
•Jack Jewsbury, MC/DMC.
Was lifted from the starting lineup once Craig Rocastle reached fitness, but gives the team some interesting flexibility. He can play all three central midfield slots and also both right back and right wing in a pinch. A great sub.
•Craig Rocastle, MC/DMC.
He's a calming influence on the ball and a terrifying tackler off it. Should retain his spot as the left-hand piece of the midfield triumvirate.
•Graham Zusi, MC.
Was one of the team's best attacking options on the field and should get a long look as part of the team's best 11.
•Omar Bravo, ST/RW.
The team's designated player will start up top. The only question, who starts with him?
•Teal Bunbury, ST.
Is having quite a 6-month stretch: scored his first goal in July, was integral in helping the team beat Manchester United 2-1, got a shock call-up to the U.S. National Team, scored a few goals against La Liga reserve teams with the MLS Generation adidas squad and then trained (and scored in a reserve game) with EPL's Stoke City. Should have every chance to earn a starting spot up top this year.
•Sunil Chhetri, ST.
Saw very limited action in blue this year, was loaned to his national team for the last 5 months. The team has invested a lot of time and money on him, so he'll likely get a long look in the preseason.
•Birahim Diop, ST/MC.
Came out of nowhere to score five goals in 2010 and was often interchangeable with Bunbury as the team's leading striker. A good chemistry guy and a nice option off the bench.
•Kei Kamara, RW/ST.
The team's leading goal scorer in 2010 and should be a fixture on the right-hand side. Will have to deal with Bravo/Bunbury eating into his playing time, though.
•Ryan Smith, LW. A very important player going forward for the team -- he's the only true winger on the team. His creativity is a necessity for the 4-3-3 formation.