The Fire have announced the release of last season's opening day goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra. The acquisition of Jon Conway via trade on draft day led to some speculation that the Fire would keep three 'keepers on the roster in order to make one available for reserve league action while the other competed for the back up spot to Sean Johnson. Dykstra's age (25) restricts the Fire's flexibility under MLS' newly revised roster rules.
Under the new rules any player 25 or older is not eligible for the "Off Budget" salary slots made available for players occupying roster spots 25-30. The new rules also stipulate that the "Off Budget" players earn a minimum of $32,500.00 per season. Dykstra was due for an annual increase to $42,000.00 based on the collective bargaining agreement signed last spring therefore making him expendable in favor of a younger and less expensive reserve keeper who would not count against the cap number. While this move is an unfortunate reality of the revamped salary cap and roster rules it also makes the release of Jon Busch last spring in favor of Dykstra look even more dubious.
The names of some of the trialists currently in camp have been released. The list includes young Colombians Fabian Burbano (striker) and Yoximar Granados (right back), Nate Weiss (right back), and Ashley McInnes (striker). The full list is due to be released tomorrow.
Burbano is not the international striker who has been rumored to be joining the club over the last few weeks.
MLS "Major" Announcement on Tuesday
Don Garber will be joined by Landon Donovan and Thierry Henry for what MLS calls a "major announcement" on Tuesday afternoon. I doubt that the league would go this extent to simply announce the league schedule. That's due next week. My guess is the announcement of a new television contract will be made while we're preparing for the most cataclysmic snowfall in the history of snow dumps.