With the off-season rapidly approaching, New York City finally revealed which players they're cutting loose.
Say goodbye to Ned Grabavoy, Pablo Alvarez, Jeb Brovsky, and Kwame Watson-Siriboe.
The club picked up the contracts of 10 players: Josh Saunders, Eirik Johansen, RJ Allen, Connor Brandt, Mehdi Ballouchy, Kwadwo Poku, Tommy McNamara, Tony Taylor, Khiry Shelton and Patrick Mullins. Of that group, the two surprises are Ballouchy and Brandt; the former is the definition of a MLS journeyman, having played for six total teams in the league, whilst Brandt was a second-round draft pick for the club.
Of the four departing players, Grabavoy will likely be missed the most. The MLS veteran played most of the season with a broken toe, and started 22 of the 25 games he appeared in. Alvarez will likely be remembered most for missing a crucial penalty in extra time of the Blues' inaugural U.S. Open Cup game against the New York Cosmos. Brovsky and Watson-Siriboe, meanwhile, didn't play much after featuring for the team early in the season.
With Ballouchy, the Blues have needed depth on the right side, depending on how incoming manager Patrick Vieira decides to set up the team. Meanwhile, Grabavoy's departure opens the door for Tommy McNamara to play on the left, where he found success this past season.
In addition to the 10 players whom the club resigned, the club has another nine players already under contract -- Andrea Pirlo, David Villa, Frank Lampard, Mix Diskerud, Andoni Iraola, Chris Wingert, Jason Hernandez, Jefferson Mena and Andrew Jacobson. That leaves the club with 19 players. Six players hold international slots (the three DPs, plus Iraola, Mena, and Johansen).
With the re-entry drafts, plus free agency and the SuperDraft, looming, the Blues will likely be buyers in the offseason. If the club's goal, as clearly stated by CFG, is to make the playoffs, then the roster needs significant improvement. One other thing stands out: George John may not be with the team any more. He's no longer listed on the official roster.