Despite the return of the speedy attacker on Wednesday, the Claret-and-Cobalt are still looking for depth at the position to back up Álvaro Saborío (above), and have room for at least two more forwards on the roster.
But one place RSL won't look to fill those spots is on Thursday's MLS SuperDraft (noon ET, streamed live on MLSsoccer.com)
“The draft is going to be for depth,” GM Garth Lagerwey told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday. “We don’t expect anyone we take in the draft to come in and play right away for us.”
RSL hold the 12th pick in the first round and also choose 31st overall — that is, barring a trade, something Lagerwey did not rule out.
“There are a number of things we have on the table,” he said.
New England traded for the No. 1 overall pick on Wednesday evening, sending the No. 4 choice and allocation money to Toronto FC to leap ahead of Chivas USA at No. 2. Toronto also pick third. A move to near the top of the order seems unlikely, given how little impact past rookies have had with the club, and Lagerwey’s assessment of the draft class.
“This draft is more wide open than drafts in years past,” he said. “There’s maybe a few special players and relatively many pretty good to decent players. So I think you may see some movement throughout the draft.”
Lagerwey said the team’s approach to the draft is to choose the best available player, based on his long-term prospects.
However, the club is looking for an immediate impact from Findley, 27, who is third in RSL history with 29 goals scored from 2007-10. He is expected to compete with whoever the club adds at the forward position.
“We are trying to get at least three guys at that position to compete for two spots,” Lagerwey said. “I feel we got away from that last year. We had Fabián [Espíndola] and Sabo, who were absolutely outstanding, but we had no third option. That’s why we got rid of four of the five forwards.”