Quakes Add Needed Depth in Re-Entry Draft
The Quakes were the busiest team in this year’s expansion draft; they selected 3 players, and added some needed depth to a team that looked very thin in the 2014 contest.
They started off in the first round by addressing the backup goalkeeper situation with the departure of veteran Jon Busch. The Quakes selected Sporting KC GK Andy Gruenebaum in the first phase of the re-entry draft. Grunenbaum made 11 starts for Sporting KC last year, made 34 saves, allowed 12 goals, and had an overall record of 6-3-2. Longtime veteran Jon Busch will be leaving the club this year, (which is ironic, because Grunenbaum got his first start when Busch was injured) and the Quakes needed another goalkeeper. Grunenbaum’s veteran presence was brought on to help smoothen the transition for Generation Adidas graduate David Bingham. Bingham signed a new contract with the Quakes earlier, and is slated to take the starting job next season. By selecting him in the first phase of the re-entry draft, the Quakes will be forced to pay Grunenbaum at least 105% of his last years salary.
The Quakes started off phase 2 of the re-entry draft by selecting Colorado Rapids CB Marvell Wynne. Wynne was a starting CB on the Rapids 2010 MLS Cup Championship team, and has 5 caps with the USMNT. Wynne is 28 years old, and adds some speed to the Quakes back line. He has the ability to play RB and CB, and I am sure that he will be seeing a good amount of minutes next season.
In the second round of phase 2, the Quakes selected Gambian Sanna Nyassi. Nyassi also brings some depth to a midfield that really struggled last year. The midfield did not do a great job of creating opportunities for the forwards last year, and the team struggled greatly as a whole from this. The Quakes will need to add a few more pieces in the midfield (hopefully including a designated player) in order to fix some of the problems they had last year. Nyassi had 1 goal and 1 assist in 10 games played for the Chicago Fire last year, and has 16 goals and 13 assists in 128 appearances in the MLS.
Overall, none of these picks are eye opening or surprising. The Quakes had a tremendous lack of depth last year, and these three players help a lot with that issue. The team still has a lot of work to do this offseason, but it seems that the front office is committed to fielding a quality team for the teams inaugural season at Avaya Stadium.