COMMERCE CITY, CO - OCTOBER 01: Ricardo Villar #11 of the FC Dallas controls the ball as Omar Cummings #14 of the Colorado Rapids pursues at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on October 1, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Never too early to take a look at the depth chart as it currently stands. Should give us a better look at where the needs are. I'm not including the rumored new center back Hernan Pertuz, but if I did he would slot in as center back #3. I'm only including a player at one position, though, especially through the back 4, the positions can be interchanged.
2. Chris Seitz
1. Jair Benitez
Keep reading for the rest of the depth chart and some comments
1. Ugo Ihemelu
2. George John
3. Jack Stewart
1. Zach Loyd
3. Victor Ulloa
2. Daniel Cruz
3. Bruno Guarda
1. Brek Shea
2. Bryan Leyva
Central attacking midfielder
1a. Ruben Luna
1b. Fabian Castillo
3. Jonathan Top
Two deep Schellas Hyndman, and all coaches really, want competition at every position. In looking at this depth chart, there's decent competition at most positions, though the right side is a trouble spot. Hopefully Andrew Wiedeman continues his upward progression and seriously battles Jackson at right mid, but as of now that is hopeful thinking. Brek doesn't have a lot of competition at left mid, but I don't think anyone is really worried about him.
The signing of Pertuz should be a fantastic deal to keep the pressure on Ugo and John while potentially grooming the 22 year old to take over for John whenever he leaves.
Where does Fabian Castillo play? We'll talk about pre-season storylines after the draft, but one of the biggest ones will be where Castillo fits into the system. Right now I listed him as a forward, but really I think he will be pretty much the first attacking option off the bench wherever he's needed. Castillo should replace Brek Shea at left mid whenever he's gone for national team or Olympics, though Brian Leyva showed a lot in reserve league last year to suggest he could get some cameo playing time in 2012.
Midfield depth Between Ferreira, Jacobson, Hernandez, Warshaw, Villar, Cruz, Guarda and Ulloa, center midfield is certainly not a spot of worry at this point. I hope that only one of Cruz and Villar make the squad as they're such similar players, there's not a huge need for them. It will be extremely interesting to see how Ferreira and Jacobson combine as we didn't really see much of them together in 2011 due to the injury, but I have a suspicion things will work out very well.
Thin backline Even with the signing of Pertuz, the backline is strong 1-4 but very thin after that. There's no real backup for right back while you really need two serviceable centerbacks behind John and Ugo. Pertuz and Stewart, if he comes back, would be an ok backup pair, but it's something that can still certainly be improved.
Forward Obviously a forward is needed, we've beaten that one to death. Just be patient.