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Is Conor Casey Worth A Look?

The 31-year old has dealt with ACL injuries these last two seasons.

Doug Pensinger

Last Friday nearly came and went without any big MLS news but sure enough 5pm hit and my inbox got a little release from the Colorado Rapids saying that Conor Casey (and a slew of other players) had been released from the Rapids. Casey and Colorado are parting ways on mutual consent according to the Rapids, meaning he'll be available for next month's Re-Entry Draft.

Naturally he'll probably go through the first stage of the Re-Entry Draft without getting picked up due to his high salary numbers. For those wondering or new to MLS, the first stage of the Re-Entry draft states that teams have to give new contracts to players they select that match their previous salary.

For a quick intro on the Re-Entry Draft see below:

Available to all teams in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry draft will be:

Players who are at least 23 years old and have a minimum of three years experience in MLS whose options were not exercised by their clubs (available at option salary for 2013).

Players who are at least 25 years old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them at their previous salary (available for at least their 2012 salary).

Players who are at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them (available for at least 105% of their 2012 salary).

I highlighted that last line for a reason, since it involves where Casey will come into this. Casey's salary in Colorado was a massive figure, $400k. Naturally no team will want a 31-plus-year old forward with bad knees at that number. It was a big reason why Colorado had to get him off the books (they want a DP forward).

So should he go through the first stage of the Re-Entry Draft unclaimed, would he be worth a look in the second stage? Honestly, I think you have to give him a fair look and I believe FC Dallas may be a club that does.

The reason being? FCD technical director Fernando Clavijo was the man that brought him to Colorado back in 2007 in a deal with Toronto FC. So naturally he is interested. Clavijo spoke with Third Degree's Todd Date on the matter and said he wants to know his health status first.

"I rate him extremely high personally. He's a good forward. I think the bigger question with him is going to be not just his budget number but his health. I know he went from ACL to ACL to Achilles tendon. Those are pretty hard injuries to deal with," Clavijo said.

"I know that Colorado waived him and they're going to do some things. But I'm going to find out a little bit more about his health more than anything else. We're looking at anything right now," Clavijo said. "We're looking at everything and he's definitely somebody that I know. I was the one who brought him to Colorado, so I'm very, very familiar with him and I like everything about him."

Finding out about his health is key. ACL injury ended is 2011 season early and he really didn't get back to health until midway through this season. If Clavijo is confident he is healthy and will be healthy for a full season, and lastly that he can get him here on a good salary for FCD, then you can expect him to jump on this move.

The question for many clubs, including FC Dallas, will come down to what will his asking price become? When healthy he is very capable of being dangerous and I'm sure in the set up he'd be great on the field with David Ferreira, Blas Perez, Brek Shea and Fabian Castillo. But would he even want to be a backup to Perez at a much cheaper salary? That is the tough question.

Honestly, I've always rated Casey pretty high. When he has good service feeding him the ball he is very capable of delivering good results. He's big, physical, and imposing on defenders. All things you want in a forward.

I haven't gotten to the strikers portion of my building the roster series but I can go ahead and give you all this nugget of info from that piece - which shouldn't to a surprise to any of you all here - the biggest need in my book this winter is finding a number 2 striker behind Perez. If you can snag a guy like Casey at a good price, great. If not, where do you find one?

Let's hear what you all would do in this situation. Take Casey in the Re-Entry Draft or pass on him for someone younger and possibly healthier.