Barring any late additions, Detroit City’s 2017 roster has been set and can now be examined in detail. I always use the season preview series of posts to discuss each position group and individual player, so this post will look more at the team as a whole. The full, current roster can be found HERE.
With the year-to-year roster turnover that occurs naturally in an amateur league, there is plenty of competition at every position on an annual basis. With that said, these are the three areas of City’s squad where that competition should be most pronounced.
One of the biggest struggles for last year’s team was finding a consistent, go-to goalscorer. Some players showed flashes but none could produce game-in, game-out, over the course of the full season. Ben Pirmann has addressed this by bringing in six newcomers to compete at the position. Shawn Lawson returns after two years away from the club, and his talent plus that added experience and development make him my preliminary favorite to start. Among his chief competitors is the most intriguing prospect on the roster at any position, Roddy Green. Coming off his freshman season at Saginaw Valley in which he scored 7 goals, Green combines good size (6’1”) with blazing speed, and may have the most upside of any striker on the team.
Equally troublesome as striker, goalkeeper turned into a revolving door in 2016, partially due to inconsistency, and also because of player availability issues. One of the top items on my wishlist for this upcoming season was a true, full-time, #1 keeper. This wish appears to have been fulfilled with the addition of Providence’s Colin Miller. I also liked what I saw from Nate Steinwascher in his limited action last year, though (particularly his performance against Louisville City in the U.S. Open Cup), so I believe the starting spot is still up for grabs. Regardless of who emerges, this has the potential to be a very good 1-2 combination.
Somewhat surprisingly, last year’s breakout player Omar Sinclair is not on the roster for 2017. Competing for the vacant starting role will be three seasoned college players, Zach Bock (WMU), Stephen Carroll (Davenport), and Owain Hoskins (St. Edwards – TX). Bock is the most decorated – 2016 First Team All-MAC – but Carroll and Hoskins bring more size to the position and have legitimate chances of pairing with Seb Harris once the season begins.