Photo by Pete Guion – Ultiphotos.com
This past weekend the D.C. Current announced the signings of Chip Cobb, Cam Barnhardt, and Kyle Khalifa before their final round of tryouts.
While technically the final round of tryouts, this session was essentially was the team’s first practice of the 2016 season. Each of the players who attended the tryout everyone will be a part of the organization in some form, from a roster spot, a practice player, or a workout pod member.
With the signings of Chip Cobb, Cam Barnhardt, and Kyle Khalifa, 21 of the 30 roster spots have been filled, with five players committed to the team’s practice squad.
The roster currently stands at 46 players (21 signed, 5 practice players, and 20 prospects). Of those 20 prospects, only eight to nine of them will be able to make the active roster.
As the field narrows, the players jockeying for the remaining roster spots are facing tougher competition, needing to prove themselves against the area’s top tier talent. This tryout/practice gave each competitor one more chance to show the coaches what they can do on the field.
“Pairing returners against the invitees and being able to see the matchups more one-on-one was very enlightening,” Assistant Coach Sam McClellan said. “We needed to see if you could bring a complete game, we were really looking at defensive, footwork, and throws.”
Coming into this practice the coaches had a good idea the group of athletes they were going to offer contracts to join the team. There were some players that they still wanted to look at and focus on for the remaining handful of spots.
Signed players were getting their first taste of how the team will function this season. The coaching staff began to teach their offensive strategy and formation for the team. The philosophy remains similar to the offensive style of last year with some minor additions.
“As long as they are athletic, want to learn, and they are adjusting as we are making adjustments, that is what we are looking for,” Keven Moldenhauer said.
The team’s final roster will be submitted to the league office later in the week. Over the next several days, players will learn what their role in the organization will be for the 2016 season.