This is one crowded scene, and I even considered listing Dax McCarty and/or Daniel Williams here.
In the frame: Alfredo Morales
Under watch: Wil Trapp, Tony Tchani, Kellyn Acosta
Get a job: Jermaine Jones
Mikey is still the clear-cut and obvious choice. Beyond that, I spent a lot of time shuffling guys on this list, as well as to and from other midfield lists. The reality is, for the foreseeable future, several of them may need to do roster battles at other positions if they want to get PT - even on my Clipboard.
Nagbe could certainly move to another list later, but for now I am most excited by his tenacity in midfield-to-high pressure and linking skills. I'm also not really a fan of playing him wide (and not just because he won't stay wide). Kljestan had a monster season last year and has more top-level club experience than all of the employed players making up depth here.
Morales is enjoying a decent Bundesliga season, but for my money, he seems to underwhelm in a US shirt. Let's hope that is not a permanent phenomenon. The MLS trio under watch have different styles, but all hold some intrigue. Trapp isn't quite there yet, in my honest opinion. Tchani may be at the right level, but we have no way of knowing it yet. Acosta is another guy who may well belong better on another list, but I wish there was ever going to be time to see what he can do in this slot.
As for Jones... hey, if he was 28 instead of 34, we could let his lack of a club slide for a bit. At his age, that bit has passed. We can revisit his place when he has a day job. And when that does happen, if it happens soon enough, some of these other guys could scatter to other depth charts.
- Greg Seltzer