[MLS]The 2008 Major League Soccer opener is only 16 days away, yet Quakes head coach Frank Yallop insists there's no rush to stock his 18-man roster.
Midfielder Shea Salinas, taken in the SuperDraft with the first pick of the second round, has signed to bring the senior squad to 15. With five developmental players, Yallop doesn't have enough bodies for a 11-v-11 scrimmage unless he and assistant coach Ian Russell join in, but he's taking his time.
"We could sign players, but I want to make sure they're good signings and what we actually need," says Yallop, who has former San Jose and D.C. United striker Jamil Walker with the team for the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston. "We have enough players to field a team. We will fill the roster as we move along."
Salinas, 21, scored 14 goals and recorded 21 assists in 77 games for Furman, and earned NSCAA third-team All-American honors last fall. He also competed in the Premier Development League for the Carolina Dynamo.
Salinas replaced forward Gavin Glinton in San Jose's 1-0 victory over Toronto FC in the Charleston Soccer Challenge Saturday and during preseason has seen time on the left side of midfield.
"Shea Salinas is a good player but he's young," says Yallop, who might start Salinas Wednesday night against the Battery. "Until the right player comes along, I'm not going to just pick somebody and duplicate what we already have."
Deteriorating weather conditions forced the game against TFC to be suspended in the 77th minute. Jason Hernandez scored from a scramble in the 21st minute after a Ronnie O'Brien corner kick yielded a Glinton header that was saved but not controlled by TFC keeper Greg Sutton.
"It's good to win, to get a result, and not to concede a goal, which is important," says Yallop. "The conditions were poor; at the end it was slippery and windy, but our guys focused and did well. It was a good game."
Yallop is taking a long look at Trinidad & Tobago international Conrad Smith as well as Walker in Charleston. San Jose plays Red Bull New York Saturday, then returns to California.
"Yes it's preseason, and teams aren't in full flow, we understand all that, and there's no crowd that's roaring a team on," he says, mindful that playing the Battery might jangle the nerves a bit. "But I've liked what I've seen. I think if we start the season like we've done in preseason we're going to be okay."