It's been a long winter
The focus of the team's off-season acquisitions has been on bolstering the attack. Playmaker Luchi Gonzalez, a former first round MLS pick who spent last season with Miami FC (four goals; two assists), should add creativity to the midfield, while outside mids Stephen DeRoux (formerly of D.C. United) and Dayton O'Brien (who played for the Atlanta Silverbacks in 2007) will be counted on to provide speed on the flanks. The Thunder will hope for a return to form for Canadian forward Alen Marcina, who scored 13 goals in 2006 for the Puerto Rico Islanders, but spent last season on a nomadic journey through three different USL First Division clubs while finding net just three times. Tighe Dombrowski, who spent the last two seasons playing for Swedish side IK Sirius FK, will likely slot into a defensive midfield role.
But the team has also made substantial changes off the pitch. The Thunder lured Peter Johns away from Xcel Energy Center to lead the team's marketing efforts and increased the advertising budget from $20,000 to $150,000 (according to this story by Brian Quarstad, of BlueSkySoccer). Last month the team unveiled a new logo and uniforms. The home opener is less than a month away: