Sunday, November 23, 2008

Expansion Draft

MLS is holding the expansion draft for the Sounders on Wednesday. The rules are:
  • Each team can protect 11 players
  • Above those 11 players all Generation Adidas players are protected
  • Each team must protect at least 3 internationals, assuming they have 3 on the roster
  • Seattle gets 10 picks and can take no more than 1 player per team

Prior to Toronto's expansion draft the general rule was that you could leave unprotected any position the expansion team had already filled, as they wouldn't want to waste their picks on redundant players. TFC turned that conventional wisdom on its head though, taking whatever players had value and trading them right away for whatever they actually wanted (In one case, Jason Kreis, they traded him back to the team they had drafted him from). Given that the only players who are probably safe to not protect are players with little or no value that are in a position the Sounders have already filled. Here's the list of Rapids I would protect and why:

GA Players - Automatically Protected:

  • Nico Colaluca
  • Ciaran O'Brien
  • Tim Ward

Required 3 International Players:

  • Terry Cooke - He may only have one trick, but he does it better than anyone in MLS
  • Omar Cummings - Good young striker that deserves another year to mature
  • Christian Gomez - He's got too much value to let go for free

8 Other Players:

  • Conor Casey - Our best striker
  • Colin Clark - Young up and comer
  • Bouna Coundoul - If you think you can re-sign him, he's the best keeper we have
  • Cory Gibbs - Solid value, even though he'll probably jump to Europe eventually
  • Kosuke Kimura - Good young defender
  • Nick LaBrocca - A solid utility midfielder
  • Pablo Mastoreni - Duh
  • Tom McManus - I think with a full offseason of rest he could take another step

So there are a couple of players that didn't quite make the cut:

  • Mehdi Ballouchy - Not impressive after a full season
  • John DiRaimondo - Tough call, but there are only limited spots
  • Jordan Harvey - A solid player, but not hard to replace
  • Justin Hughes - No value coming off injury and Seattle has already signed two GK's
  • Ugo Ihemelu - Too many mistakes
  • Stephen Keel - See Jordan Harvey
  • Jacob Peterson - Not worth burning a slot on
  • Mike Petke - Rumored to be retiring, but even if he comes back he's not worth using a slot on

Given this list I expect we'd lose one of Harvey, Ihemelu, Keel, or Petke, as Seattle needs to work on its defense. These four all have potential to be or already are solid MLS players, but you can't protect every decent player.

1 comment:

Jester said...

I would protect Petke before Gomez. Gomez is a good player, but Smith obviously doesn't want him.
Any one trading for him would probably want us to pay part of his salary.
Letting him go for free is better than paying someone to take him.