Monday, November 16, 2009

2010 Expansion Draft

OK, time to get back to a more regular posting schedule. This week I'll hopefully have a season review, a recap of where the European teams I'm following are, and maybe a new team to talk about. First lets start with next week's Expansion Draft for next year's Philadelphia Union.

The draft will be a week from Wednesday. No official rules have been released yet, but MLS has been pretty consistent with the rules in recent years:

* Teams can protect 11 players, plus any Generation Adidas players
* Any DP or player with a no-trade clause must be protected
* 3 International Players can be left unprotected
* No team can lose more than one player in the draft

There are also a couple of rules that have not been confirmed:

* Paul Bravo told me he expected to be required to protect 4 of the 6 internationals the Rapids have
* There may be a rule that any player that was on season-ending IR is automatically protected

That said, here's the lists I would work with if I were making the choices for the Rapids:

Automatically protected - GA Status:
Ciaran O'Brien
Rob Valentino

Possibly protected - Season-ending IR:
Colin Clark
Jacob Peterson
Jamie Smith - Int

Required internationals protected:
Julian Baudet - I feel like he's the best leader for the defense we have
Omar Cummings - One of the Rapids top 5 players
Kosuke Kimura - Becoming a flexible option at right back or right mid

That leaves 8 slots for the rest of the roster:
Conor Casey - Our biggest offensive threat
Pablo Mastroeni - Team leader, solid defender, and I wouldn't be surprised if he has a no-trade clause
Matt Pickens - Our best GK option
Nick LaBrocca - Solid MLS midfielder
Drew Moor - I like how well he seemed to mesh with the Rapids defense
Jordan Harvey - Solid left backs are hard to come by
Scott Palguta* - Good depth across the back line
Best young player* - The coach's opinion on the best young player that didn't get much first-team time this year

* = Players that would be dropped if the season-ending IR protection is not in place for Jamie Smith or Colin Clark.

This leaves the team with a protected starting lineup of:

Kimura - Moor - Baudet - Harvey
Smith - LaBrocca - Clark
Cummings - Casey

With a bench of Valentino, and O'Brien plus possibly Peterson, Palguta, and a young player. That's a pretty decent MLS side to keep protected. With this protected list the players I think are most likely to be looked at by Philly are Cory Gibbs or Mehdi Ballouchy but I wouldn't be shocked if no Rapids are taken. If Palguta or Peterson are left unprotected they would move to the top of the list in my opinion.


Rob said...

wait, you actually know paul bravo?

Jason Maxwell said...

"Know" is probably too strong a word. He comes out to almost every pre-game tailgate and I make sure to take time to stop and ask him a few questions.