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Seven DPs Left Unprotected in Expansion Draft

New York Red Bulls' Juan Pablo Angel reacts to a missed scoring opportunity against the San Jose Earthquakes during their Major League Soccer (MLS) Eastern Conference Semi Finals playoff match at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, November 4, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

Not even 24 hours after crowning its champion, MLS was back to business by requiring its clubs to list its protected players for the expansion draft.  The expansion draft is just one of several drafts taking place this offseason for MLS, and the unprotected list for this draft has some interesting names.  Most notably is the number of designated players left unprotected – seven, which is two more than the number protected by clubs.  But since no club has yet to win an MLS Cup with a DP, maybe this is not surprising.

You can see the entire list of players here.  The unprotected players can be sorted by a few general categories:

Designated Players – Not David Beckham, but some of the lesser name DPs have been left unprotected.  Some are disappointments that the club is looking to shed the salary of.  But some of the more “name” DPs exposed include the Red Bulls Juan Pablo Angel and Seattle’s Blaise Nkufo.  Maybe the best of this group is the Quakes’ Geovanni.

Past Stars – MLS’s second-leading goal scorer is available, as Jeff Cunningham was made available by FC Dallas.  Also, as part of their rebuilding, the Crew put Guillermo Barros Schelotto on their list, making a veteran leader available for either expansion team.  And instead of being placed in the re-entry draft, Sporting KC’s Jimmy Conrad was left unprotected.

2010 Playoff Stars – Colorado is protecting most of the starters from its MLS Cup-winning club (with the notable exception being Anthony Wallace) but FC Dallas is exposing a number of its big names: Eric Avila, Atiba Harris, captain Daniel Hernandez, and Dax McCarty.  Playoff qualifiers Seattle (Nyassi) and Real Salt Lake (Grabavoy) also made the decision to possibly part ways with some key contributors.

Players Leaving – Yes Jonathan Bornstein is leaving for Mexico, but MLS rules still state he needs to be placed on the unprotected list.  Just a weird quirk.

Players Not on the List – One player that was expected to be on the list was Brian Carroll, but the Crew traded him today to the Philadelphia Union.  While Carroll is reunited with his former coach and Columbus clears more cap space for rebuilding, I am sure Vancouver and Portland executives were looking seriously at drafting him.  There are also quirky decisions scattered throughout the league, like New England holding on to two keepers.

Obviously factors like need and cap space will factor into who is selected, but pretend you are the GM of one of these expansion teams.

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  1. Dan

    November 24, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I’m confused about Angel, I thought clubs were gonna bid on him. I really don’t like this stupid draft. I think players deserve to have input on where they want to go. If they don’t like their options they should just go clubless.

    Nkufo was not very good either, neither really was Fernandez though. Seattle needs a new team and new manager honestly from a unbiased perspective.

  2. Charles

    November 23, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Why does Seattle have 17 players on the list with other teams only have 12 ?
    Is that NFL conspiracy everyone keeps talking about ?

    Man, you look at the list worried about the guys your team has unprotected and for good reason as a Sounder fan after LeToux last year….then you look at the other teams. Wow Dallas could make a playoff run with the unprotected team.

  3. Charles

    November 23, 2010 at 8:15 am

    I think the Sounder’s left NKufo unprotected hoping he will go away.
    Zakuani is getting looks from Everton and Sounder’s probably have to pay him more to stay….and I believe he is making cap already. NKufo was mediocre to bad many games last year.

    I know, I know it would be better for MLS is Zakuani left ( like Landon Donovan ).
    But still I believe this, so just humor me.

    Just my $0.02

    Seybold: You must have been a Aleague/USL Sounder fan too. Killed me when they let LeToux go last year( didn’t work out too well either, btw ).

    • Seybold

      November 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm

      Seba? Ouch. I had mixed feelings when he left. Was happy for him since he clearly wasn’t going to get a chance to play his best position with the MLS Sounders, and he’d been so solid for the USL Sounders.

  4. Seybold

    November 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Nyassi may be on the list because he’s blocking the way for DP Alvaro Fernandez. I suspect Sigi had an idea of how he wanted the Sounders to play when he signed him, but kept him as a sub because the Zakuani/Nyassi winger combination was working so well until the Galaxy showed how to stop it, and made it appear one-dimensional.

    Still, I’d hate to see Sanna playing for Portland! Vancouver I could handle.

  5. Phillip

    November 22, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Pablo Hernandez was not a designated player for DC United. Boskovic is the designated player. He is protected.

    Robbie Findley told RSL that he was leaving MLS to go to Europe. He’s out of contract.

    • Robert Hay

      November 23, 2010 at 8:08 am

      Phillip –

      For some reason, I thought Hernandez was one of the DPs. Maybe it was because he and Baskovic both were paid pretty well, and produced not much.

      And thanks for the tip on Findley, I hadn’t seen his move.

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