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2011 MLS Expansion Draft: Live Commentary

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The Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps are ready to make the first selections in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft.

The Timbers have already begun building their team with the signings of USSF D-2 standouts Ryan Pore Eddie Johnson and Bright Dike, while the Whitecaps recently unveiled U.S. national team defender Jay DeMerit as their first major acquisition.

Both sides will move closer to forming the teams we could see when the 2011 season kicks off next spring.

I will be providing live commentary from the expansion draft so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the draft (Commentary is after the jump):

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FINAL– That's all for now. Feel free to share your thoughts on the expansion draft in the comments section below. 

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2:54pm– That's that. Portland started well, but Vancouver finished well and may have had the edge overall. Portland spent two picks on lottery tickets with Findley and Bornstein. If either of those players comes back then you like the Timbers draft. Otherwise, Vancouver wins today.

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2:53pm– Vancouver selects John Thorrington with the final pick. A great pick, a steal really, and Chicago will wind up regretting not protecting him. 

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2:52pm– Funny but I think Portland had a much better first half of the draft while Vancouver has had a stronger second half of the draft.

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2:51pm– Portland selects Arturo Alvarez.

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2:50pm– Vancouver selects Jonathan Leathers from KC, who I like MUCH better than Jordan Graye.

Better pick from the Whitecaps.

KC pulls back Eric Kronberg. Why? I have no idea. Guess they REALLY hope someone takes Chance Myers or Jimmy Conrad.

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2:49pm– Vancouver two picks left.

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2:47pm– Portland selects Jordan Graye from D.C. United. Not a fan of that pick at all.

D.C. United pulled back Kurt Morsink. No, really. They did.

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2:45pm– Portland is up. Corey Ashe perhaps?

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2:43pm– Vancouver selects Joe Cannon. Not a surprise. Yes, Pat Onstad would have been a nice nostalgia pick, but Cannon is a solid starter.

San Jose pulls back Tim Ward.

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2:41pm– Portland selects Jonathan Bornstein. Double Wow?

Chivas USA is off the board.

Who's doing their draft, Bob Bradley? 

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2:40pm– The Union luck out today. Losing Salinas and Moreno doesn't hurt Philly at all. 

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2:38pm– Vancouver selects Alejandro Moreno from Philadelphia.

Union are off the board and get lucky not to lose Brad Knighton. Would love to be in the room for Peter Nowak's first meeting with Knighton.

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2:36pmPortland selects Peter Lowry from Chicago. Very underrated player, sneaky good goal scorer. 

Chicago pulls back Dasan Robinson. Fire got lucky there.

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2:35pm– Portland is up.  

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2:32pmVancouver selects O'Brian White from Toronto. Still don't get why he wasn't protected.

Whitecaps should give White a chance to play. Toronto pulls back Julian DeGuzman.

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2:31pm– Vancouver is up next.

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2:30pmPortland selects Robbie Findley. Not that surprising. Findley played college soccer for Oregon State.

Real Salt Lake is off the board.

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2:29pm– Surprises? Philly pulling back Chris Seitz and exposing Brad Knighton. How do you bring him back now? Definitely a vote of no confidence by the Union with that move.

As for who is out there. Doesn't look like either team will be taking Jimmy Conrad, which is a bit surprising. O'Brian White is out there and someone I see Vancouver taking. You also have John Thorrington. 

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2:27pm– Halfway through this expansion draft it's tough not to give the edge to Portland. Timbers have grabbed five solid players. Vancouver took three MLS starters first, but Salinas and Gordon are questionable in my book.

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2:25pmVancouver selects Alan Gordon. Just don't get that one.

Chivas USA pulls back Mariano Trujillo.

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2:24pm– Vancouver is up now. They have to go centerback eventually.

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2:21pmPortland selects David Horst from Real Salt Lake. Interesting one. He's a big centerback who Portland surely saw in USSF D-2 play.

Real Salt Lake pulls back Collen Warner. WOW, they got lucky there.

Color me shocked that Portland didn't grab Collen Warner. Timbers will regret that.

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2:20pmVancouver takes Shea Salinas from Philadelphia.

Philly pulls back Chris Seitz. WOW.

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2:18pm– Loving the Timbers draft so far, and not just because they've taken three players I had them taking.

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2:17pmPortland selects Anthony Wallace. Colorado pulls back Wells Thompson.

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2:17pm– Sturgis is a very good player who finally put injury issues behind him. Will Sturgis stay healthy? If he does, Vancouver got a steal. Seattle will miss him.

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2:15pmVancouver selects Nathan Sturgis from Seattle.

Sounders are done and Blaise Nkufo stays with Seattle.

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2:12pmPortland takes Adam Moffatt. Columbus loses Brunner and Moffatt.

That's a good pick for the Timbers. Moffatt can start for you right away.

Columbus will go with Ekpo and probably Danny O'Rourke in central midfield.

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2:10pmVancouver selects Atiba Harris. Interesting move there. Harris is a useful player, but the only way he's dangerous is when he tackles people.

No more Dallas players can be taken, including Eric Avila and Kyle Davies. They just lost starters Dax McCarty and Atiba Harris.

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2:10pm– Vancouver up next. Kyle Davies, Blaise Nkufo, O'Brian White are possibilities.

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2:09pm– Columbus pulls back Kevin Burns.

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2:08pmPortland takes Eric Brunner.

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2:07pm– Is Nyassi the best player available? No, but you have to consider positions as well as the fact that if the other expansion team takes someone from a team, you could lose out on the chance to take someone. 

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2:06pm– Patrick Ianni is pulled back by Seattle.

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2:05pmSanna Nyassi to Vancouver. The Whitecaps get a winger and hurt arch-rival Seattle.

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2:04pm– Vancouver is up next.

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2:03pm– Dallas pulls back Daniel Hernandez. Surprising. I really don't think Dallas understand expansion draft machinations.

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2pmPORTLAND-Dax McCarty. No shock. Everyone saw it coming.

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1:58pm– Quincy Amarikwa? What a waste of a pick he would be.

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1:55pm– I agree with Greg Lalas on John Thorrington. He could be a steal here coming off an injury-hit season. Chicago may regret not keeping him.

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1:54pm– I know a lot of people were wondering about the designated players I had go in my Fox Soccer mock expansion draft. I can definitely see NKufo to Vancouver. As for Angel to Portland? That seems unlikely unless there's a trade in place. Schelotto to Vancouver? That one was more a wishful thinking pick on my part. Doubt that marriage would work. 

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1:52pm– Listen folks, FC Dallas flat-out dropped the ball in leaving Dax McCarty unprotected. Whether they like Eric Alexander or not, the fact remains they could have traded McCarty for value, perhaps even a first-round pick. 

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1:51pm– The expansion draft starts at 2pm. Get your coffee ready and feel free to mute your computers for the next nine minutes. 

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1:50pm– When will the actual expansion draft start? Hopefully soon. Really interested to see whether it's Pat Onstad, Joe Cannon or even a Brad Knighton as Vancouver's goalkeeper pick.

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1:47pm– No, the picks haven't started. We'll be forced to listen to some analysis from the MLSSoccer guys. Or you can just wait for me to tell you who the picks are.

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1:30pm–  We're about 15 minutes away from the expansion draft. Consensus is that Portland will take Dax McCarty with the first pick, but at least a few think the Timbers may go in a number of directions. I'll go with McCarty.

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167 comments
  • Juan Carlos Osorio, Student of the Game

    Hmmm. Findaly has good speed. He would be an excellent left back.

    Like

  • MensreaJim

    Well, that makes a lot more sense knowing that they keep Bornstein’s MLS rights. What do you know, Portland’s brass know more about the xpac draft than I do.

    So I guess they are taking the under on his time in Mexico.

    Like

  • Hincha Tim

    Some thoughts:

    1) For having lost 2 players, RSL came out very well. They did NOT lose Warner, Alexandre, Grabavoy, or Schuler who are all promising (or in Grabavoy’s case: still fairly young and established) players.

    2) Portland’s first 5 picks were very good. Really did quite nicely for a back line and in the midfield.

    3) Say what you want about Robbie Findley, you haters, and as an RSL fan, I have been harder on him then most, but I still think he can be a very good player in this league if played out wide or with a post-up forward. His confidence was down this year and he played sub-par, even by his standards, but he still can create. I don’t think it was that bad a pick by Portland.

    4) The last 2 picks by Portland were questionable. I thought they would take Corey Ashe from Houston over the two MF they picked.

    5) Bornstein might not be a bad pick down the road. He’s still young and one of the better outside backs in the league, but probably not good enough to ever go to Europe, so he could be back in the league in a few years. The players they do pick up at those selections probably weren’t going to contribute much anyways.

    Like

  • fischy

    ONe thing you can say about Hyndman is that he knows what he’s doing and has a good eye for talent. If he’s happier with Alecxnder than McCarty, he must know something the rest of us don’t.

    Like

  • fischy

    @Ives — I’d love it if you could look into these Portland picks of Bornstein and Findley. We know Bornstein’s going to TIgers. FIndley might go abroad. Does Portland hold their rights indefinitely? Does that depend on (1) making them an offer (I’m pretty sure it does) and (2) Portland protecting those rights in future expansion drafts? If Portland can do what Chivas and RSL couldn’t — hold on ot their rights without putting them on a protection list — it seems grossly unfair to those teams.

    At most, it seems to me that they should be treated like Superdraft players who don’t sign. Those rights do not last indefinitely, but only until the December of the year of the following draft – in effect, just under two years. That said, I don’t see anything in the rules that would put in such a limit. Those rules apply to the Superdraft only.

    Like

  • Dinho

    Totally agree. Chicago struggled for a midfield presence without JT. As an injury-free player, he is one of the best in the league at his position (IMO), and a great guy as well. I hope that he thrives in Vancouver.

    Like

  • BenH

    FCD fan here. I am fairly relieved that Harris is out of the club. Never liked him and didn’t understand why he played so much. Glad Avila was not taken.

    Why they did not protect Dax is beyond me. Unless he and Schellas never patched it up. Sad to see him go and his absence will hurt.

    Like

  • Amit

    But, he is not left footed which immediately makes him worthless in the eyes of so clever a coach.

    Like

  • Tomas

    As a Rapids fan, I’m sad to see Anthony Wallace go. He was our starting leftback, he’s a solid player, very athletic and stong, and he’s gotta lot of years left in him at 21.

    I wish him well and hope he plays his way into the USMNT team picture.

    Like

  • DDay

    It pains me to admit, but the fact Seattle posters on here rate Nyassi so high simply because he’s fast shows how much the “buy a ticket off craigslist” fan up here has to learn about football.

    I’m glad he’s gone. Sure in 3 years he may have developed into something, but he can’t cross, can’t score, can’t pass, dribbles until the ball is taken away from him, and lacks any tactical awareness.

    Of course, the fact that Ives rates Sturgis “I vanish anytime play becomes physical” so highly tells me he hasn’t watched many Seattle games.

    This is the best possible outcome for us, we’ll just go buy a better CDM than Sturgis.

    Like

  • Philly Union Songs

    Salinas 2011 = Le Toux 2010. Big mistake by the Union – and anyone who says that this wasn’t a loss didn’t see the progress Salinas made as the 2010 season progressed.

    Like

  • ciscokid

    While I don’t rate Nyassi as highly as others, I also don’t throw improving speedy 21 year olds with considerable upside under the bus. He was improving and learning, and he will get better.

    Some many fans just want to discard young players after 1 season or even after they make 1 mistake. MLS is both a feeder and developmental league and you gotta have some patience while you groom and mold players.

    Nyassi has 2-3 years where he will get stronger and if he can learn, he will get much better. To write him or almost anyone else off at age 21 or 22 is just plain ignorant.

    That said, Seattle has some good talent at that position and will doubtless look to pick up another player or two in the off season.

    Like

  • Chris

    According to the 2010 “Guaranteed Compensation” salary numbers that I’m working from (and counting only the guys not yet traded, but not Bornstein or Findley)…

    Vancouver added six players at total salary of $610,976.25 (Harris, Sturgis, Salinas, Cannon, Leathers & Thorrington). Salinas and Leathers both made league minimum.

    Portland added five players at total salary of $210,400 (Brunner, Moffat, Horst, Lowry & Graye). Of those guys, only Moffat at $50,400 didn’t make league minimum last year.

    I’m guessing if there are more trades, it ain’t the league minimum guys.

    Like

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