The Montreal Impact didn't waste any time in making a statement in the MLS Expansion Draft.
Despite threats that Brian Ching would retire if selected, the Impact made the Houston Dynamo forward and captain the first overall pick in Wednesday's draft.
"I know that he's expressed that he doesn't want to be here, but we would be delighted to get him here," said Montreal coach Jesse Marsch, who added that he informed Ching of his decision in a phone call Wednesday morning. "If it doesn't work out that way, then it doesn't, but we think there's value to him. Our initial phase was just to think about what he is as a player and what value he has.
"When you look at the draft, you have to look at it in terms of building your team and what pieces you want to put in place for your team moving forward, but also how to maximize the value of the draft. If it doesn't work out, then hopefully we'll be able to figure out another situation that's beneficial for everybody involved."
In addition to Ching, the Impact pounced on the chance to grab former Chivas USA and U.S. Under-20 defender Zarek Valentin, a year after he was an early first-round selection and a Generation adidas signing.
"We were delighted that he was available, and quite surprised actually," Marsch said. "We consider ourselves very lucky to have access to him."
The Impact were able to add another of Chivas' young assets by drafting Seattle right back James Riley and then trading him to the Goats for 24-year-old forward Justin Braun and Gerson Mayen. In a separate deal, the Impact dealt allocation money to Seattle for Tyson Wahl.
Here are the 10 players the Impact selected in Wednesday's draft to join Hassoun Camara, Nelson Rivas, Evan Bush and Sinisa Ubiparipovic on the club's MLS roster:
MONTREAL IMPACT EXPANSION DRAFT
Brian Ching, F, Houston Dynamo
Zarek Valentin, D, Chivas USA
Justin Mapp, M, Philadelphia Union
Bobby Burling, D, San Jose Earthquakes
Jeb Brovsky, M, Vancouver Whitecaps
Collen Warner, M, Real Salt Lake
Josh Gardner, D, Columbus Crew
Sanna Nyassi, M, Colorado Rapids
James Riley, D, Seattle Sounders (traded to Chivas USA for Justin Braun, Gerson Mayen)
Seth Sinovic, D, Sporting Kansas City
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