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Jaqua leads Seattle’s 10 expansion picks


Nate Jaqua ( 

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Former Houston Dynamo striker Nate Jaqua was one of 10 players chosen in Wednesday's MLS Expansion Draft for Seattle Sounders FC, sources with knowledge of the list told SBI on Wednesday afternoon.

Here is the list of players chosen by Seattle:

  • Nate Jaqua (Houston)

  • Brad Evans (Columbus)

  • Stephen King (Chicago)

  • Jeff Parke (New York

  • James Riley (San Jose)

  • Khano Smith (New England)

  • Jarrod Smith (Toronto FC)

  • Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake)

  • Peter Vagenas (Los Angeles)

  • Tyson Wahl (Kansas City)

Those of you wondering if the list would have a Sigi Schmid imprint on it need look no further than to the inclusion of Vagenas, who played for Schmid with the Galaxy (and UCLA) so many years ago.

Red Bulls fans will be disappointed to see Parke taken, but sources tell me Parke has his sights set on Europe and is asking for a big contract to stay in MLS, something the Red Bulls weren't ready to offer. Parke just might wind up being this year's Clarence Goodson. You may recall it was Goodson who San Jose grabbed in last year's expansion draft only to see him move to Europe and never return.

So what is the new Seattle team looking like after this expansion draft: Here is a projected lineup as of today:



K. Smith—————-Ljungberg———————–Evans

————————-King (or Vagenas)———————-



BENCH– Jarrod Smith, Sanna Nyassi, Stephen King or Peter Vagenas

The abundance of central midfielder makes you wonder if a trade isn't in the works. Might we see King shipped elsewhere? Also, the selections of Khano Smith and James Riley make you wonder if there's still a chance that New England assistant Paul Mariner might wind up as Seattle head coach.

Sturgis gives Seattle a versatile player who is capable of playing in midfield or in the back. I know he's not really a left back (played their for the U.S. Under-23 team) but for the purposes of the above lineup I have placed him there.

With Parke unlikely to sign with MLS, look for Seattle to sign current Sounders defender Taylor Graham from the USL side. Graham has been one of the best defenders in the USL the past two seasons after an unsuccessful tenure with the New York Red Bulls.

What do you think of the draft picks? Which pick surprised you? Which pick disappointed you? What player do you hate to see your team lose? Which player are you happy to see go?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I think it went pretty good. I was afraid we’d go overboard on high-priced signings. It looks like Vagenas is the only one who fits into that category and while he wouldn’t be my choice I can still understand why we picked him up.

    Adrain wouldn’t have picked Parke without some guarantee that he’d be around for a bit, probably already began negotiating an extension.

    The fact that we picked Evans instead of Gaven shows that the club still has their eyes set on bringing in more talent from outside.

    There are a few that can walk into the starting line-up, which is what I was hoping for. There’s still some holes, but I think the team’s looking pretty good.

  2. johann smith sucks and yet is cocky, I would have taken jarrod over him.

    I want to see if they get that young columbian striker, freddy m. If ljunberg and Keller stay healthy, and they sign this striker to go with jaqua then you better start taking the team seriosly

  3. Just when you think player selection in MLS can’t get anymore stupid! I couldn’t believe how good the selections in the draft were. Best draft for an expansion team in MLS history, by far, and they pick these players! I now retract what I said about Seattle being an above average team next year. They had the opportunity and they blew it. Now a coach (ha ha Sigi) has to come in and the bulk of his team was already picked by the village idiot? I don’t doubt for a minute that nearly everyone on SBI could have picked a far better ten players than this. Seriously, were pages missing from the list they selected from? Peter Vagenas? Jarrod Smith? James Riley? Their defense is garbage. The midfield won’t be much better. Their offense and goalkeeper are in a different class than the rest of the team. What a wasted opportunity. Excuse me going on and on and on! I just had such high hopes for Seattle. Maybe they can trade their way out of this mess, but who would be as stupid as they are?

  4. “Bassackwards. First the coach, then the players.”

    Posted by: KingSnake | November 26, 2008 at 02:10 PM

    EXACTLY…What the hell were they thinking? Why wouldn’t they have the coach first who could then pick players according to his style???? Makes no since. Ives or someone please make since of this. I don’t know why I didn’t ask this before now.

  5. This was actually really good for Seattle, they were very conservative in adding to their salary cap which allows them lots of room to make their own signings rather than tying up wages in other teams castoffs.

  6. Eugene:

    You picked twice in consecutive expansion drafts.

    I watched every game he played this year. He is being unfairly trashed by some posters. He’s solid.

  7. other than jaqua, brad Evans, khano &

    parke (who won’t be in Seattle ) all the other picks are a waste

    I’m assuming they left out wade barret (one of the best left backs in this league) as an agreement for taking jaqua … Otherwise there’s no excuse.. Left out wade, razov, gaven, prideux etc. These people are idiots!! Seattle had the better chance of all expansion teams thus far and wasted it.. And no johan smith oh my god..looks like NYRB front office

  8. i will not be suprised if people cancel there season tickets this waas a shame all the good players they could have

    very disappointed with picks, you choose parke which was a waste because he will most likely go to europe you should have chosen klein instead of vegenas. obrien should have been picked up amazing player and good for trade. should have picked up gavin young and amazing should have picked up prideaux, stephan kings to slow and ruins the attack, i think these picks hurt the team more than helped.

    sorry keller you will have alot of action this year

  9. How they picked King over Prideaux, who’s been one of the league’s most underrated defenders since he was back at KC, I’ll never know.

  10. This draft has gotten me totally bummed out. Why Jarrod Smith and not Johann? What were they thinking in Peter Vagina? Why didn’t they take Mike Randolph for left back instead? Hartman was there for the “trade bait” taking. This makes no sense to me whatsoever. I hope they had some really great scouting trips in Agrentina and Africa. I’d rather have most of the current USL Sounders that the guys they took. This is Garbage and unexcusable!

  11. “The Vagenas pick is a mystery. I’m assuming it means we now know who their coach is going to be.”

    That makes sense. Or else he’s got pictures of Schmidt doing something he shouldn’t with a Cub Scout…

  12. Cmon folks, Seattle was obviously looking for young, cheap, and defensive minded players. They were never going to pick Gaven and his contract. The Vagenas pick is a mystery. I’m assuming it means we now know who their coach is going to be.

  13. Can we call this the worst picks in MLS history? I guess the guy who made the picks was the one who said “we want asians in our club, like ichiro”

  14. On behalf of LA Galaxy fans everywhere, thank you Seattle!

    Good luck with Vagenas. Tell your defense to be ready whenever ‘Pass Back Pete’ gets the ball. If they wanted veteran leadership, they should have gone with Klein who is a much better player.

    I like the Sturgis pick. He’s got a huge upside.

  15. Any idea why they got Parke over anyone else, especially since he is going to europe and he even has that long ban??

    Otherwise i dont have much of a problem with the picks and are we talking about Johann Smith not Jorrad Smith??

  16. I am really surprised Seattle took Sturgis from RSL. From seeing his limited play at RSL, Sturgis looks like he has great potential, but he is so injury prone. I really expected them to take either Joy or Kovalenko. On one hand, I am a little sad to see good talent go, but on the other, if Sturgis stays hurt, then it was a good loss for RSL.

  17. Riley is an under rated player, particularly if you only recall his own goal – which I think was as much Cannon’s fault as his. His work rate is good, he’s not push over and his pretty decent bringing the ball up. I would like to have kept him.

  18. $100,000 salary for Khano Smith. His salary this year was $45,000 (according the Players Union sight)…that’s why he was tempting to Seattle. He might be due a raise though. Jeff Larentowicz made $33,000 this year. Starters who make $33,000 are insanely valuable.

  19. If Wahl is going to break into the Nats, he has quite the logjam in front of him, with Gooch, Boca, DeMerit, Marshall, Parkhurst, Orozco, Spector, and potentially Subotic in his way…

  20. I was a bit surprised at the positions they selected. I would have thought defense would have been the number one priority. Wahl and Parke could make a good defensive tandem, and I think Seattle intends to offer Parke money to keep him there (or to trade him to some team that is willing to offer him money…LA maybe?) Riley and Sturgis also will be alright, but would you rather have Sturgis in midfield or defense? I guess that is debatable.

    Still, Seattle already had two midfielders, and they ended up selecting quite a few more. They would have been wise to select 5 or 6 defenders in the draft in my opinion. They also should have been more willing to take players with trades in mind. And as everyone else has stated…VAGENAS! WTF!

  21. I would have been much happier losing Prideaux then King, but at least its not pappa and maybe it will relieve the log jam in the fire midfield. That said the fire can do better than Prideaux at RB, we need to move Thorrington back there (he played well for the nats there) and deal Prideaux for allocation $

  22. Uh…. I hope they have a few ringers lined up from their forray down Argentine way..

    Jarrod Smith? I really hope this guy makes me eat my words,.. but WTF?

  23. I don’t like the Khano Smith pick from the Revs perspective. I think that they thought Seattle would probably pass on him with plenty of other good wide options and his (roughly) 100k salary. I wasn’t in the Revs locker room every day but to me it always seemed like he was Shalrie’s best friend and was a great locker room presence (along with the decent play/flashes of brilliance).

  24. Tyson wahl was a great pick. I expect him to be on the national team soon enough. It’s about time he will get the permanent start.

  25. Goff’s piece has a 2:02 timestamp but Goff’s timestamps are not when the story posts. It is when he starts writing them. I am pretty sure SBI’s timestamps are when the story actually posts and it has a 2:03 timestamp. Considering how much more info was in the SBI post, and the fact that the first SBI comment came three minutes before the first comment on Goff’s post tells me it was on SBI first.

    Who cares, I’m just glad Seattle didn’t take Marco Pappa. WOO-HOO!!

  26. I’m sad to see Khano go, as I liked him on our left wing better than Castro, but I will be happy that we know longer have to worry about him getting a red card or doing something stupid. He’ll be a great addition to the wing for Seattle.

  27. I think half the picks are decent, and the other half suck.

    They made no big splashes or trade bait picks (Hartman, O’Brien, Cooke) and I don’t see a huge upside on anyone, save maybe Sturgis, who is injury prone and now playing on turf.

    The SUCK:

    1) Vagenas (LA).

    Really old, really slow.

    Now your midfield really blows.

    If you wanted to get a more veteran midfielder who could contribute, why not go for Cooke, O’Brien, or even Gaven?

    Plus, if Freddie is playing centrally, is he going to play in front of Evans, or behind? Or does one sit?

    2) Jarrod Smith (TFC). Not a bad player, but had MUCH better TFC players to choose from (Johann Smith, Velez, Ricketts, Ruiz).

    3) Khano Smith (NE). Attitude problem.

    4) Riley (SJ). OK player, but didn’t do much for the expansion Quakes this year. Plus, I’d think there were players from other teams (CHV: Razov, Flores, Vaughn) I would have taken before SJ. OK pick from SJ’s list, but you picked the wrong team.

    The rest are decent, but all lunch pail guys, except possibly Sturgis, who is injured all the time.

    Plus, for each one, I think there was player with more potential, value, or skill from each team.

    1) Evans (CLB). Didn’t start for us until Moffat got hurt. Gaven is the better player. The kid can play, but as a Crew fan, I’m happier with Eddie and Adam.

    2) King (CHI). Again, a solid player, but kind of the some player as Evans, and both Prideaux (starter at RB) and Pappa (huge upside, CR national) would have been better.

    3) Wahl (KC). Solid starter for half the year, but Hartman had value (LA, CHV). Don’t you think you could have traded Hartman to LA for, say, Franklin AND Vagenas? Or to Chivas for Flores AND someone else?

    Good Picks:

    1) Jaqua (HOU). He’s a stiff. Decent in the air, but benefits from Ching, DeRo, Mullan, Clark, Holden, and Davis all being more dangerous. Plus, I’d think Ashe has more upside.

    2) Parke (NY). Solid CB starter, but what if he goes to Europe. Best

    3) Sturgis (RSL). Bit of a risk with his injury situation, but big upside and still very young. The best pick they made.


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