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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. the selections were bad i would have taken chris klein from los angels not vagenas

    i would have taken obrien from san jose not riley

    i would have taken abe thompson from kc not tyson whal

    i would have taken Prideaux, Brandon not stephen king

    i would have taken Gaven, Eddie not brad evans

  2. I am surprised that they took Sturgis. Sturgis has not been able to stay healthy, not a good thing on a team that will lack depth. Plus both his serious injuries this year came while playing on turf (at Toronto and at RES) and he would play the majority of his games on turf. It is a loss for RSL, who do have the depth to nurture him along. I think if he can stay healthy that he will be a very good player down the road, just don’t think its a good pick for an expansion team who needs to build depth and quality.

  3. Jimmy23: I did the exact same thing, but the other way around. I checked SBI, didn’t have it, then checked Goff and he had it, only to come back and Ives has it.

    Most likely, they posted it at the same time, maybe a couple seconds apart. I don’t think you can prove either one had it first.

  4. If Parke goes to Europe does Seattle get some allocation to replace him? Just not sure. Did San Jose get something for Goodson last year. If they do, will we ever know?

  5. Interesting. Not a great selection, but not terrible either. I think they could have done better.

    Should have picked a left back (Prideux). Riley is suspect at right back (hello own goal?). Sturgis and Wahl could partner well as centerbacks. Parke will likely go to Europe — I think that’s implicit in him being left exposed.

    Their attack won’t be bad, with some speed on both wings and some height. Jarrod Smith is a stunning selection, they could have done much better there. Vagenas? Kovalenko is a better destroyer, should have picked Dema instead.

    I don’t really see much trade bait here…

  6. Parke will be missed, but he’s toast for another 8 games in MLS, anyway. I’m surprised by the choices overall. Not too scary, considering what was possible out there.

  7. Ives, I smell something fishy going on. I saw this list on your site first, then went to Goff’s site and it wasn’t there, but when I went back later and he had the list, Goff was claiming to have it first and his time stamp was even a minute before yours. What gives? It looks like someone is being very shady.

  8. This is garbage! I’m pissed off! There were way better players to take! I feel like cancelling my season tickets and moving back to New York! At least the Red Bulls will be playing on grass in the future!

  9. First of all, as a SJ fan, you have to wait to see what kind of trades come out of this. That will answer some of your questions. Secondly, damn I am going to miss Riley! Good defender, pace and work rate.

  10. Los Angeles must be happy to see Vagenas leave. He was eating up a lot of salary room despite the fact that, although a solid player, wasn’t worth the salary they were paying him. If they get rid of pires and maybe Franchino, they’ll have cleared up a lot of cap space that they can use to get a decent back line to go with Becks, Buddle, Lewis and possibly Landon.

  11. How do they not choose Phlen over Khano Smith? And taking the bad Smith from TC over Flores from Chivas? At the very least you can get a good trade out of Flores (say, to Houston for Waibel? I know he’s not Sigi’s type at outside back, but he plays into the ofense better than most of the speedy guys and already has good working skills with Jaqua) but Jarrod Smith – nothing.

  12. Transfers go into effect Friday, so Jaqua is still on the roster for the Dynamo match tonight.

    In fact, I expect him to start. And get a standing ovation.

  13. This list is astounding.

    I can only think the reason guys like Thompson, Marmol, Cooke and Gaven were ignored is because of salary considerations. They must be eyeing other players to bring in already who cost more.

    Sturgis you can see, because the potential is huge if he’s shaken off injuries. But Khano Smith has already shown maddening inconsistency, and Jarrod Smith is just a puzzlign choice;an absolute utility sub, at best.

  14. Oh man….!!!!!

    Theyre going to suck big time!!

    Glad they didnt touch Pappa and took King who was great at killing the attack and runs slower than Blanco.

    Posted by: martha c | November 26, 2008 at 02:07 PM

    I don’t think they’re looking so bad. $10 says they outpoint TFC, probably the Galaxy as well. Either way, definitely glad we’ll still have Pappa next year.

  15. I’m SUPER STOKED hopefully Petey stays in Seattle! He is overpaid and under-skilled in my mind. I just wonder why Lalas and everyone else over at the HDC kept telling me for so long that “…Vagenas knows what true Galaxy spirit is!” heres to hoping that he forgets and never comes back!!

    Galaxy are going to run the MLS next season!!

  16. Oh, and expect a bunch more signings soon, including a S. American striker, and five or more players from the USL Sounders.

    So that projected lineup isn’t really close to the real thing come March.

  17. JaSmith isnt a bad player, hes a hardworker that never got alot of time (especially in any one position). That being said, hes still the last player i would have taken from us given the options…

  18. 1. I’m disappointed they didn’t take Prideaux. He’s from Washington. He asked DC United to trade him West so they send him for a song to Colorado. Who then traded him to Chicago. But then, Prideaux doesn’t really fit into a Schmid scheme of fast outside attacking outside defenders.

    2. Khano Smith I see as a wasted pick. Big, fast, some years of MLS experience but pretty bad actually as a player.

    3. Vagenas–that makes sense ONLY if Schmid is the incoming coach. Otherwise that’s a terrible pick. Arena is probably happy that he’s got the cap room now–I don’t think LAG is feeling this was a bad day for them.

    4. Jarrod Smith–meh! But then I wasn’t real excited about most of the TFC options.

    If it’s Sigi Schmid as coach, than Riley, Evans, Parke, Sturgis and maybe Wahl and Vagenis are smart picks.

    On the whole, while many people won’t get excited about this draft, I think Seattle probably got a 4 starters out of this draft: Evans, Riley (who won’t start past the 1st year), Jaqua and maybe Vagenas. And getting 4 starters out of your expansion draft is really more than you can expect. Just look at SJ, RSL, Chivas, Miami, Chicago, TFC and you find that by season’s end, usually half of their expansion players are no longer on the roster and they’re usually not starting more than 2 (unless they’re RSL or Chivas at the time and absolute dreck).

  19. And why didn’t they go after Eddie Gaven? He has loads of potential.

    Posted by: Ben


    Kwame Brown has potential too. Potential gets people fired.

  20. I’m withi you guys:

    JARROD SMITH? I can’t believe anyone would pick him up on WAIVERS, much less draft him.

    Why use up an international slot on Jarrod when you could get Johann?

    I’m also not sold on Khano Smith (Better to have Johann again), Vagenas (no longer better than mediocre), James Riley (not impressive at San Jose, Prideux, Waibel, Klein and three or four others would be better) and Stephen King.

    King is a solid prospect but surely they don’t need both him and Brad Evans.

    Where does Sturgis fit in? Backup to Wahl and Parke (may be going to Europe, I’m not worried about the suspension) or to Vagenas?

    Not impressed. I had a dozen players I’d pick ahead of half these guys in a heartbeat.

    Jarrod Smith? NO

    Khano Smith? Maybe


  21. “With Parke unlikely to sign with MLS…”

    Seattle must have some info you don’t have, Ives. They would have to be pretty stupid to waste one of their 10 picks on a player who is unlikely to sign with MLS.

  22. Yep…Sigi written all over it. We had a lot of good laughs at the pub Sigi. You were true class. The only person in C-bus who won’t miss you is Jon Busch, who lives here in the offseason.

    Cheers and thanks for a great ’08.

  23. Did Schmid do the selection???? Interesting that he wanted Brad Evans. Seattle should have taken Pappa but King wasn’t a terrible choice.

    Parke was on the brink of breaking all sorts of team records (e.g., games played, games started, minutes played, etc. — and would have if he wasn’t suspended… Good luck in Europe Parke!!!

  24. Wow.

    Jarrod Smith.

    I wonder if someones made a mistake here.

    Please god no.

    I hope they take him.

    Hes a hardworker but we wont miss him.

  25. If he wants speed, I dont know why he wouldn’t pick someone who could run a 100 meters in 10.5 seconds.*cough cough* Johann Smith*Cough*

  26. Can Sturgis play out wide? I think we only used him (all 7 times he played for us) in dmid or central defense. That’s where he played for the Nats, too, isn’t it?

  27. Oh man….!!!!!

    Theyre going to suck big time!!

    Glad they didnt touch Pappa and took King who was great at killing the attack and runs slower than Blanco.


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