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Who would you protect from the MLS Expansion Draft?

We are less than two hours away from the deadline for MLS teams to submit their protected roster lists ahead of Wednesday's MLS Expansion Draft for Seattle Sounders FC. Teams can protect 11 players, leaving the rest exposed (save for Generation adidas players).

With teams such as Columbus, Houston and Chicago boasting impressive depth, there should be some quality players available in this year's expansion draft as clubs make very tough decisions on who to keep and who to risk losing.

Taking a look at your favorite team's roster, which 11 players would you protect? Who is the best player you see your team leaving exposed?

Share your thoughts and picks below (and go to the jump for a rundown of the rules surrounding the MLS expansion draft):

2008 MLS Expansion Draft Rules

Senior Roster
– Teams may protect 11 players between their Senior and their Developmental Roster.
– If the Player's contract expires at the end of 2008, he will still be considered part of the team's Senior Roster.
– If a team protects a player, it is not obligated to exercise the player's option. The team may renegotiate a new budget number for the player as in previous years.
– If a player retires, he will not be a part of the Senior Roster, but his team will lose its right of first refusal to him should he ultimately decide to play.

Developmental Roster
– Players on a team's Developmental Roster, other than Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2008 season, will be part of the expansion draft.
– Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2008 season are automatically protected (teams do not have to protect them).
– If Seattle Sounders FC select a Developmental Player they must offer him a Senior Roster position and he must be on Seattle's Senior Roster as of Roster Compliance Date.

International Players
– Teams are restricted in the number of international player(s) that they may make available per the table set forth below.
– For purposes of this expansion process, for U.S.-based teams, any non-domestic U.S. player would count as an International and for Toronto FC, any non-domestic U.S. player or non-domestic Canadian player would count as an International.

Designated Players
– Designated Players do not have to be protected unless the player has a no trade clause in which case he must be protected.

Maximum Player Loss
– Once a player has been claimed from a team's non-protected roster, that team is eliminated from the expansion draft and may not lose any further players.

Right to Renegotiate
– Seattle will have the right to renegotiate a drafted player's salary (either up or down) without having to place such player on waivers or giving his previous Team a right of first refusal.

– On the first day of the Discovery/Allocation Period, Seattle will have priority over players who played professionally in the USL First or Second Division in 2008, subject to another MLS team's right of first refusal.

– The expansion draft will be 10 rounds.


Teams may make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus 3, provided that if a team has 3 or less international players it may make available not more than 1.


  1. “For purposes of this expansion process, for U.S.-based teams, any non-domestic U.S. player would count as an International and for Toronto FC, any non-domestic U.S. player or non-domestic Canadian player would count as an International.”

    ARGH! Why doesn’t MLS do this for all purposes? Stupid MLS.

  2. joe my bro…no way are we releasing ben olsen. He has already said that unless he is healthy, he won’t take up a roster spot. So protect:





    Bryan Namoff

    Santion Quaranta

    Clyde Simms

    Marc Burch



    Devon McTavish

  3. Keller is old, so I would definitely protect a guy like Cepero who is a young prospect and cheap. But no, an expensive keeper can probably be let dangle, but you still have to watch for him to be snatched for purposes of trading.

    If Houston is getting rid of Jaqua, I hope they have a better replacement plan than last time they let him walk!

  4. New England

    1. S. Joseph

    2. S. Nyassi

    3. M. Dube

    4. S. Ralston

    5. M. Parkhurst

    6. T. Twellman

    7. Badilla (because we will lose Parkhurst)

    8. J. Larentowicz

    9. C. Albright

    10. J. Heaps

    11. K. Mansally

    No Need to Protect:

    Matt Reis (he’s already got a keeper)

    A. Cristman (he’s hurt and not worth it)

    Best players NOT protected:

    K. Smith

    C. Tierney

    M. Castro

    W. Thompson

    P. Phelan

    B. Tyler

    What about Manzanelli?

  5. 1. Don’t know if it’s true this year but in past years you were REQUIRED to protect your DP player. Plus, as the rules say, anyone that Seattle picks, they’re not required to keep at that salary–they can renegotiate the contract. Or they could trade that player. Do you think that TFC, or Columbus might jump at the chance to get Angel (and weaken RB in the process)?

    2. I think it’s a savvy approach to expose veteran GKs who don’t make the minimum. Seattle has Keller. They’ll grab a veteran making minimum as #2. Or a promising youth GK. But someone like Onstad–I think they’d pass on (unless TFC offered a swap).

    3. It doesn’t matter if another team holds the player’s rights (like Kandji). If he gets picked in the expansion draft by Seattle than he’d be on-loan to Seattle. And anyone wanting to sign him would have to deal with Seattle.

    4. I think people are getting too caught up on protecting guys with promise. Next year there’s another expansion draft. And the year after that. The basic rule is this: you can protect your 11 best players (maybe 12 if you’ve got an oddity like a player retiring or leaving for Europe). That means effectively you’re protecting your starting lineup with maybe 1 exception. As attractive as it is to try and protect promising young players, if someone isn’t good enough to start this year or next (and does anyone really see Kandji starting next year?) than you protect him this year to expose him in next year’s expansion draft?

    The best reasons to expose Kandji are:

    –Seattle is likely to prefer cheap, young Americans. Not the not quite as cheap, international, unproven in MLS players who require a transfer fee.

    –Seattle only gets 10 picks. RBNY is absolutely going to have to expose someone like Mendes, Park, Goldthwaite, Ubiparipovic–at least one of that bunch and maybe 3. And for an expansion team, 3 of those guys would be automatic starters.

  6. RBNY:

    1. Angel (if hes not already bound to RBNY)

    2. Kandji

    3. Richards

    4. Ubiparipovic

    4. Jiminez

    5. Leitch

    6. DVB

    7. Magee

    8. Cepero

    9. Mendes

    10. Mbuta

    11. Sassanno

    no need to protect Conway, Rojas, Wolyniec, Parke, and some others because of either age or Parke and Conways little incident.

  7. garg0yle- I wouldn’t protect Parkhurst and Reis.

    Reis is too expensive to be a backup to Keller.

    Parkhurst’s contract is up and if they pick him up, he doesn’t have to sign with Seattle. Which would be a silly thing for them to do, because he’s probably heading to Europe.

    Instead, I’d protect Heaps and either Castro or Mansally.

    Also, has Igwe graduated from Generation Adidas yet? How long do those contracts last? I thought it was two years, in which case this was his last year… Even so, I wouldn’t protect him.

    ALSO: Revs just completed a trade?


  8. @ Tim F.

    Sure, LA could wheel and deal like that….

    but what do they have to offer to make Seattle cut a deal? They can’t sacrifice thier young guys, they’ve tried that (Findley to RSL) and it bit them on the a**. And Seattle has a core of vets already to build from, so they don’t need Klein or Lewis. I think unless LA lets Donovan go for big money, they are hosed. Which is fine.

  9. To Someone From Houston:

    I remember hearing something about an agreement with Seattle that Jaqua would be exposed in this draft, but that Seattle would lay off all other Houston players. Is that right? Was it just a rumor?

  10. For DCU-Have 8 Internationals on roster, must keep 4


    Emilio (DP/International)

    Gallardo (DP/International)

    Fred (International)

    Gonzalo Peralta (International)

    Ivan Gurerro (oddly not listed as an International, does he have a greencard?)

    Jaime Moreno

    Bryan Namoff

    Santion Quaranta

    Clyde Simms

    Marc Burch

    Devon McTavish

    Leaves Exposed

    Ben Olsen (insert gnashing of teeth here). With his future uncertain, protecting Benny leaves either a decent cheap young talent or an established player unprotected. I can’t see Seattle gambling on him

    Louis Crayton and Zach Wells-Seattle has Keller, ’nuff said

    Joe Vide-he’d be missed, but not enough to displace anyone above. If Benny comes back, he’s expendabel unless Simms leaves.

    Francis Doe/Boyzz Khumalo-Either would be missed, and may merit protecting if no one thinks Seattle would spend the money to steal Moreno.

    Everyone else-DCU’s reserves got some important late season minutes and many merit a look, but none are irreplaceable. In an offseason where some housecleaning is in order, protecting the core of the team is called for.

  11. garg0yle- I wouldn’t protect Parkhurst and Reis.

    Reis is too expensive to be a backup to Keller.

    Parkhurst’s contract is up and if they pick him up, he doesn’t have to sign with Seattle. Which would be a silly thing for them to do, because he’s probably heading to Europe.

    Instead, I’d protect Heaps and either Castro or Mansally.

    Also, has Igwe graduated from Generation Adidas yet? How long do those contracts last? I thought it was two years, in which case this was his last year… Even so, I wouldn’t protect him.

  12. I don’t think it makes sense for the Crew to protect Hesmer. He wasn’t that great this season and while he is getting better, I seriously doubt he will be one of the better unprotected players on the Crew roster.

  13. Wendel,

    From a business sense, teams like RSL can get big money off of a transfer for a keeper like Seitz. If they leave him unprotected, Seattle can pick him up for nothing, and turn around and sell him to LA or someone else for a big fee they could then use for a couple of players. At least, that’s something I would look for if I was Seattle…or maybe I have been playing FIFA manager mode too much.

  14. wendel – its called trade bait…. Seattle picks up Seitz (for example) and makes a trade to LA or some other team needing a GK’er and then you have either some quality trade or at the very least an early level D.Pick and allocation

  15. What a buzzkill a day after the Cup!

    Can’t MLS give the champ a little time to savor the flavor? Once again proving Garber is a dork, as if the trophy presentation didn’t clinch it.

    Still, I think most Crew fans will agree on the top 8, and the last three are a bit iffy.

    Protected (11)

    1. Schelotto (I)

    2. Marshall

    3. Rogers

    4. Hejduk

    5. Hesmer

    6. Moreno

    7. Gaven

    8. Carroll


    9. Padula

    10. Ekpo

    11. Iro


    Generation Adidas: (1)

    12. Zayner


    Unprotected: (19)

    1. Noonan: take him, please.

    2. O’Rourke

    3. Evans

    4. Moffat

    5. Lenhart

    6. Miglioranzi

    7. Garey

    8. Hendrickson

    9. Oughton

    10. Junge

    11. Josten

    12. Peterson

    13. Elenio

    14. Gruenebaum

    15. Schoeni

    16. Plotkin

    17. Nyazamba

    18. Pierre-Louis

    19. Burns

  16. Wendel,

    Anyone can arrange a trade with Seattle … so the expansion draft is really open to any team … I could see LA negotiating with Seattle to acquire a keeper on their behalf.

  17. I’m curious about protecting Kandji for RBNY. Because he is technically on loan, wouldn’t his contract be returned to the Carolina Railhawks(since his contract was moved by the owner) before he could move to another team on transfer? Or would RBNY be protecting the rights to negotiate his transfer if the protect him in the expansion draft?

  18. NE

    GA players = 2

    1. A. Igwe

    2. R. Valentino

    Non-domestic US players = 8

    S. Joseph

    G. Badilla

    M. Castro

    K. Smith

    A. Fernandez (out on loan)

    S. Nyassi

    M. Dube

    K. Mansally

    So, required to protect at least 3.

    1. S. Joseph

    2. S. Nyassi

    3. M. Dube

    From rest of roster, can protect 8 more to make 11:

    4. S. Ralston

    5. M. Parkhurst

    6. T. Twellman

    7. M. Reis

    8. J. Larentowicz

    9. C. Albright

    10. C. Tierney

    11. A. Cristman

    Best players NOT protected:

    K. Smith

    M. Castro

    J. Heaps

    W. Thompson

    P. Phelan

  19. CREW

    Hejduk-heart and soul of the team

    Scholetto- MVP do I need to say anymore

    Marshall (even though he’s probaly going to Europe) The best defensive player in MLS right now

    Rogers-Probly going to Europe after next year, but one of the Crew’s main playmakers

    Hesmer-The real goalkeeper of the year

    Carroll-An unsung hero, brought stability to the team

    Moreno-is a warrior out there, tireless workrate

    Ekpo-Way too much potential to give away

    Iro-Were gonna need him even more when Marshall bails out

    Gaven-Started to come into his own a bit this year

    Lenhart-Found the back of the net almost everytime he played this year

    A very difficult decision to leave Danny O’Rourke, Brad Evans, and Gino Padula out, but I think Padula will be safe. I also think O’Rourke will be safe. If I was Seattle I would take Evans or Adam Moffat that dude played great until he got hurt early in the year.

  20. FC Dallas


    Kenny Cooper

    Jeff Cunningham

    Andre Rocha (I)

    Pablo Richetti (I)

    Dario Sala

    Drew Moor

    Adrian Serioux (I)

    Micheal Dello-Russo

    Dax McCarty

    Aaron Pitchkolan

    Jamie Watson


    Josh Lambo

    Eric Avila

    Blake Wagner

    Brek Shea

    Anthony Wallace

    Bruno Guarda (I)


    Marcelo Saragosa (I)

    Ray Burse

    Chase Wileman

    David Wagenfuhr

    Victor Sikora (I)

    Jeff Rowland

    Dominic Oduro (I)

    Duilio Davino (I)

    Andrew Daniels

    Ray Burse

    My thoughts are that either the speedy forward, Dominic Oduro is taken, or our back-up keeper Ray Burse is taken. I would love it if they took the worthless, and way overpaid Duilio Davino. But they won’t want his fat salary, and incredibly slow feet sitting in the middle of their back four.

  21. LA Galaxy

    Bowen and Sesay are GenAdidas Players and are excluded from the draft, as is Saunders who belongs USL’s Miami Blues.

    3 Protected Players according to MLS

    Becks (DP – no trade clause)

    Donovan (DP – no trade clause)

    Dominguez or Pires (since we only can leave one of them unprotected sadly)

    my choice to make up the 11

    Edson Buddle

    Chris Klein

    Eddie Lewis

    Sean Franklin

    Mike Randolph

    Brandon McDonald

    Bryan Jordan

    Julian Valentin

  22. So if you are Columbus do you protect Marshall even though he’s out of contract and looking to go abroad? And if you’re Seattle and Columbus doesn’t protect him do you pick him?

  23. jmac, I don’t think you have to protect Onstad. He is old, and while still a good keeper he was noticeably slower. Do you really think Seattle will want to spend the kind of money on him they would need to spend for an aging backup keeper who will likely retire in a year? Only as possible trade bait, and as Seattle doesn’t have a coach yet I don’t see them pulling a Mo. Waibel is not much of a concern as its rumored he will retire this offseason anyway. Besides, after his youtube video, he could probably make decent money as an NFL kicker. Jaqua was rumored to have made movement to Seattle next season a condition of his return to the Dynamo. Perhaps leaving him unprotected is a requirement in his contract. There are also rumors that Boswell may go to Europe. If that’s true then you don’t have to protect him. I’d protect Kamara (as he’s cheap) and DeRo.

  24. Avery-

    No need to protect Conway. He’s not shown to be amazing, and additionally no one wants a keeper who was caught juicing. I’d protect Parke though.

  25. San Jose Earthquakes













    Sealy and Lima look on the way out so I left them off the list. But with all the depth around the league I don’t even see SJ losing a player.

  26. Chicago





    5.Soumare (Dont know if he is GA still)







    If Baky is protected then Banner

    That leaves Carr, Woolard, Desan Robinson, Prideaux as possible targets. But Seattle, if youre reading this, Andy Herron didnt score goals for us this year because he was saving them for you. He would play great next to Ljunberg with Keller punting him the ball on counter attacks. He would fit in perfectly.

  27. Fire

    Protected: Busch, Baky, Conde, Sega, Pappa, Pause, Blanco, Mapp, BMB, Rolfe, & Thorington

    possible picks by Seattle: Prideaux or Robinson….. prideaux has the experience and local native, but Robinson has the athleticism and is younger…

    most likely pick: Prideaux…. solid option for a year or two… has great experience, and wont be a weak link in the back line….

    now i dont know about blanco, if he doesnt need to be protected we may see Prideaux get protected…

  28. Houston:












    That leaves Waibel, Mulroney, DeRo, Kamara, and Jacqua unprotected. Crap.

  29. Amit, what it means by “we don’t have to protect him” is that he would be available for Seattle to pick up, and then re-negotiate his salary because there is nothing in the contract protecting him from transfering to another team

  30. Unless JPA has a no trade clause, we donèt have to protect him. With Kasey Keller at the helm, we donèt need to protect Jon Conway either.

    On a side note, these aholes better re-sign Dave Van den Bergh. It would be a coup at this point to sign him for the same money

  31. Avery, there is a problem with your list: an MLS club has a formula to follow for international players. RBNY has 10 international players on the roster so it MUST protect 5 international players. You only have 2 (Angel and Kandji)–van den Bergh doesn’t count as an “I”. So you’ve got to protect 3 more guys like Rojas or Cichero or Jimenez or whomever. And that means someone like Conway or Parke or Ubiparipovic will have to be exposed.

    Actually, my list would be to start with the starting lineup from Sunday and then adjust based on the international rules. While it’s nice to think about protecting guys like Mbuta and Kandji, the reality is this: Avery’s lineup has exactly 1 defender who can start opening day (Goldthwaite) and the team needs to add a central midfielder. So to go into the offseason needing to remake the entire defense AND get a playmaking A-mid plus team depth–that’s a handful.

  32. For RSL:


    1) Beckerman

    2) Borchers

    3) Espindola (I)

    4) Findley

    5) Johnson

    6) Morales (I)

    7) Movsisyen

    8) Olave (I)

    9) Russell

    10) Seitz

    11) Wingert

    Generation Adidas (protected)










    Deuchar (I)








    The biggest ones open for discussion are obviously the top 7.

    I would unprotect Joy because Russell or Beltran can cover that position if he’s taken and Russell can also play centerback if Olave is not resigned or Borchers or Olave are hurt/suspended.

    Kovalenko. Because of his salary (over $200k), age, and his position is covered by Beckerman and Sturgis.

    Mathis. Just didn’t do much and is getting older. Espindola a better choice at forward/ Andy Williams could fill in for attacking midfielder.

    Rimando. A tough one here, but I don’t think Seattle is going to take him with Keller in the nets and if they do we have Seitz.

    Sturgis. Good prospect but with his history of injuries, I don’t think Seattle is going to take a chance on him (out most of last year).

    Andy Williams. Tough one if we lose him, maybe the toughest choice, but he’s getting older and Espindola, Mathis can fill in if he’s taken.

    Deuchar. Just didn’t produce this year although is a valuable sub.

  33. New York

    Juan Pablo Angel

    Seth Stammler

    Dave Van Den Bergh

    Dane Richards

    Kevin Goldthwaite

    Danny Cepero

    John Conway

    Jeff Parke

    Macoumba Kandji

    Sinisa Ubiparipovic


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