One week from today, the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC will continue shaping their squads through the 2010 Expansion Draft, in which both sides will be allowed to select a total of 10 players each from other squads around Major League Soccer. While the Timbers and Whitecaps will also build their rosters via signings, the MLS SuperDraft, etc., the Expansion Draft will provide the base for these teams as they prepare for their first season in MLS.
Of course, the Timbers and Whitecaps can’t simply choose whomever they please from the other 16 MLS teams – that wouldn’t exactly be fair, would it? So each returning MLS team is allowed to “protect” 11 players from its current roster, making those 11 players unavailable for selection in the Expansion Draft.
Each team is required to submit a list of 11 protected players by 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 22, the day after MLS Cup, so we’re just a few days away from knowing which players will be protected by the Revolution. (To make matters a bit more fluid, there’s a three-hour trade window – 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET – on Monday, Nov. 22, as well.)
As it does every year in which expansion teams enter the league, this process raises some interesting questions about who should be protected, and that’s the question I would like to ask you right now … who would you protect?
First of all, we have to start with a few ground rules. Keep in mind this is just a sampling of the Expansion Draft rules, but these are the ones which are important for the purposes of this blog post.
1. Generation adidas players (who will not graduate at the end of the 2010 season) and Home Grown Players are automatically protected.
2. The Revolution must protect at least three international players (a list of players and their roster status is below).
3. Once a player has been selected from a team’s non-protected roster, that team can move one player from its non-protected roster to its protected roster.
4. No team can have more than two (2) players selected from its non-protected roster.
Here is the Revolution’s current roster, with status included. Please note, players holding Green Cards are counted as domestic players.
ELIGIBLE FOR THE EXPANSION DRAFT
Kheli Dube (Green Card)
Jason Griffiths (International)
Roberto Linck (Green Card)
Kenny Mansally (Green Card)
Sainey Nyassi (International)
Emmanuel Osei (International)
Marko Perovic (International)
Khano Smith (Green Card)
Ilija Stolica (International)
Diego Fagundez (Home Grown Player)
For those wondering, Shalrie Joseph used to be a Green Card holder but has since received his U.S. citizenship. As such, he is also counted as a domestic player.
So with all that in mind, which 11 players would you protect from the list of players above under “ELIGIBLE FOR THE EXPANSION DRAFT,” keeping in mind that you must protect at least three internationals?
Feel free to include not only your list of players, but why you’d make those choices …