- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On November 27, 2009
- 4 Comments
- 2009 Expansion Draft
Another year has come and another Expansion draft has gone in Major League Soccer. No high profile names were taken, and not many players selected were expected to go. Only a couple that were taken most people figured would be selected by Philadelphia and Peter Nowak. While it wasn’t a roster that most expected it was one that fits the mold of what Nowak looks for in a roster.
Below are my grades for each pick. Just like in years past some picks were better than others.
Brad Knighton: The now former backup to Matt Reis in New England was one of the guys I went back and forth with on New England’s unprotected list. I had said Pat Phelan but Knighton was actually the first name I put down from their list. I went back and changed it when I realized the other keepers that were out there would possibly be a better fit. WVH Grade: B
David Myrie: Chicago’s list of unprotected players was interesting but for the most part Myrie was probably one of the most attractive defenders from there. He didn’t play a lot in Chicago so this looks to be a long-term project for Nowak here. WVH Grade: C-
Shavar Thomas: Expect him to be the tower in the back for Philly this season. He has loads of experience and I do think the change of venue will be welcome. WVH Grade: C
Jordan Harvey: Probably one of my favorite picks here by Nowak. Harvey was solid for the Rapids this past season and it was kind of a shocker to see him on the unprotected list here. Expect him to be in the starting lineup from day one. WVH Grade: B+
Shea Salinas: Most of you know I’ve never been too high on Salinas. I’ve seen him play in person a couple times and he never really impressed me. But maybe it was being in San Jose was the reason for that. If Nowak can get the true talent of of this kid it could end up being a great pick. WVH Grade: C-
Stefani Miglioranzi: He was a part of the Crew’s title season in 2008, and he nearly was apart of a Galaxy title season this past year. He’s older than most of the picks at 32 but he’s a true workhorse that Nowak likes. WVH Grade: B
Andrew Jacobson: Here is a kid that tried Europe and didn’t find success so he returned to MLS. I think he will be a guy that Nowak can mold into a very solid midfielder in this league. WVH Grade: B
Nick Zimmerman: Nothing against Zimmerman but why take anybody from one of the worst teams in league history? Didn’t make a bit of sense to me at all. With that being said Zimmerman was actually not a surprise at all because he has plenty of talent here. Keep an eye on this kid because he may actually prove to be another thing that New York was dumb enough to let go. WVH Grade: B-
Sebastian LeToux: Sad to say for Seattle fans but we kind of saw this coming. Sure James Riley was the easy pick from the unprotected list since he has been apart of so many expansion drafts as of late. But Le Toux is the steal of this draft. Union fans are gonna love this guy. WVH Grade: A
Alejandro Moreno: Another veteran in this group but probably one of the better ones to take for Nowak. He’s tough as nails around the goal, which is exactly what Nowak likes to see. He’s a guy that can score and will certainly do his part to annoy defenses. WVH Grade: B+
So even with that I do think Nowak and Philly missed on some very solid guys out there. Anthony Wallace in Dallas would have been a solid player in the back for Nowak. So would have KC’s Matt Besler.
And yes we all missed on Bobby Convey. Probably a good thing too for Union fans after the way he played this past season. I wouldn’t have wanted him either.
My overall impressions of the draft a couple days later are probably a little better than the day of it. I do think Philadelphia will struggle unless they get some big time impact players in the midfield and another striker or two to compete with LeToux and Moreno up top. Defensively it wouldn’t hurt to get a another player or two to help out. I think using that number one pick in January’s SuperDraft will go a long way here too.
Now are they going to be more like a Seattle or a San Jose here? Probably more on the ladder right now. Seattle had so many impact players signed even before the expansion draft which helped out in a big way. Philly didn’t do that and we haven’t even heard a sniff of any possible signings yet.