- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On November 16, 2010
- 10 Comments
- 2010 Expansion Draft
I mentioned earlier on Twitter that it would be a busy day here. Along with the news earlier this morning and a couple expansion draft lists today (hopefully this one and one more), we also have Don Garber’s State of the League address this afternoon to discuss. So, full day. Hopefully we can get to it all.
Now to get back on the expansion draft topic. Starting off today we will look at the 2009 MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake.
So far I’ve covered lists for the following teams: the Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, the Columbus Crew, D.C. United, the Philadelphia Union, the Houston Dynamo, the Kansas City Wizards, the New England Revolution, the Seattle Sounders FC, and Toronto FC. As always for those curious about the expansion draft rules click here (there are some funky rules about international players and what not).
Just like in previous years the defending champion will likely get picked apart. This year more than ever it will certainly happen with two clubs taking part in the expansion draft. With the way RLS is built, it only makes coming up with 11 players to protect that much harder. We’ll do our best here to get the best 11 to protect.
Below are the 11 players I see being protected:
- Kyle Beckerman – Leader and probably would be the hardest to replace.
- Javier Morales – Same as Beckerman, you saw how this club was without him in the second leg against FC Dallas. They need him.
- Nick Rimando – Like a fine wine this keeper continues to get better with age.
- Jamison Olave – Defender of the year, you must protect him.
- Nat Borchers – Another top defender you must protect.
- Alvaro Saborio – League’s top newcomer this year, and the team’s top scorer.
- Will Johnson – With a Canadian club picking you must protect him. Plus you know he’s pretty good.
- Tony Beltran – Another young, quality defender.
- Fabian Espindola – Had a pretty strong 2010.
- Collen Warner – Their lone rookie from this year, he’s a quality role player in the making.
- David Horst – Portland and Vancouver know him well from his D-2 time this year.
- Chris Wingert
- Robbie Findley
- Jean Alexandre
- Paulo Junior
- Pablo Campos
- Andy Williams
- Chris Schuler
- Nelson Gonzalez
- Ned Grabavoy
- Rauwshan McKenzie
- Tim Melia
- Kyle Reynish
- Robbie Russell
Protected via Generation adidas/Home Grown Talent:
- Luis Gil
- Alex Nimo
First of all I know there is a bit of a situation with Nimo, seeing how he was with Portland all year and has practically demanded to stay there (he said he would retire if he doesn’t get to stay with the Timbers). I have a gut feeling that a deal will get worked out between those two sides that Portland gets Nimo (not via the draft) and that the Timbers won’t select any RSL players in the expansion draft. Just a gut feeling, others who follow RSL would probably agree with it or at best hope it happens.
Now as far as the 11 protected goes, I felt good about 10 of them. The last, Horst, was the toughest to predict. I went with him for a couple reasons. Both expansion teams know him and saw how good he can be this past season when he was with the Islanders in the D-2 league. He became a target on set pieces which isn’t always easy to find. RSL has to know that and probably doesn’t want to lose a guy that can be worked into the line-up next year. In doing so it meant I didn’t see RSL protecting guys like Findley, Wingert, or younger guys like Schuler or Paulo Junior.
Some will think Findley should be on there but his contract issues right now make me believe that neither expansion team will want to deal with that.
RSL will lose one if not two players in this draft however. There’s really no getting around that I think. You could replace Horst with any number of guys and they’ll likely lose someone else that is equally as important.