2010 Expansion Draft List: Real Salt Lake

2010 Expansion Draft List: Real Salt Lake

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On November 16, 2010
  • 2010 Expansion Draft

RSL stands to lose a couple important players in the expansion draft. (Getty Images)

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 FireChivas USA, the Columbus CrewD.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:

  1. Kyle Beckerman – Leader and probably would be the hardest to replace.
  2. Javier Morales – Same as Beckerman, you saw how this club was without him in the second leg against FC Dallas. They need him.
  3. Nick Rimando – Like a fine wine this keeper continues to get better with age.
  4. Jamison Olave – Defender of the year, you must protect him.
  5. Nat Borchers – Another top defender you must protect.
  6. Alvaro Saborio – League’s top newcomer this year, and the team’s top scorer.
  7. Will Johnson – With a Canadian club picking you must protect him. Plus you know he’s pretty good.
  8. Tony Beltran – Another young, quality defender.
  9. Fabian Espindola – Had a pretty strong 2010.
  10. Collen Warner – Their lone rookie from this year, he’s a quality role player in the making.
  11. David Horst – Portland and Vancouver know him well from his D-2 time this year.

Players unprotected:

  • 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.

  • Michael

    Generally, I think your list makes sense. I would take exception with Paulo for one reason – Kreis said in an interview about 2 weeks ago that after just 1/2 of a training session, he HAD to have him. I think that says a lot about what Kreis and RSL think of him. Food for thought…

    • Believe me, it was down to Horst and Paulo. It wouldn’t surprise me either way really if they protected Paulo and not Horst.

      • Some of that will depend on what the loan status is on Paulo Junior, if they think they can extend or sign him then I would expect that he would be protected. Even more with the status of Findley not looking good.

  • Twariner

    Swap Paulo for Horst and I’ll be fine. If we can keep Findley, keep him, too, but who to replace on the list with him, it’s impossible to decide.

    Definitely Paulo for Horst, though!!! He’ll be gone in a second if we don’t protected him. He’s been big for us lately.

    We need a striker who isn’t afraid and actually hits the net.

  • Wingert, Paulo, Schuler and Findley are easily protected over Horst. Not even close. I also think RSL will protect Grabavoy or Gonzalez before they protect Horst. Russell will probably be left unprotected again due to age.

    The 3 “up in the air” ones are Findley, Paulo, Wingert. I think any of them could take what you claim for Horst or Warner. I am about 99% on the other 9 picks you have.

  • No, you can’t select more than one player from the team. So say Vancouver takes one player, they won’t be able to take a second later on in the draft from RSL.

    • Upstate Jason

      Are you sure a new team can’t pick two players from the same existing team? The rules at MLSSoccer.com (http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/official-mls-expansion-draft-rules) don’t mention that. Here is the text:

      Maximum Player Loss: Once two (2) players have been claimed from a Club’s non-protected roster, that Club is eliminated from the expansion draft and may not lose any further players. In addition, once a player has been claimed from a Club’s non-protected roster, that Club may move a player from its non-protected roster to its protected roster.

      • Jason, its how things have been done in the past…I can’t imagine say Portland will pick two RSL players in the draft. Its probably more of an unwritten rule.

  • 15to32

    Just to add my 2 cents… Protecting Horst is pointless. I dont care if he is the first player selected overall, for RSL thats a win as Horst and I have the same amount of minutes for RSL this season. All this “improvement” has been done in the lower division for a different team. None of that means he will be good @ RSL. Schuler showed he can step just fine, same with McKenzie (unless its in Mexico and raining cats and dogs).

    Paulo Junior (or PJ, as he is known among some RSL people) should be protected. The striker position is just too valuable in this league to not protect a raw talent like him. With the Findley and Sabo contract situations in the air, you have to protect him. The only other forward that would be on there is Espindola…

    My XI protected:

    Run the risk of losing Warner in that list, but it is what it is.

  • I love Gonzalez, but I think he has become to injury prone. I think he’s been available to play for rsl for about half the games he’s been in Salt Lake!
    RSL left Williams unprotected for last years draft and I’m betting that they will do the same again this year. Love Andy, but RSL has to keep this a ‘business decision’ first.