2010 Expansion Draft Recap and Grades

2010 Expansion Draft Recap and Grades

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On November 24, 2010
  • 8 Comments
  • 2010 Expansion Draft

Dallas took a hit by losing both Dax McCarty and Atiba Harris. (Getty Images)

The expansion draft has come and gone, rather quickly I might add. Both teams have made their selections and its clear that both had a goal and stuck to it throughout the draft. Vancouver selected very offensively and pretty much have given us reason to believe they’ll be relying heavily on their D-2 defense from this past season that was very good in the D-2 league. Portland on the other hand was a little more balanced in the way they picked and far more defensive in comparison to Vancouver.

It was no shock that Portland would open up with Dax McCarty as their first pick. I had it in my mock draft and so did nearly everyone else who made a draft board or mock draft. It was the most logical pick to make in the history of the MLS expansion draft. From there it seemed that Vancouver was trying to match Portland’s picks until the mid-way point of the draft when both started collecting depth.

The real shockers were by Portland though. Selecting Robbie Findley and Jonathan Bornstein were picks no one saw coming but could potentially be great for them. Bornstein is going to Mexico but they’ll have his rights no matter what if he comes back to MLS say next summer. As far as Findley goes they do have the chance to give him what he wants, a big contract (non-DP of course) and allow him to get a fresher start. Something tells me that Portland knows more about the situation with his contract than most are reading into here. Sure he could still go to Europe but I think it could be the smartest pick if he stays. Bornstein, well, that pick made no sense for next season. Maybe in 2011 it does.

A couple teams got hit hard in this draft, mainly Dallas and possibly Seattle. Both lost two quality players. Columbus and Chicago also took a hit which makes me wonder what their coaches were thinking in their protection selections on Monday. How Chivas USA lost two I will never understand. I really didn’t think they’d be a team to lose two today. Seeing D.C. lose a player while LA and New York lose none says something too. Both LA and NY really had little to choose from though. And Houston not losing anyone says that John Spencer knew the depth was just not there for the taking. That’s a big statement I think.

I will grade each pick and overall team selection here now.

Portland Timbers:

  1. Dax McCarty (FC Dallas) – Easiest pick to make in the entire draft. WVH Grade: A
  2. Eric Brunner (Columbus Crew) – Will be a starter for them next year, very solid defender. WVH Grade: B
  3. Adam Moffatt (Columbus Crew) – When health he can be a stud, just remember a couple years ago he showed how good he could be. WVH Grade B-
  4. Anthony Wallace (Colorado Rapids) – Put him on one side and Jeremy Hall on the other and boy do you have some speed on the outside in your defense. I love it honestly. WVH Grade: A-
  5. David Horst (RSL) – Portland is very familiar with what he can do in defense. Very solid pick. WVH Grade: B+
  6. Robbie Findley (RSL) – If he signs I think this is an A, if he goes to Europe its an F. WVH Grade: Incomplete
  7. Peter Lowry (Chicago) – Another when health he can be very good. Possibly a Le Toux-type pick here? Maybe. WVH Grade: C+
  8. Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA) – Not sure what the hell they were thinking here as he’s going to Mexico next year. WVH Grade: F
  9. Jordan Graye (D.C. United) – This pick was purely depth I think. Not bad but not great. WVH Grade: C-
  10. Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes) – He can be frustrating to watch sometimes but he can also be brilliant other times. Could be a great fit for him actually. WVH Grade: C

Overall Thoughts: Look if Findley and Bornstein somehow end up in Portland next year this is one hell of a draft for them. It really will be. But even without those two I can honestly say this is a B to a B- draft for them, with both it could easily be a  solid A-. McCarty was easily the best pick while they did manage to pick up four or even five starters here to go along with the other signings that they’ve made so far. At the end of the day John Spencer and company have to be happy with the work they did here, all jokes aside really. I had a feeling they’d go defensive here based on their early signings and they nailed it really on this draft getting quality defenders with plenty of experience.

Vancouver Whitecaps

  1. Sanna Nyassi (Seattle) – Decent first pick, definitely a guy that can frustrate defenders with his speed. WVH Grade: B
  2. Atiba Harris (FC Dallas) – Some loved this pick, I honestly think its not that bad but not outstanding. Again more speed and a guy that can play up top when needed but he doesn’t add a whole lot of finishing. WVH Grade: B-
  3. Nathan Sturgis (Seattle) – I said when Seattle got him two years ago that it was a steal and I’m saying it again. WVH Grade: B+
  4. Shea Salinas (Philadelphia) – Could be a heck of a steal as he didn’t get the best of playing time in Philadelphia. WVH Grade: B-
  5. Alan Gordon (Chivas USA) – Thought he’d end up in Portland. I honestly don’t care for this pick as I’ve never been a huge Gordon fan. WVH Grade: C
  6. O’Brien White (Toronto) – I believe this could be their best pick. Really do as White never had the best of chances of doing well in Toronto. I bet he’ll want to stick it to them as well. WVH Grade: B+
  7. Alejandro Moreno (Philadelphia) – Depth pick, locker room pick. Not bad but nothing that will put them over the top here today. WVH Grade: C+
  8. Joe Cannon (San Jose) – They have Jay Nolly in the waiting but I love this pick for them. Cannon adds instant credibility to what could a good defense. WVH Grade: B+
  9. Jonathan Leathers (Kanas City) – Depth pick here, nothing more. WVH Grade: C-
  10. John Thornington (Chicago) – IF he gets health this is a steal. WVH Grade: C

Overall Thoughts: Vancouver went very offensive and took some chances here but overall came away with a fairly cheap draft that could set them up huge for this winter. They didn’t get too flashy in picks like Portland tried to do but they did come away with some starters, maybe four or five to be exact. Their offense will be interesting to watch with the speed they collected today.

Final Draft Thoughts: I don’t think either came away as the winner but should Findley and Bornstein stay in MLS with Portland than the Timbers are a clear winner. I found Vancouver’s draft to be fairly balanced even with all the offensive selections. They clearly wanted to get depth and did so. Portland grabbed a few more starters though. I think at the end of the day this was an interesting draft that will keep people talking for a few weeks. I expect some trades to be made between now and the end of the week though.

  • Peter C

    Big winner? San Jose. They drop payroll by over $370K and keep Ward, who I thought was a solid pick.

  • YGBrowne

    Ouch. Lowry is a steal. You have to admire the ‘Caps ability to build an entire strike force in ten picks, albeit none of them are exactly the class of the league.

    PS – I love the shit out of your site

  • GoGoDynamo

    Short stay in Portland for McCarty…Now off to a terrible DC United team…Wouldn’t you rather be a Timber?

  • And now that Portland has traded McCarty to DC for nothing, your grade for that pick should go from a A to a D-.

    • Close, a solid C- for me. I do like the addition of Rodney Wallace though, plus that extra allocation cash will come in handy.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Portland taking Findley was much of a shocker at all, especially since he went to Oregon State. Portland probably thinks he might like to come back to a familiar place and get playing time if Europe doesn’t work out.

  • Jason

    So now that at least seven picks have been traded (Alvarez, Moreno, White, Gordon, Nyassi, McCarty, Wallace), where does each team stand?

  • Cannon Girl

    WHO-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO—GO WHITECAPS!!! I like the sound of that! : )