- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On November 7, 2011
- 7 Comments
- 2011 Expansion Draft, Features
Expectations were high going into 2011 for Real Salt Lake. The club was closing in on a historic CONCACAF Champions League win and everyone in the league was supporting their efforts. But injuries, suspensions and the gutting loss in the CCL final to Monterrey changed the course of the season for RSL.
But they got back on the horse – so to speak – and got into the playoffs where they upset Seattle and then gave LA a run for their money last night.
To recap, I’ve already looked at the Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, the Colorado Rapids, the Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, the New England Revolution, the New York Red Bulls, the Philadelphia Union, the Portland Timbers, the San Jose Earthquakes, the Seattle Sounders FC, Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Keep in mind the rules of the expansion draft, to read more about them click here.
1. Nick Rimnado – Still one of the best keepers in MLS.
2. Kyle Beckerman – Had a MVP-type season in 2011, absolutely no sense in exposing him.
3. Jamison Olave – One of the best defenders in MLS.
4. Nat Borchers – See the note on Olave.
5. Javier Morales – When healthy he is super dangerous. Really a shame that he was hurt all year long.
6. Will Johnson – One of those massively underrated players in this league.
7. Tony Beltran – He continues to grow each season and he’d be one of those guys I’d love to have on my back line if I was starting a new club.
8. Chris Schuler – Cheap, young and super talented.
9. Alvaro Saborio – Their lone DP, but he’s being protected not for that reason but for the reason that when he is on his game he is a total beast.
10. Fabian Espindola – Such a hard-worker. You may not like the guy but his work-rate is out of this world.
11. Paulo Jr. – Another young guy that they have to hold on to here.
Home Grown/Generation adidas Players:
- Luis Gil
- Donny Toia
- Nico Muniz
- Tim Melia
- Robbie Russell
- Arturo Alvarez
- Jean Alexandre
- Chris Agorsor
- Yordany Alvarez
- Chris Wingert
- Blake Wagner
- Ned Grabavoy
- Nelson Gonzalez
- Kyle Reynish
- Collen Warner
- Cody Arnoux
- Rauwshan McKenzie
- Andy Williams
I think for the most part RSL is fairly straight forward in who they have to protect. Out of the unprotected guys like Warner, Wingert, Arnoux and Grabavoy could merit some discussion for protection. For me though, this group is simple, protect the main core and a couple young players. They’ll probably lose someone no matter what so you have to make sure it isn’t someone you desperately need for 2012. Wingert and Grabavoy will likely be fine due to age and their contracts.