Friday, August 21, 2009

2009 Expansion Draft Preview - Eastern Conference

Who will Peter Nowak and the Philadelphia Union take? Who will each team protect? I don't know, but I'll give it my best guess three months before everyone really starts focusing on it. You remember the rules, don't you? I'm assuming they'll stay the same as the past three years: 11 players can be protected, must protect three foreigners, GA players are exempt.

Important links:
Remember, several unknown factors can have a big impact on this: contracts expiring, Generation Adidas status (which players graduate after the year), and salaries (which haven't been updated for mid-season signings).


Protected Available Exempt
Mike Banner Cuauhtemoc Blanco Baggio Husidic
Jon Busch C.J. Brown
Wilman Conde Calen Carr
Patrick Nyarko Stefan Dimitrov
Marco Pappa Andrew Dykstra
Logan Pause Peter Lowry
Dasan Robinson Justin Mapp
Chris Rolfe Brian McBride
Gonzalo Segares Brandon Prideaux
John Thorrington
Bakary Soumare

Tim Ward Austin Washington

Daniel Woolard

The Fire will certainly have an interesting offseason. There's a good chance that many of this year's starters won't be back. Blanco has already said that he won't be, and we know Prideaux is retiring. Will McBride retire? He says he won't make a decision to until December. I doubt he would play for any other team anyway, so he can be left unprotected. Who knows if Conde will stick around or be transferred, and Segares is another guy who could be gone, as his contract expires following the year. Both are still worth protecting, though.

Mapp's salary ($220,000/$255,000) makes him unlikely to be picked, but there's always a chance he could be protected instead of Robinson or Thorrington. Maybe even Pappa, who was unprotected last year possibly due to the loan arrangement. I don't know if he deserves it based on his play. Every year a few guys surprise everybody when they're left unprotected, and it's usually because of salary reasons. Mapp could be one of those this year.

If the "feud" is settled or a transfer doesn't materialize, Soumare will be one of the 11 for sure. If he stays through the season en route to a January transfer, he's probably still worth keeping just for the transfer fee (and allocation money). Now that would interesting, seeing a team pick someone just for the money. Anyway, if Soumare is protected, I guess Thorrington would then be unprotected. I believe Robinson is ahead of Thorrington on the pecking order because they'll need a defender next year with all the departures.

Most likely picks: Carr, Mapp, Woolard

Woolard plays LB and could be taken as a cheap option there.


Protected Available Exempt
Guillermo Barros Schelotto Kevin Burns
Eric Brunner Cory Elenio
Brian Carroll Jason Garey
Emmanuel Ekpo Eddie Gaven
Frankie Hejduk Alex Grendi
William Hesmer Andy Gruenebaum
Chad Marshall Andy Iro
Danny O'Rourke Steven Lenhart
Gino Padula Adam Moffat
Robbie Rogers Alejandro Moreno
Jed Zayner Stanley Nyazamba

Duncan Oughton

Emilio Renteria

The Zolos are going to get somebody good here, that's for sure. First off, let's look at the international players. I have them protecting Schelotto, Ekpo, and Padula, just like last year. Padula would be the most likely of the three to drop out, it seems. Remember, they have to protect at least three, and Moreno doesn't count as he holds a green card.

Speaking of Moreno, it seems like he might not make the list this year. He doesn't have a huge salary ($132,300/$137,300), but they have a couple of cheap, talented younger guys in Garey and Lenhart. Another guy who would make sense to leave off (at least on paper) is Hejduk, but that's highly unlikely. Still, will they protect both him and Zayner? You have to figure Zayner's likely gone if they don't protect him.

Iro was protected last year, but he's been passed up by Brunner. However, Iro is an international player and therefore might be in competition with Padula.

Gaven wasn't protected last year and it would shock me to see him protected this year. Like Mapp, his salary makes him unlikely to be chosen.

Most likely picks: Garey, Iro, Lenhart


Protected Available Exempt
Luciano Emilio Ely Allen
Dejan Jakovic Brandon Barklage
Julius James Marc Burch
Jaime Moreno John DiRaimondo
Bryan Namoff Fred
Chris Pontius Christian Gomez
Santino Quaranta David Habarugira
Clyde Simms Andrew Jacobson
Danny Szetela Greg Janicki
Rodney Wallace Avery John
Josh Wicks Thabiso Khumalo

Milos Kocic

Devon McTavish

Ange N'Silu

Ben Olsen

Which older vets do they protect and which do they leave exposed? Moreno is a DC legend; you can't leave him off. However, Fred and Olsen are easy choices due to the great play of Wallace and the signing of Szetela. Gomez is high in salary and probably wouldn't be picked anyway.

You need a third international player after Emilio and Jakovic, so I went with James over Fred and Gomez. He's young, cheap, and has potential. I wonder if they took his status into account when they made the trade? It's too bad Wallace has a green card. BTW, Wallace should graduate from GA since he's already started 18 games.

Wicks looks pretty certain to be protected, which is pretty surprising after being waived by the Galaxy. He seems to have brought some stability to the position.

Burch, McTavish, and Simms all have been protected for the last two drafts, but something is probably going to give here. Simms is much more expensive than the other two, but I think he's also a much more important part of the team.

Most likely picks: Burch, McTavish, Olsen

Would Nowak pick one of the 2004 heroes, Gomez or Olsen? Probably not, though Olsen is from Pennsylvania.


Protected Available Exempt
Davy Arnaud Adam Cristman Chance Myers
Matt Besler Herculez Gomez
Jimmy Conrad Kevin Hartman
Roger Espinoza Zoltan Hercegfalvi
Michael Harrington Michael Kraus
Santiago Hirsig Eric Kronberg
Aaron Hohlbein Jonathan Leathers
Jack Jewsbury Matt Marquess
Claudio Lopez Rauwshan McKenzie
Kevin Souter Kurt Morsink
Josh Wolff Boris Pardo

Abe Thompson

Lance Watson

Graham Zusi

The big question is whether or not Espinoza will graduate from GA? It's definitely borderline. He played 22 games last season, starting 12 and he's played 13, starting 6 this year. If he starts the rest of the season, which is likely considering that they're virtually out of the running, then he will. I think it's more likely that he will graduate than he won't. Playing for Honduras in the Gold Cup can't hurt.

Like last year, the Wizards are set to waste a spot protect Souter due to his international status. They only have four at the moment, and Hirsig/Lopez are locks. It's between him and Zoltan, and the latter's first impression was awful.

I don't expect Hartman to be protected since he wasn't last year. It seems like 10/11 of the picks are pretty solid. I'm guessing Hohlbein is the last guy. Seems like forwards Cristman and Thompson are likely to be exposed. They could take Watson over him, or maybe Gomez. I suppose Wolff's a candidate to be left off due to age and salary.

Most likely picks: Gomez, McKenzie, Watson


Protected Available Exempt
Kevin Alston Chris Albright Nico Colaluca
Darrius Barnes Stephane Assengue Amaechi Igwe
Jay Heaps Gabriel Badilla
Shalrie Joseph Mauricio Castro
Jeff Larentowicz Kheli Dube
Kenny Mansally Edgaras Jankauskas
Sainey Nyassi Brad Knighton
Emmanuel Osei Pat Phelan
Steve Ralston Bobby Shuttleworth
Matt Reis Wells Thompson
Taylor Twellman Chris Tierney

Michael Videira

The emergence of Alston means Albright is a lock to be exposed. It's hard to believe it's even a possibility, but you have to wonder if Twellman will be exposed as well. He makes around $400,000 and has now struggled with injuries for two straight seasons.

The internationals. The Gambian duo of Mansally/Nyassi were protected last year and likely will be again. Who's the most best pick for the third spot: Dube, Jankauskas, or Osei? The Lithuanian striker probably makes decent money, so he may be the least likely. Dube may only be in his second season, but he was an old rookie and is already 26. Will he really get any better?

Most likely picks: Dube, Tierney, Videira


Protected Available Exempt
Juan Pablo Angel Danleigh Borman
Albert Celades Andrew Boyens
Danny Cepero Bouna Coundoul
Kevin Goldthwaite Walter Garcia
Jeremy Hall Carlos Johnson
Macoumba Kandji Leo Krupnik
Ernst Oebster Matthew Mbuta
Dane Richards Carlos Mendes
Luke Sassano Alfredo Pacheco
Seth Stammler Mike Petke
Nick Zimmerman
Jorge Rojas

Sinisa Ubiparipovic

John Wolyniec

How many of these guys will even be on the roster next year? At least they won't lose anybody good, if Philly even decides to use a pick here.

Most of these choices pick themselves. You could argue Coundoul over Cepero, or Ubiparipovic over Zimmerman. That's about it. Maybe a different set of internationals. If Hall doesn't graduate from GA, then there's another open spot.

Most likely picks: Borman, Mendes, Ubiparipovic


Protected Available Exempt
Chad Barrett Nana Attakora Fuad Ibrahim
Jim Brennan Danny Dichio
Sam Cronin Lesly Fellinga
Dwayne De Rosario Gabe Gala
Stefan Frei Amado Guevara
Nick Garcia Brian Edwards
Ali Gerba Emmanuel Gomez
Carl Robinson Amadou Sanyang
Adrian Serioux Pablo Vitti
O'Brian White

Marvell Wynne

One of the harder Eastern conference teams to predict IMO. The kids impressed against DC, does that mean they're worth protecting? Garcia/Serioux or Gomez/Sanyang? Hmm... When players get scouted in Africa and brought in here by Toronto, that makes you think that another coach wouldn't take them in the draft, so maybe they don't need it this year.

There are plenty of large salaries who could be safely exposed: Guevara, Robinson, and Vitti all make around $300,000. Dichio's near the end of his career and he should be left exposed as well. If it comes down to Gerba or White, the latter seems like the better choice for almost much every reason: salary, potential, likelihood of being selected.

Toronto seems like one of the teams who won't lose a player.

Most likely picks: Attakora, Gomez, Sanyang


Comments on "2009 Expansion Draft Preview - Eastern Conference"


Blogger Kate said ... (10:44 AM, August 21, 2009) : 

As a DC fan, I will cry if we lose Benny to another team.


Blogger jason said ... (4:16 PM, August 21, 2009) : 

Why would you assume that so many first-year GA players are going to graduate? I get that they're playing in a lot of games, but the policy has typically been to give players at least two years of GA status. I don't see that changing unless they suddenly decided to speed up the process and hinder teams even more by limiting roster decisions.


Blogger scaryice said ... (8:12 PM, August 21, 2009) : 

Once a player becomes a full time starter, they usually graduate. It's just that very few have done that as a rookie in recent years.

Guys like Edu, Dempsey, Marshall, and Wynne all did it.


Blogger Mike said ... (10:34 AM, August 22, 2009) : 

I'd expect Zoltan to be protected over Souter for KC. his first impression aside, he seems more likely to play a role in the future than Souter at this point. It also depends on the terms of his loan deal since he's on loan from his Hungarian club.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:40 AM, August 22, 2009) : 

For New England you did a pretty good job. Larentowicz is currently in the last year of his contract and looks unlikely to resign. Therefore, he might be exposed in order to protect Badilla or Castro. You are right about protecting Osei over Dube and Jankauskas. Dube is nothing special and should be easily replaceable. Jankauskas is old and struggles with the MLS physicality.
It's also worth nothing that Albright is from Philly and that Larentowicz is from Penn so that cause extra interest from the new team.


Blogger jason said ... (11:53 AM, August 22, 2009) : 

Wynne, Marshall, and Dempsey all took two years to graduate, even though they got major minutes. I would seriously doubt that they push to graduate so many players in one year.


Blogger scaryice said ... (3:18 PM, August 22, 2009) : 

None of those players took two years to graduate, Jason. You're wrong.


Blogger Lee Haber said ... (5:33 PM, August 25, 2009) : 

There's no way Toronto is leaving Attakora unprotected. I'd switch him with Nick Garcia


Blogger Duane Rollins said ... (9:38 AM, August 26, 2009) : 

What Lee said. Attakora is considered a core part of TFC moving forward.


Anonymous Trevor Brooks said ... (7:51 PM, August 31, 2009) : 

I'd also expect to see TFC leave Carl Robinson unprotected and to in turn protect Amadou Sanyang who has been playing every game since turning old enough to play.

Robinson's $300K a year salary is too high to pay for a holding midfielder in this league and no other team would be stupid enough to take on that contract.

I also wouldn't be surprised if they left Jim Brennan unprotected.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:54 AM, September 05, 2009) : 

love all 3 most likely picks from columbus. can even add zayner, any of them 4 would be great for philly


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