Saturday, August 22, 2009

2009 Expansion Draft Preview - Western Conference

Part two of the expansion draft preview. The Eastern conference was covered yesterday, and can be found here.


Protected Available Exempt
Jonathan Bornstein Chukwudi Chijindu
Justin Braun Yamith Cuesta
Bobby Burling Jim Curtin
Maykel Galindo Jorge Flores
Sacha Kljestan Kevin Harmse
Michael Lahoud Ante Jazic
Jesse Marsch
Dan Kennedy
Paulo Nagamura
Eduardo Lillingston
Shavar Thomas
Gerson Mayen

Zach Thornton
Jesus Padilla

Mariano Trujillo Lance Parker

Ante Razov

Maicon Santos

Marcelo Saragosa

Bojan Stepanovic

Claudio Suarez

Carey Talley

Lawson Vaughn

Sasha Victorine

Cesar Zamora

If this list of players seems larger than normal to you, then you're right. Chivas currently have an astounding 31 players on their roster, 7 more than the limit of 24. That's due to the large number of injured players on the disabled list: Curtin, Harmse, Kennedy, Razov, Suarez, Vaughn, and Zamora. I believe that's the current list.

Despite the large roster, they don't have too many obvious candidates to protect. Curtin, Flores, Razov, Talley, Vaughn, and Victorine all weren't protected last year, and likely won't be again. Thornton wasn't protected last year as well, but he's played well in 2009 and is cheap, so he might be one of the 11 this time.

Burling and Lahoud are the guys on the bubble. The former has missed most of the season, but he was protected last year and Preki obviously likes him. Lahoud probably has a better chance of being picked than most of the older vets, so he's a good candidate. However, I'm thinking Chijindu may pass one of them up by season's end if he hasn't already.

Padilla or any of the other loan signings are unlikely to be protected or chosen, like Marco Pappa last year.

Most likely picks: Chijindu, Curtin, Razov

Curtin is from the Philly area and played with Peter Nowak in Chicago. Perfect fit? What are the odds he takes somebody from Chivas who didn't play for the Fire? Razov's contract is much cheaper than last year's (140k, previously 255k), so that makes him both more likely to be taken and protected.


Protected Available Exempt
Mehdi Ballouchy Julien Baudet Ciaran O'Brien
Conor Casey Preston Burpo Rob Valentino
Colin Clark Steward Ceus
Omar Cummings Greg Dalby
Cory Gibbs Facundo Diz
Jordan Harvey Ty Harden
Ugo Ihemelu Michael Holody
Pablo Mastroeni Kosuke Kimura
Nick LaBrocca Pat Noonan
Matt Pickens Scott Palguta
Jamie Smith Jacob Peterson

Ross Schunk

One of the easiest teams to sort out.

With a full lineup, Noonan isn't a starter for the Rapids and seems on course to be exposed in the draft. Peterson's going to get more playing time with Clark's season ending injury, but he's behind him in the pecking order. Kimura, meanwhile, isn't a sure starter in every match like Harvey on the left side. He was unprotected a year ago and should lose out to his fellow defenders Gibbs, Ihemelu, and the aforementioned Harvey.

Most likely picks: Kimura, Noonan, Peterson


Protected Available Exempt
Jair Benitez Ray Burse
Eric Avila
Jeff Cunningham
Martin Chavez
Bruno Guarda
Kyle Davies
Steve Purdy
Peri Marosevic
David Ferreira
Andre Rocha
Brek Shea
Atiba Harris
Alvaro Sanchez
Josh Lambo
George John
Daniel Torres
Anthony Wallace
Dax McCarty
Blake Wagner
Drew Moor

Pablo Ricchetti

Dario Sala

Dave van den Bergh

One bit of good news for Dallas this season: the large number of Generation Adidas players means that they don't have to worry about losing any of their young guys. Six GAs on the roster currently, and none have even an outside shot to graduate.

The three internationals: I went with Benitez, Ferreira, and Ricchetti. Chavez is really the only other option. Rocha and Sanchez are going nowhere, while Harris, Sala, and van den Bergh all hold green cards. Chavez might end up overtaking Ferreira, though both are on loans and shouldn't be picked either way.

Would an older veteran like Cunningham or Sala really be selected by the Union? I don't think they can take that chance, so it looks like Wagner's unprotected. He's had four years to grab a full time starting role, and hasn't.

Most likely picks: Burse, Purdy, Wagner


Protected Available Exempt
Bobby Boswell Corey Ashe Danny Cruz
Geoff Cameron Wade Barrett
Brian Ching Mike Chabala
Ricardo Clark Ryan Cochrane
Brad Davis Tyler Deric
Andrew Hainault Tally Hall
Stuart Holden John Michael Hayden
Kei Kamara Richard Mulrooney
Luis Angel Landin Pat Onstad
Brian Mullan Eddie Robinson
Dominic Oduro Erik Ustruck

Craig Waibel

Cam Weaver

Some good players up for grabs here. The Dynamo's protected list is pretty predictable. Like last year, Ashe/Barrett/Mulrooney/Onstad are set to be left out.

One year ago, Houston was forced to protect Guy-Roland Kpene due to the rules regarding foreign players even though they immediately waived him afterwards. It didn't affect anything because of the agreement with the Sounders to let them get Nate Jaqua, but it's always fascinating to see teams protect players whom they obviously wouldn't otherwise. RSL protected Cameron Knowles in the same fashion after the 2006 season.

This year, Houston only has three internationals (Kamara holds a green card), so they only are required to protect two. Hainault and Landin are the obvious choices. However, I'm betting Oduro will be on the list as well, which means that Robinson will be exposed. The defense is once again the best in the league this year without him, and he might not even get on the field before the season ends. Also, they gave up a lot for Oduro which means that they value him pretty highly.

Most likely picks: Ashe, Robinson, Weaver


Protected Available Exempt
David Beckham Gregg Berhalter Tristan Bowen
Chris Birchall Alan Gordon
Edson Buddle Leonard Griffin
A.J. DeLaGarza Bryan Jordan
Landon Donovan Jovan Kirovski
Todd Dunivant Chris Klein
Alecko Eskandarian Dema Kovalenko
Omar Gonzalez Eddie Lewis
Sean Franklin Yohance Marshall
Mike Magee Stefani Miglioranzi
Donovan Ricketts Kyle Patterson

Tony Sanneh

Josh Saunders

Julian Valentin

Gonzalez is a full time starter and will graduate from GA. DeLaGarza has also become a starter and can't be left off. It's the vets who are most expendable. Klein was unprotected last season, and he should be joined by Berhalter, Kovalenko, and Lewis. Due to the former Chicago and DC connections, Kovalenko is the only one who seems like a possible Philadelphia/Nowak selection.

Gordon and Jordan were protected a year ago, but then again so were Troy Roberts and Alvaro Pires (another amusing "required international"). It seems highly unlikely that they'd be protected again. Eskandarian and Magee are more valuable.

Most likely picks: Gordon, Jordan, Kovalenko


Protected Available Exempt
Kyle Beckerman Jean Alexandre Alex Nimo
Tony Beltran Raphael Cox Chris Seitz
Nat Borchers Rachid El Khalifi
Pablo Campos Fabian Espindola
Robbie Findley Ned Grabavoy
Nelson Gonzalez David Horst
Will Johnson Clint Mathis
Javier Morales Yura Movsisyan
Jamison Olave Kyle Reynish
Nick Rimando Robbie Russell
Chris Wingert Andy Williams

Campos holds a green card, and they seem pretty high on him. Like Houston and Oduro, they gave up a couple of draft picks for him. Mathis and Williams weren't protected last year and shouldn't be again. Meanwhile, Movsisyan is already leaving the league.

The only questions here are:

The third international after Morales and Olave? Might be Gonzalez over El Khalifi and Espindola due to his age and the comments from the RSL people about how he's more a player for the future.

Russell left out? Beltran probably will graduate from GA status. If he does, then Russell seemingly is the odd man out.

Most likely picks: Alexandre, Grabavoy, Russell

I'm not sure I see any likely picks here.


Protected Available Exempt
Osvaldo Alonso Terry Boss
Brad Evans Evan Brown
Leo Gonzalez Ben Dragavon
Jhon Kennedy Hurtado Chris Eylander
Nate Jaqua Taylor Graham
Freddie Ljungberg Patrick Ianni
Sebastien Le Toux Kasey Keller
Fredy Montero Stephen King
Sanna Nyassi Roger Levesque
James Riley Tyrone Marshall
Steve Zakuani Lamar Neagle

Zach Scott

Nathan Sturgis

Peter Vagenas

Tyson Wahl

Again, there's a big GA question. I think Zakuani should graduate. He probably takes a spot away from one of the young, lackluster defenders: Ianni or Sturgis.

Not much else to discuss. Keller, at his age (39) and and his salary ($300,000), is off limits. Marshall is also old and has a higher salary (~150k). Even though Sigi Schmid is a big fan, he also should be exposed.

Unfortunately, Riley won't get a chance to be selected for a third straight expansion draft. Now that he's found a home in the league, he can sleep comfortably in his oxygen tent.

BTW, that's a great article. It's from two years ago, and while getting the link I couldn't help but notice Brian Ching is mentioned as one of the athletes who has "tried sleeping at simulated altitude." A lot of good that did him in Mexico!

Most likely picks: Ianni, King, Sturgis


Protected Available Exempt
Arturo Alvarez Ramiro Corrales
Quincy Amarikwa Fabio da Silva
Joe Cannon Simon Elliott
Bobby Convey Mike Graczyk
Cornell Glen Darren Huckerby
Jason Hernandez Chris Leitch
Ryan Johnson Aaron Pitchkolan
Andre Luiz Antonio Ribeiro
Brandon McDonald Jamil Roberts
Shea Salinas Andrew Weber
Ramon Sanchez Chris Wondolowski

Michael Zaher

Despite the disappointment and high salary, Convey should still be protected. First, Huckerby's contract is up and he might not be back, so they could use him. Second, he obviously has talent despite the poor season. Maybe it'll take him a year to adjust like with Reading? Finally, letting him go to his hometown of Philadelphia is too perfect of a situation to just let happen for free. Even if the Quakes don't want him back, I'm sure they can get something of value via a trade.

Hmm. That makes me second guess leaving Justin Mapp off the Fire's list yesterday. Anyway, Glen is a lock to be one of the foreign players protected. They'll need two of the other four: Luiz/Ribeiro/Sanchez/Silva.

How high are they on Wondolowski and Zaher? Probably not as high as they are on Amarikwa and McDonald, so I have them getting exposed. Leitch is a journeyman who will always get time but is never worth too much, like Eric Denton whom they've already parted ways with.

Most likely picks: Pitchkolan, Wondolowski, Zaher


Comments on "2009 Expansion Draft Preview - Western Conference"


Blogger jason said ... (11:58 AM, August 22, 2009) : 

Why would Houston protect Clark? He's already signed a contract in Italy.

Another thing, CUSA waived Lawson Vaughn.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:50 PM, August 22, 2009) : 

No contract signing for Clark that I know of. Dynamo still want him though both he and Holden will be out of contract and should get major offers - particularly Holden.

Chabala will be gone if left unprotected IMO. He should be out LB of the future, again IMO.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:11 PM, August 22, 2009) : 

I really doubt Seattle protects Le Toux and leaves Keller exposed. I know you think Keller is "safe" at $300,000 but he is practically part of the management structure in Seattle already. They are not going to expose him and be forced to trade to get him back.


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

I'm pretty sure Vaughn is still with Chivas, unless you can show me otherwise.

It makes sense to protect Clark even if he's leaving. If they offer him a contract which he turns down, then they'll hold his rights if he ever comes back (like the Fire did with Will Johnson).


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:33 AM, August 26, 2009) : 

What about the situation regarding Jeff Parke?

Seattle holds his rights and I believe he is a Philadelphia native?

I also believe he will have to play out his suspension from when he was with NYRB.

Are his rights up for grab in the expansion draft? Philly could take one player from Seattle, or any other team, and trade that player back to Seattle for his rights?


Blogger scaryice said ... (5:10 AM, August 26, 2009) : 

If Seattle offered him a contract, then they should have his rights indefinitely.

Philly definitely could take a Seattle player and trade him right back to them for Parke, like Toronto did when they took Jason Kreis from RSL, although I'm not sure who would fit that bill. I suppose maybe Keller; maybe it wouldn't be so smart to leave him off after all.

But Parke is not going to be in the expansion draft because it's only for players currently on MLS rosters.


Blogger J.S. Baldari said ... (2:46 PM, August 26, 2009) : 

I like the Burse pick a lot. I've seen him in action with the Portland Timbers, and he definitely has the ability to be a stalwart in goal for the Union.


Anonymous Union4Life said ... (8:10 PM, August 28, 2009) : 

Curtin wants to come to Philly. Read it yourself in this pretty in-depth profile about his career. Pretty interesting.


Anonymous Dave Clark said ... (11:30 AM, August 29, 2009) : 

Parke served his suspension while with Whitecaps.

scary, doesn't MLS cap the DL at four players?

Keller won't be available. There is no way it happens.

Lastly, how would a player graduate from GA prior to their GA contract being complete?


Blogger scaryice said ... (5:24 AM, August 30, 2009) : 

I don't believe there are any DL caps, or Chivas wouldn't have so many players.

I suppose Keller being protected instead of Le Toux is a decent bet. I don't think it would be a huge shock to leave Keller off though.

About the GA players, the roster status changing doesn't mean that the contract changes.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:43 PM, September 07, 2009) : 

Why do you say Gonzalez and Zakuani will graduate GA? I thought GA was a 3 year deal.


Blogger scaryice said ... (5:33 AM, September 08, 2009) : 

Once GA players become regular starters, they graduate from GA status and then have to be included on the senior roster. I guess the logic behind it is once they've proven they can start, they then don't need the roster protection.


Blogger Ragsdale said ... (1:17 PM, November 23, 2009) : 

You're smoking crack if you think Keller will be left available. At least I hope you are.

If I were part of Seattle's management I'd make two changes from your list. Keep Keller and Patrick Ianni. Leave Le Toux and Nyassi avaiable.


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