Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2010 GA Graduation Predictions

Which players will graduate from Generation Adidas status and have to be protected in the expansion draft come November? I wrote a detailed post last year about how many minutes it takes for 1st and 2nd year players to graduate; it's been updated with the final 2009 stats and can be found here.

Class of 2006
  • Jed Zayner, DC
Really surprised when he was given a 5th year. Only a handful of others have done that. I'm sure Columbus was thinking ahead to this year's draft when they recently traded him. Nobody gets a 6th year, so he's a lock to graduate.

EDIT: It turns out that Zayner is no longer a GA player. He didn't graduate after last season, so he was GA for the expansion draft. However, his contract expired at the end of 2009 and he was signed to a new (non-GA) one for this season.

Class of 2007
  • Nico Colaluca, NE
  • Fuad Ibrahim, TOR
Last season, they surprisingly graduated Chris Seitz and Anthony Wallace yet left these two alone. Wallace only had 826 career minutes compared to Ibrahim's 690 (which was more than Seitz's 630). Getting a 5th year is rare, as I mentioned. Even though Ibrahim is young and is on pace for 400 minutes, he probably still should graduate. The only question is that first year, where he was only 15. I remember there was some weird thing about him not officially joining FC Dallas and not counting on the roster. So I'm inclined to think that even though it goes against the norm, he'll probably be given another year.

Colaluca is pretty irrelevant as he wouldn't be protected anyway. I'll say he graduates (and probably gets cut).

Class of 2008
  • Eric Avila, DAL
  • Roger Espinoza, KC
  • Bruno Guarda, DAL
  • Josh Lambo, DAL
  • Chance Myers, KC
  • Alex Nimo, RSL
  • Ciaran O'Brien, COL
  • Brek Shea, DAL
Espinoza and Shea are locks to graduate. Espinoza was a borderline case last year, while Shea has clearly become a full time starter and impressed. I'd think that the others wouldn't, but you never know after last year with the two third year players who did. Guarda/Lambo/Nimo/O'Brien definitely shouldn't, while for Avila/Myers there might be an outside chance. But have either really nailed down a roster spot? At least you could make that argument with Seitz last year, but not for Anthony Wallace - little playing time, no guaranteed spot, and only 20 years old at the time. It still doesn't make sense.

Class of 2009
  • Danny Cruz, HOU
  • Stefan Frei, TOR
  • Baggio Husidic, CHI
  • Peri Marosevic, DAL
Frei is a stone cold lock. Shocking that he was given another year in the first place. Husidic has become a starter and already played 1,173 minutes. No second year player since 2000 with that many minutes played (1,146+) has ever failed to graduate, so he seems a safe bet. Cruz has already played 871 through 19 games, so he's on pace for 1,375. If he gets over 1,300, there should be no question. He's looked pretty solid for the Dynamo as well. Marosevic is a non-factor.

Class of 2010
  • Corben Bone, CHI
  • Teal Bunbury, KC
  • Dilly Duka, CLB
  • Blair Gavin, CHV
  • Luis Gil, RSL
  • Sean Johnson, CHI
  • Jack McInerney, PHI
  • Danny Mwanga, PHI
  • Amobi Okugo, PHI
  • Ike Opara, SJ
  • Toni Tchani, NY
  • Andrew Wiederman, DAL
Is Sal Zizzo a GA or protected player? I forget. Oh well, it doesn't matter. Let's start with Johnson. Even if he starts every remaining match for the Fire, based on Frei's situation I don't expect graduation. That's the fair outcome given what happened there.

There's only five players with a real chance. That's unlike last year, where it was more a question of who wouldn't. Gavin has started 16/18 matches and already racked up 1,369 minutes. The odds are overwhelming in his favor right now, and he probably only needs four more starts to be a lock.

The other four are Bunbury/Mwanga/Opara/Tchani, and all have an outside chance. Opara was starting full time and on his way to graduation, but broke his foot and will miss the next six weeks. That should pretty much rule him out. He'd have to come back and play 90 in the last 6-7 matches to have a shot. Although it hurts them this year, this should end up helping the Earthquakes by letting them protect another player in the expansion draft and having an extra senior roster spot next year.

The other three basically need to start full time the rest of the season, and I don't see that happening. After five first year graduates last year, we'll likely only see one after 2010. Here's the stats for the contenders (the magic number is about 1,700):

Min GP GS Proj Min
Gavin 1369 16 16 2282
Opara 914 11 10 1613
Bunbury 768 16 7 1280
Tchani 716 15 6 1193
Mwanga 644 12 7 1136

Homegrown Signings

Two contenders here: Tristan Bowen (LA) and Andy Najar (DC). The latter has become a starter and is on pace for 1,800 minutes. He should be favored to graduate. Bowen, however, has yet to lock down a starting place and is only on pace for 1,100 minutes. I know the second year threshold is lower, but I'd bet against his graduation even with a bit more playing time. We don't know if they'll treat these GA's any differently.


9 players are predicted to graduate:

Colaluca, NE
Cruz, HOU
Espinoza, KC
Frei, TOR
Gavin, CHV
Husidic, CHI
Najar, DC
Shea, DAL
Zayner, DC

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Comments on "2010 GA Graduation Predictions"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:39 AM, August 10, 2010) : 

Why is this important?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:34 AM, August 10, 2010) : 

Because if you graduate GA you're no longer exempt from the expansion draft and need to be protected.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:12 AM, August 10, 2010) : 

So why would a team want to do that?


Blogger scaryice said ... (12:42 AM, August 11, 2010) : 

It's not up to teams whether or not players graduate, it's up to the league.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:37 PM, August 20, 2010) : 

not all HomeGrowns are GAs right? i know Bowen is but some of the others recently signed in DCU, COL and FCD seem to have salaries that are only 31,250 (it looks like that proposed Reserves Salary). RBNYs are only at 40K.

i have not seen any guidelines about HomeGrowns and who are/aren't GA and how long somebody can be HG and how long those roster/cap exemptions last.


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