MLS: Jay Bell’s Expanding Viewpoint

TSG’s Jay Bell takes a look at the MLS club non-protected lists.

On Wednesday, Portland and Vancouver will take the first steps in truly building their MLS teams. Each will select 10 players who they feel will best fit the direction and identity of the team. Both look to be more ambitious than Philadelphia was last season, who went with youth. Both teams have already signed initial players and look to add more outside of the MLS avenues. Vancouver is likely to carry several more over from their Division 2 squad.

We take a look at what the lists of unprotected players means for each team as well as potential targets of the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Chicago Fire’s list: Nery Castillo, Andrew Dykstra, Collins John, Krzysztof Krol, Freddie Ljungberg, Peter Lowry, Dasan Robinson, John Thorrington, Deris Umanzor.

What it means for them: Not much really. Chicago was able to protect all of their valued assets. Their unprotected list is filled with players that would be risks for Vancouver or Portland, but that Chicago could still build off of. Goalkeepers are not likely to be picked in the expansion draft and the Designated Players are too risky for the new teams.

What it means for the expansion draft: Lowry and Robinson could be targeted for valuable depth. Thorrington could also be looked to for a reliable veteran presence.

Chivas USA’s list: Carlos Borja, Jonathan Bornstein,Chukwudi Chijindu, Rodolfo Espinoza, Maykel Galindo, Alan Gordon, Dan Kennedy, Eduardo Lillingston, Giancarlo Maldonado, Gerson Mayen, Jesus Padilla, Osael Romero, Marcelo Saragosa, Mariano Trujillo, Alex Zotinca.

What it means for them: Chivas seems to be daring them to select one or two of their Hispanic attackers. Meanwhile Braun, Zizzo, Gavin, Lahoud, etc. are all protected. Chivas likely has a different plan than the one Vasquez had in mind.

What it means for the expansion draft: Chivas’ risky players cost less than Chicago’s, so they’re more tempting. An accomplished player like Maldonado may benefit in a different system and the expansion teams like players with upside, like Padilla.

Cummings, protected, but probably going...

Colorado Rapids’ list: Andre Akpan, Quincy Amarikwa, Stewart Ceus, Ian Joyce, Ross LaBauex, Claudio Lopez, Ciaran O’Brien, Scott Palguta, Ross Schunk, Wells Thompson, Peter Vagenas, Anthony Wallace.

What it means for them: Colorado protected their spine. That includes Cummings despite the possibility of losing him this summer. They never had great depth this season anyway, so they will need to address that this offseason.

What it means for the expansion draft: Two names jump off of this list: Wells Thompson and Anthony Wallace. Both became regulars down the stretch for the new MLS Cup champions. Wallace is young with upside; a perfect candidate. If they lose one, expect the other two switch to the protected list.

Columbus Crew’s list: Eric Brunner, Kevin Burns, Jason Garey, Leandre Griffit, Andy Gruenebaum, Frankie Hejduk, Adam Moffat, Duncan Oughton, Gino Padula, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Joshua Williams.

What it means for them: The Crew has already declined the options on its oldest players and will not have the grind of the Champions League next season. They’re looking to go younger and build for the next several years.

What it means for the expansion draft: Portland and Vancouver probably won’t select a goalkeeper, but if they did, Gruenebaum would be the one to target. Brunner, Garey, Griffit, Moffat, and Oughton are all solid MLS players. Columbus should lose two in the draft.

DC United’s list: Dan Allsopp, Brandon Barklage, Adam Cristman, Jordan Graye, Pablo Hernandez, Devon McTavish, Kurt Morsink, Juan Pena, Troy Perkins, Barry Rice, Carlos Varela..

What it means for them: Injuries ravaged a team that felt like they had a chance to make the playofffs. They hope to get the pieces back together this year. There is not much risk on the unprotected list as Hernandez never produced as they hoped.

What it means for the expansion draft: Portland and Vancouver are left with slim pickings. The better players are the riskiest in Perkins and Hernandez. One of them may take a flier on Barklage, Cristman, or McTavish late in the draft.

FC Dallas’ list: Eric Avila, Jeff Cunningham, Kyle Davies, Edson Edward, Bruno Guarda, Atiba Harris, Daniel Hernandez, Dax McCarty, Milton Rodriguez, Dario Sala, Jason Yeisley.

What it means for them: This team was deep and it shows. Dallas was just unable to protect all of their important pieces. The players that they do not lose will help them in their Champions League quest next season.

Dax going somewhere....

What it means for the expansion draft: How does Dax McCarty not get taken? He is a midfield cog that would provide experience, work rate, bite, etc. that is all desired in an expansion midfield. Avila, Guarda, and Harris are also dynamic young attacking players. Davies could get snatched up also unless he is put on the protected list after McCarty is taken.

Houston Dynamo’s list: Samuel Appiah, Corey Ashe, Ryan Cochrane, Richard Mulrooney, Joseph Ngwenya, Anthony Obodai, Dominic Oduro, Pat Onstad, Eddie Robinson.

What it means for them: Houston locked up their midfield and defense. TSG interviewee Geoff Cameron said they felt like they had the pieces. He’s probably right. Without any extra competitions, Houston’s core and a potential Designated Player (Gio . . . ?) should push for the playoffs again.

What it means for the expansion draft: If either team wants to athleticism, Ashe and Oduro can give them that. What if Vancouver wants to solidify their defensive depth and select Robinson? Is the league ready for a Demerit/Robinson pairing?

Los Angeles Galaxy’s list: Gregg Berhalter, Alex Cazumba, Leonardo Da Silva, Bryan Jordan, Jovan Kirovski, Dema Kovalenko, Mike Magee, Yohance Marshall, Brian Perk, Josh Saunders.

What it means for them: Retirements have already affected the team and there may be more. They were already going to need to get younger soon.

What it means for the expansion draft: Bryan Jordan would be a valuable hustle player in an inaugural season. Mike Magee is the most likely to be picked.

New England Revolution’s list: Zak Boggs, Preston Burpo, Nico Colaluca, Kheli Dube, Cory Gibbs, Jason Griffiths, Roberto Linck, Tim Murray, Pat Phelan, Seth Sinovic, Khano Smith, Ilija Stolica.

What it means for them: The team is finally moving forward past Ralston and Twellman. Kraft will have to allow Nicol to pick up some pieces if this team will return to the playoffs.

What it means for the expansion draft: Gibbs is 30, but how would that be for solidifying an expansion defense? New England should lose two with Phelan and Sinovic as the prime candidates.

New York Red Bulls’ list: Juan Pablo Angel, Andrew Boyens, Conor Chinn, Austin da Luz, Irving Garcia, Brian Nielsen, Carl Robinson, Ibrahim Salou, Luke Sassano, Greg Sutton, Carey Talley, Sinisa Ubiparipovic.

What it means for them:: With retirements, New York protected their important assets.

What it means for the expansion draft: They’re not going to pick up the salaries of Robinson or Salou. Angel is out already. Sassano and Ubiparipovic are workhorses in the midfield. One could get taken. Chinn and da Luz are also young players with upside.

Philadelphia Union’s list: Cristian Arrieta, Eduardo Coudet, Fred, Andrew Jacobson, Brad Knighton, Stefani Miglioranzi, Alejandro Moreno, Joseph Noone, Shea Salinas, Chris Seitz, Nick Zimmerman.

What it means for them: Nowak is staying with his plan. The team was young this season and they’ll still be young next season.

What it means for the expansion draft: Neither Vancouver nor Portland should go after older guys with big salaries: Arrieta, coudet, Fred, Migs, and Moreno. The team is young, but there are a lot of them. Philadelphia may lose two out of Jacobsen, Salinas, and Zimmerman.

Real Salt Lake’s list: Jean Alexandre, Pablo Campos, Robbie Findley, Nelson Gonzalez, Ned Grabavoy, David Horst, Rauwshan McKenzie, Timothy Melia, Alex Nimo, Kyle Reynish, Robbie Russell, Chris Shuler, Collen Warner, Andy Williams.

What it means for them: Same core going going forward.

What it means for the expansion draft RSL isn’t really risking losing Russell and Williams because of their age. The expansion sides may be interested in Alexandre or Grabavoy, as well as Warner and Gonzalez. Findley is trying his chances in Europe, but that would be a high-reward risk if he gets taken in the 9th or 10th rounds.

San Jose Earthquakes’ list: Arturo Alvarez, Andre Luiz, Steve Beitashour, Bobby Burling, Joe Cannon, Ramiro Corrales, Eduardo, Geovanni, Cornell Glen, Chris Leitch, Justin Morrow, Brad Ring, Tim Ward.

What it means for them: Yallop’s bunch will be back at it again next year if Wondolowski can keep the goals flowing.

What it means for the expansion draft: Geovanni is left out there, but Portland and Vancouver probably have their own ideas for DP’s. Arturo Alvarez is a dynamic attacker not common in the unprotected lists. Burling and Ward are the most likely to be selected.

Seattle Sounders FC’s list: Julian Baudet, Terry Boss, Danny Earls, David Estrada, Leonardo Gonzalez, Taylor Graham, Patrick Ianni, Roger Levesque, Tyrone Marshall, Miguel Montano, Blaise Nkufo, Pat Noonan, Sanna Nyassi, Zach Scott, Michael Seamon, Nathan Sturgis, Tyson Wahl.

What it means for them:: The Sounders had a deep squad. They needed one to win the US Open Cup, make the MLS playoffs, and compete in Champions League.

What it means for the expansion draft: I said Alvarez was rare in this draft, but Nyassi is here too. The Sounders are riddled with talented youngsters: Ianni, Montano, Seamon, Sturgis, Estrada, Wahl, etc. Gonzalez and Levesque are two veterans that will be considered. Seattle is another team that could lose two .

Sporting Kansas City’s list: Korede Aiyegbusi, Jamar Beasley, Sunil Chhetri, Jimmy Conrad, Birahim Diop, Zoltan Hercegfalvi, Aaron Hohlbein, Nick Koenenakis, Eric Kronberg, Jonathan Leathers, Chance Myers, Shavar Thomas, Josh Wolff.

What it means for them: The team formerly known as the Wizards did not have a bunch of important pieces this season. Conrad was the oldest and left out.

What it means for the expansion draft: Chance Myers is another young player to build a defense with. Leathers and Thomas are the only other two I could see being picked.

Toronto FC’s list: Chad Barrett, Julian deGuzman, Gabe Gala, Nick Garcia, Raivis Hscanovics, Fuad Ibrahim, Milos Kocic, Miguel Angel Ferrer Martinez, Joseph Nane, Amadou Sanyang, Martin Saric, Maxim Usanov, O’Brian White.

What it means for them: They brought in the German, but this team is still in turmoil. For a team that should be trying to get younger, they left most of their best young players unprotected.

What it means for the expansion draft: Almost everybody seems like a possibility depending on what direction Vancouver and Portland take. Attackers (Ibrahim, White, Barrett), midfielders (Saris, Sanyang, Nane, etc.), and defenders (Hscanovics, Usanov). A lot of those players seem like they could thrive in a better situation.

35 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Iggystar on 2010/11/23 at 1:26 PM

    Bit surprised at Dax McCarty being protected.


    • Posted by Iggystar on 2010/11/23 at 1:26 PM



      • Dallas just had great depth. They wanted to keep their defense intact, hence protecting Benitez, Pearce, Ihemelu, Jackson, Loyd, and John.

        Despite their importance, tough CMs are pretty abundant in MLS and Dallas may feel that they can replace McCarty if they need to.


  2. Posted by 4now on 2010/11/23 at 2:09 PM

    Thanks for the detailed review!
    I think, as far as goalkeepers are concerned, Saunders, Knighton and Kennedy would all have to be ranked ahead of the Hebrew Hammer…

    Will be interesting to see what happens. I hope Lowry gets selected. I think he’s someone that could really shine if given the opportunity.


  3. Posted by Kejsare on 2010/11/23 at 2:17 PM

    Must nitpick, even if it still offends some of my brethren, that Portland logo is for the USL Timbers. For any further Timbers MLS postings use the new-new one.


  4. Posted by Seybold on 2010/11/23 at 3:05 PM

    Complements to both on the quality of the logos, especially Vancouver’s–it captures the scenery from the city quite well.


  5. Posted by sparkie on 2010/11/23 at 4:39 PM

    combing the sounders list yesterday….i think leo gonzalez and nyassi are on their way out.


    • Makes it an easier decision for Sigi to start Fernandez instead of rolling the dice on Nyassi being able to out play aging veteran defenders.


      • Posted by sparkie on 2010/11/23 at 9:22 PM

        agreed. it was curious that Sigi stuck with Nyassi in the starting XI and almost religiously brought El Flaco on in the 60-65th minute. he may not have the pace of nyassi, but is the more finished product (stating the obvious).


  6. Posted by Dougs on 2010/11/24 at 8:49 AM

    I expect Nkufo to go to Vancouver as he requested to be allowed to move there. He mAy even go for non-DP $. That leaves only one other sounder at risk. Probably Nyassi given his youth.


  7. That definitely makes Nkufo and Nyassi the two most likely to be selected from Seattle.

    Now the fun question is who does Seattle go after for their other two DP slots?


  8. […] The Shin Guardian: Jay Bell’s expanding viewpoint […]


  9. Posted by John on 2010/11/24 at 12:37 PM



  10. Posted by John on 2010/11/24 at 12:45 PM

    The Timbers are drafting the all “We want to leave the states to improve our game” team.

    Jonathon Bornstein.

    I love Jonathon Bornstein.



  11. Posted by John on 2010/11/24 at 2:43 PM

    Well here is the whole list

    Round 1:
    No. 1 Portland – midfielder Dax McCarty (FC Dallas).
    No. 2 Vancouver – midfielder Sanna Nyassi (Seattle Sounders FC).

    Round 2:
    No. 3 Portland – defender Eric Brunner (Columbus Crew).
    No. 4 Vancouver – forward Atiba Harris (FC Dallas).

    Round 3:
    No. 5 Portland – midfielder Adam Moffat (Columbus Crew).
    No. 6 Vancouver – defender Nathan Sturgis (Seattle Sounders FC).

    Round 4:
    No. 7 Portland – defender Anthony Wallace (Colorado Rapids).
    No. 8 Vancouver – midfielder Shea Salinas (Philadelphia Union).

    Round 5:
    No. 9 Portland – defender David Horst (Real Salt Lake).
    No. 10 Vancouver – forward Alan Gordon (Chivas USA).

    Round 6:
    No. 11 Portland – forward Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake).
    No. 12 Vancouver – forward – O’Brian White (Toronto FC).

    Round 7:
    No. 13 Portland – midfielder Peter Lowry (Chicago Fire).
    No. 14 Vancouver – forward Alejandro Moreno (Philadelphia Union).

    Round 8:
    No. 15 Portland – defender Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA).
    No. 16 Vancouver – goalkeeper Joe Cannon (San Jose Earthquakes).

    Round 9:
    No. 17 Portland – defender Jordan Graye (D.C. United).
    No. 18 Vancouver – defender Jonathan Leathers (Sporting Kansas City).

    Round 10
    No. 19 Portland – midfielder Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes).
    No. 20 Vancouver – midfielder John Thorrington (Chicago Fire).


  12. Posted by John on 2010/11/24 at 2:47 PM

    Annnnnd one more thing.

    The Portland Timbers today acquired defender/midfielder Rodney Wallace from D.C. United and the lower of United’s two fourth-round draft picks in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for midfielder Dax McCarty and allocation money. Timbers general manager/technical director Gavin Wilkinson made the announcement.

    Wallace, 22, was originally a first-round selection (6th overall) of D.C. United in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Maryland. As both a defender and midfielder, Wallace played 39 regular-season games and made 36 starts over his two years with United (2009-10), compiling three goals and five assists.

    “Rodney is a young, yet proven MLS player who again gives us great versatility with his ability to play several positions,” Wilkinson said.


    • Posted by Iggystar on 2010/11/24 at 4:44 PM

      United finally have someone other than Najar to be thankful over, just in time for Thanksgiving.

      Is weird (or stereotypically American) that one of the things I love about MLS is the Drafts, especially the expansion draft?


    • Posted by dth on 2010/11/24 at 4:52 PM

      Shocked that D.C. United was able to parlay Wallace–who’s a left back (they already have a left back named Wallace!)–into a really good midfielder and allocation money. Great trade for them. Hopefully they’ll be less dire next year.


    • Posted by Iggystar on 2010/11/24 at 5:09 PM

      In Addition to trading Dax away, picking Bornstein (going to Tigres), and Findley (it’s Findley, plus he has those aspirations of playing in Europe) can someone explain to me what Portland is doing?

      Vancouver on the other hand had a great draft.


      • Posted by John on 2010/11/24 at 5:26 PM

        AS well,

        The Portland Timbers today acquired allocation money from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for defender Anthony Wallace, who was selected in today’s 2010 Major League Soccer Expansion Draft. Also, the Timbers received the higher of Real Salt Lake’s two second-round picks (No. 22 overall) in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for midfielder Arturo Alvarez, the club’s No. 10 pick in the Expansion Draft. Timbers general manager/technical director Gavin Wilkinson made the announcement.


        • Posted by John on 2010/11/24 at 5:36 PM

          I think the moral of the story is that Wilkinson doesn’t think much of the talent in the expansion draft and is willing to trade to get more picks in the full draft.


      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/11/24 at 8:22 PM

        The question is if Bornstein and Findley are out of contract. If they aren’t it’s a good move because they get overpayed for overpriced players that they didn’t want in the first place, and never played a single game, so they don’t have pay their salaries. All they did really was pick up the paycheck from Chivas USA and RSL. However, if they are out of contract I don’t really see what they’re doing besides maybe trying to use them as leverage for a trade.


        • Both are out of contract. Bornstein has already signed with Tigres and Findley has trialed with Brondby. Findley’s contract is up at the end of the calendar year and is hoping to be picked up by someone in the winter.

          The Findley selection seems like a calculated risk. Its not that unlikely that no foreign club decides to pay him the money he wants and he comes back to MLS. The selection of Bornstein is much more perplexing though because he is already gone. For him to have “value,” he would have to bomb or bail from Mexico pretty quickly.


        • Posted by Kevin on 2010/11/24 at 11:39 PM

          Jay – with that i have no clue what they are thinking. Maybe they figured they could sell the rights to bornstein whether he comes back or not within mls. I dont really know how that would work but findley is probably just them expecting him not to cut it in europe. Its a risk. All clubs involved would be better off if they had selected oduro as their speedy forward.


  13. Posted by Kevin on 2010/11/24 at 8:29 PM

    I’m slightly offended that Houston was untouched. One half of me is offended and the other half is mad that we still have Oduro and Onstad’s overpriced salary. I’m still waiting for the first big move from Dom and so far nothing. I’ve been checking the site every day (don’t say I’m obsessed), and I was hoping this expansion draft would mean some sort of shuffling around. I want to see some changes because not making the playoffs for the first time is a bit of a disgrace. On the other hand, I’m surprised nobody took Mulrooney or Obodai. Neither are great, but they’re both solid CM’s. The most frustrating thing is that we still have Oduro. Portland takes Findley who has speed, but can’t do anything else, but won’t take Oduro. I thought somebody would be naive enough to take him.


  14. Well, it seems pretty clear that both franchises intend to build their roster through other avenues. We should see a bunch of former D-2 players and foreigners signed by Portland and Vancouver.


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