Expansion Draft is creeping up
November 9, 2004
With the Expansion Draft set for November 19th, Bob Bradley's plan for Metro offseason will soon start to unravel. While the MLS has announced the draft rules, there are still some things left unclear on what exactly the player statuses are. Here are the official rules:
The 2005 Expansion draft will be 10 rounds
Each MLS team shall be allowed to protect 12 Senior Roster players
Each MLS team may leave unprotected only one Senior International
An MLS team may lose no more than three (3) players during the Expansion Draft
After a player has been selected from an existing team, such team shall have the right to protect an additional player
The important questions are, when will Project-40 players (Eddie Gaven) graduate to the full team, and when will current transitional internationals who will become senior internationals next year (Fabian Taylor) count as such?
Mark Lisi and Craig Ziadie are two players who are not under contract next year and both will likely be exposed (the two longest-serving Metros are also the only two pre-Bradley players). The other big question is Jonny Walker. The Metros hold an option on his contract for the next season, but after the idiotic comments by Nick Sakiewicz, will it be picked up? Does Jonny want to be back here? Does Bradley -- what Sakiewicz thinks is irrelevant -- want Walker?
In either case, exposing Walker would be risky, as the Metros could get more of him on the trade market, if Bradley indeed decides to let him go. The same is the situation with Eddie Pope; he had a sub par season and is near the league's max salary, but he is still a very tradable commodity... If the Metros decide to go in that directions.
So, who are the twelve that the Metros protect? Let's assume Gaven does graduate Project-40 before the draft. Here's MetroFanatic's best guess (* = Senior International):
Protected players (12): Tenywa Bonseu*, Pablo Brenes, Ricardo Clark, Eddie Gaven, Cornell Glen, Amado Guevara*, Chris Leitch, Mike Magee, Jeff Parke, Eddie Pope, Jonny Walker, John Wolyniec
Developmental players who do not need protection (4): Kenny Arena, Michael Bradley, Gilberto Flores, Seth Stammler
Exposed players (7): Sergio Galvan Rey*, Mark Lisi, Tim Regan, Fabian Taylor, Joselito Vaca, Zach Wells, Craig Ziadie
Taylor's loan situation and Vaca's contract situation make them more vulnerable, unless Metros want to use them as trade bait. If Taylor has to be protected because of his senior status next year, he should exchange places with Brenes on the above list. But then again, these are only our best guesses...