Metro expansion draft history
December 7, 2014
Are you excited about this year's expansion draft? Of course, you're not. Duh. It's a chance for MLS's newest teams to pick up some low-priced scrubs. What borderline bench player will we lose to NYCFC and Orlando? Well, if recent history is to be believed, it might be... none.
1997: Chicago and Miami
Bob Bradley, who helped the expansion Fire to the MLS Cup, did so with the help of three Metro players. None was more essential than Zach Thornton, the backup to Tony Meola who blossomed when given the reigns in Chicago. Thornton beat out Mexican international Jorge Campos for the starting job, and then was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. Also taken were Manny Lagos and Andrew Lewis. The former did not play much with the Fire, missing most of his season-and-a-half there with injury, before becoming a key performer in Tampa Bay and San Jose. The latter, who Bradley coached at Princeton, spent four fruitful seasons in Chicago in a reserve role. Strangest player protected: Carlos Parra. Best player exposed, but not taken: Kerry Zavagnin. (Of course, he was absolute crap with Metro, but went on to have a good career elsewhere.)
2004: Salt Lake and Chivas USA
Both players taken from Metro never played a minute in MLS after their departure. Craig Ziadie went to Chivas USA, but did not sign with the team. Pablo Brenes was taken by Salt Lake, but was traded out of the league to Costa Rica's Saprissa for Douglas Sequiera (who immediately, in the most MLS of moves, was sent to Chivas USA). Strangest player protected: Tenywa Bonseu. Best player exposed, but not taken: Jonny Walker.
Ah, the Mo Johnston draft. Almost all of the players taken by Trader Mo were gone long before the season even started. Same was the case with Danny O'Rourke, who Toronto immediately sent to Columbus for an allocation. Metro also traded with their former coach, dumping Edson Buddle for Tim Regan, taken by Johnston from Chivas USA. Strangest player protected: Elie Ikangu. Best player exposed, but not taken: John Wolyniec.
2007: San Jose
We always had a soft spot for Joe Vide, who acquitted himself well during his time here. After being taken, he spent half of the year in San Jose, before being traded to DC, and finishing his MLS career soon after. Strangest player protected: none (Claudio Reyna had a no-trade clause). Best player exposed, but not taken: Mike Magee.
We'll always be annoyed about how this went. RBNY decided to cut ties with Jeff Parke, only one of the steadiest defenders in team history, a long-time servant who survived regime after regime. Parke went on to start three years for the Sounders, shifted to Philly, and is now with the Scum (ugh). Strangest player protected: Jorge Rojas. Best player exposed, but not taken: Mike Magee, again! Oh, and John Wolyniec, too.
The Worms took Nick Zimmerman, a little-used reserve midfielder. His claim to fame? He never appeared in a New York win. That didn't change much in Philly, where he lasted a season. Since then, he has become a useful minor league player. Strangest players protected: Ernst Oebster and Carlos Johnson (it's hard to choose). Best player exposed, but not taken: Mike Petke. Oh, and John Wolyniec.
2010: Portland and Vancouver
Metro did not lose any players. Portland passed because, prior to the draft, Metro traded Jeremy Hall to them for a third round pick. Strangest player protected: Chris Albright. Best player exposed, but not taken: Juan Pablo Angel.
No player was taken. Strangest player protected: Stephen Keel (it would be Rafa Marquez, but he had a no-trade clause). Best player exposed, but not taken: Brian Nielsen! (Just kidding... Carlos Mendes?)