Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Union announce list of players protected from expansion draft

The Philadelphia Union have announced the names of the 10 players they have protected from the Montréal Impact's expansion draft.

Union announce list of players protected from expansion draft


The Philadelphia Union have announced the names of the players they have protected from the Montréal Impact's expansion draft. They are:

GK Faryd Mondragón

D Danny Califf
D Gabriel Farfan
D Carlos Valdés
D Sheanon Williams

M Brian Carroll
M Keon Daniel
M Michael Farfan
M Roger Torres

F Sébastien Le Toux
F Danny Mwanga

Teams were allowed to protect a total of 11 players from their roster, and Homegrown Players and players in the Generation Adidas development program are exempt from the draft. 

Designated Players with no-trade clauses in their contracts must be protected; those that do not have such clauses do not. Since the Union don't have any Designated Players (as of now), those rules doesn't apply to them.

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The Union's only Homegrown Player is midfielder Zach Pfeffer. The Union's current Generation Adidas players are forward Jack McInerney, midfielder Amobi Okugo and goalkeeper Zac MacMath.

Forward Danny Mwanga was a part of Generation Adidas when the Union drafted him with the top overall pick in the 2010 SuperDraft. But he "graduated" from the program because of the amount of playing time he has earned in his career.

This means that the players available for the Impact to select are:

GK Chase Harrison
GK Thorne Holder

D Juan Diego González
D Joe Tait

M Freddy Adu
M Morgan Langley
M Justin Mapp
M Stefani Miglioranzi
M Kyle Nakazawa

F Levi Houapeu
F Veljko Paunović
F Ryan Richter

Yes, Freddy Adu is on that list. Justin Mapp and Veljko Paunović are also notable players who are available.

Having said that, I do not expect Adu to be taken because of his high salary: $594,884 in guaranteed compensation. Players with big salaries rarely get taken in expansion drafts because of how they affect teams' payrolls.

Paunović's $90,000 salary makes him an intriguing possibility for Montréal. But if I had to guess which Union player would be selected, it's Justin Mapp. He and Impact coach Jesse March played together for the Chicago Fire from 2003 to 2005, and Mapp's experience in MLS would be a big help on an expansion team's roster.

Montréal will make its selections Wednesday at 2 p.m. Eastern. The Impact are only allowed to select one player from each team, up to a total of 10 players overall.

We know that Montréal won't select any players from Portland, because of a deal struck earlier this year that was part of a player loan from the Timbers to the Impact.

That increases the chance of a Union player selected, but it's still not a certainty.

Here are some other notable players from across the league who are available for the Expansion Draft:

GK Jon Conway, Chicago Fire (Media, Pa., native with over a decade of MLS experience)

D Adrian Cann, Toronto FC (15 caps for Canada, played for Montréal in the second division from 2004-05)
D Bobby Convey, San Jose Earthquakes (Might the Impact keep him from a Philadelphia homecoming?)
D Carlos Mendes, New York Red Bulls (Seven years and over 10,000 minutes played in MLS)
D Zarek Valentin, Chivas USA (U.S. youth national team stalwart)

M Sanna Nyassi, Colorado Rapids (Five goals and five assists in 2011)
M Santino Quaranta, D.C. United (Would a change of scenery revive his career?)
M Zack Schilawski, New England Revolution (The most potential of a lackluster set)
M Andy Williams, Real Salt Lake (A proven winner with lots of MLS experience)
M Michael Boxall, Vancouver Whitecaps (Versatile player with international experience for New Zealand)

F Brian Ching, Houston Dynamo (A stretch given his contract, but it would be quite a move)
F Chad Barrett, Los Angeles Galaxy (Seven goals and five assists in 2011)
F Jeff Cunningham
, Columbus Crew (MLS' all-time leading goal scorer)

F Michael Fucito, Seattle Sounders (A surprise to me, given his strong peformances this season)
F Soony Saad, Sporting Kansas City (A hotshot scorer in college who still has lots of potential)
F Maicon Santos, FC Dallas (Formerly of Montreal's biggest rival, Toronto FC)

Obviously I put a lot of attacking players on this list, but those are some names that stand out to me.

Want more predictions? How about this group of players as draft picks: Conway, Cann, Mendes, Valentin, Nyassi, Williams, Boxall, Mapp, Fucito, Saad. 

We'll see if any of those turn out to be right.

One player of note who was protected was Whitecaps and former Union midfielder Shea Salinas. Had he been left unprotected, it's possible that he might have been selected in an Expansion Draft for the third consecutive season.

Do you think the Union will lose anyone in the Expansion Draft? Who do you think it will be? Have your say in the comments.

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