Here is the official list of protected vs. unprotected players the Houston Dynamo released. I like who's been protected and unprotected generally, but I have a few quibbles (below).
HOUSTON, TX. (Monday, November 21, 2011) - The Houston Dynamo have announced their 11-player protected list for the 2012 Expansion Draft to take place on Wednesday, November 23 at 2 p.m. CT. It is then that Major League's Soccer's newest team, the Montreal Impact, will announce their 10 player selections. The event will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com and ImpactMontreal.com.
Each current MLS club has had the opportunity to protect 11 players from their 2011 roster. Generation adidas players (who did not graduate at the end of the 2011 season) and Homegrown players are automatically protected and do not count against a team's 11 protected roster spots. Designated Players do not have to be protected unless the player has a no trade clause in his contract. MLS Clubs may lose no more than one player from their 2011 roster during the Expansion Draft.
The Dynamo's list of 11 protected players is as follows:
Tally Hall (GK)
The nine Dynamo players available to Montreal are:
GOALKEEPERS: Evan Newton
DEFENDERS: Hunter Freeman, Eddie Robinson
MIDFIELDERS: Danny Cruz, Je-Vaughn Watson
FORWARDS: Brian Ching, Carlo Costly, Jason Garey, Cam Weaver
First, many people might read much into the issue that Brian Ching is unprotected, but don't fall into that trap. With Ching's salary and age, but mostly the salary, he will not be picked. The same, unfortunately, will also be true for Hunter Freeman. Similarly, I believe the injury status of both Cam Weaver and Jason Garey make them unlikely to be picked.
The rest of the unprotected list is unsurprising, except for one, Danny Cruz. I have to wonder why Calen Carr or the oft-injured Colin Clark were protected and Danny was not. I mean, I know both Carr and Clark have value, significant value. But Cruz has tremendous upside, is younger than both of those players,and proved his worth by starting the MLS Cup final, as well as every playoff game. Clark meanwhile was nursing some sort of mysterious injury that never landed him on the injured list. And when he finally did get in the playoffs, in the final, he was invisible.
Again, don't get me wrong. I have great esteem for both Carr and Clark, but I would have switched Clark and Cruz on these lists. I also admit that I am ignorant as to the salary commitments to both players. Would anyone care to enlighten me on these points?
Suffice to say that when it come time for the expansion draft on Wednesday, I am seriously hoping that the Impact look at our list, especially at Cruz, say "Non. Pas d'orange" and move right along.