In 2017, MLS will have not one but two new teams entering the league which means an Expansion draft. So, to prepare for the upcoming MLS Expansion Draft SB Nation is holding their own Mock Expansion Draft.
If you are unfamiliar with the MLS Expansion Draft here is how it will work. Both teams will be provided a list of unprotected players who are on the rosters of each team in the league. Teams are required to protect 11 players on its roster excluding Homegrown Players or Generation Adidas players. Teams are also required to protect a certain number of international players depending on how many the have on their roster. Minnesota United FC and Atlanta United FC will each pick five unprotected players. Oh and each team can only lose one player so only half of the existing teams will even lose a player in the draft.
For the Mock Draft, each MLS blog put together their own list of protected players and E Pluribus Loonum (Minnesota) and Dirty South Soccer (Atlanta) selected players from unprotected list.
Who did Dynamo Theory chose to protect?
After a less than stellar 2016 season it was not an easy task to come up with eleven players worth protecting - even harder was predicting who new Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera would want to protect.
Bonus protection pick
Full Dynamo roster (as of 11/28/16)
Goalkeepers (3): Calle Brown, Tyler Deric, Joe Willis
Defenders (4): Agus, Jalil Anibaba, Kevin Garcia, Sheanon Williams
Midfielders (6): Alex, Eric Alexander, Ricardo Clark, Boniek García, Christian Lucatero, Andrew Wenger
Forwards (3): Will Bruin, Mauro Manotas, Erick Torres
You protected him?!?!? How could you not protect him?!?!
Did we mention that it was hard? The Dynamo have said that they are still trying to work out contracts with DaMarcus Beasley, David Horst, Raul Rodriguez, and Collen Warner which is why we put Horst and Rodriguez on our protected list. Now it’s totally possible the deals don’t get done and we just protected two players that won’t be under Dynamo protection during the draft, but whatever we do what we want.
Then there’s Cubo Torres. Oy. He is a DP for the Dynamo who hasn’t seen much playing time in orange and he is currently out on loan and that team may or may not want him. But we left him unprotected because he comes with a DP price tag and we can’t see either Atlanta or Minnesota wanting to take that on. So we slapped a protected label on Mantoas (Duh) and Bruin instead.
We also chose to protect Joe Willis if for no other reason than this:
Okay, maaaybe there were other reasons but we will never miss out on a chance to use that photo even if he is wearing the wrong jersey.
There isn’t really a bonus pick option but Brian Ching deserves our protection.
The results of who E Pluribus Loonum and Dirty South Soccer selected will be up later this week. The real Expansion Draft will take place on December 13.