Around MLS teams are preparing for the 2010 Expansion Draft and today they announced their respective protected lists of 11 players who will be exempt from selection by the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers in Wednesday’s draft.
Today the Sounders FC announced the 11 players they will protect, led by goalkeeper Kasey Keller and the goal-scoring tandem of Fredy Montero and Steve Zakuani.
The other players protected by Seattle were defenders Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and James Riley, midfielders Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans and Alvaro Fernandez and forwards Mike Fucito and Nate Jaqua.
“This process is always going to be excruciating. The silver lining is that we have a core group from which it is very difficult for us to make our decisions,” Sounders FC owner/GM Adrian Hanauer said. “We legitimately had well over 11 players that we wanted to protect, but this is the result of expansion. So we’ll take our lumps on Wednesday and move on.”
Keller has only missed one MLS match in two seasons with Seattle, registering 21 clean sheets in 59 matches. Montero leads the team with 22 goals in two seasons, while Zakuani broke out with ten to tie for the team lead in 2010.
Riley has been Seattle’s iron man each of the past two seasons, clocking 2,334 minutes in 2009 and 2,418 in 2010. Parke came on strong in the second half of the 2010 season after a solid career with the New York Red Bulls. Hurtado shared the top minutes mark with Riley in 2009 and was an MLS All-Star, but had his 2010 season cut short by a knee injury.
Alonso has been a stalwart in the midfield in his two seasons in Seattle after one year with the Charleston Battery in USL-1. Evans has four goals and five assists in 39 matches for Seattle, but played only 12 matches in 2010 before a knee injury ended his season. Fernandez came to Seattle mid-season after a successful run with the Uruguay National Team at the World Cup and netted two goals in 12 matches in 2010.
Jaqua was second on the team in scoring in 2009 with 9 goals and 7 assists, but played in just 12 MLS matches in 2010 after an abdominal injury kept him out of action for the first half of the season. He also scored five goals in the US Open Cup and one in CONCACAF Champions League. Fucito played just 47 minutes in the regular season, but proved valuable with the game-winning goal in stoppage time in a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards in April.
Among those protected, only six started in Seattle’s home playoff game against the LA Galaxy. Hurtado and Evans were out with knee injuries while Fernandez, Fucito and Jaqua all played key reserve roles for the Sounders down the stretch.
“We had to deal with some tough injuries this year with Jhon Kennedy and Brad out most of the season. We think of those guys as starters if they’re healthy,” Hanauer said.
The Timbers will select first in the draft on Wednesday, with the two teams alternating selections through ten rounds. After one player is selected from a team, they will be allowed to protect a 12th player. No more than two players can be selected from one team.
Jhon Kennedy Hurtado
Expansion Draft Rules (as provided by MLS Communications Department)
- MLS Clubs may protect 11 players between their Senior and their Developmental Roster. If the Player's contract expires at the end of 2010, he will still be considered part of the Club's Senior Roster.
- If a Club protects a player, it is not obligated to exercise the player's option. It may renegotiate a new budget number for the player as in previous years.
- If a player retires, he will not be a part of the Senior Roster, but his Club will lose its right of first refusal to him should he ultimately decide to play.
- Players on a Club's Developmental Roster, other than Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2010 MLS Season or Home Grown Players on a Club's developmental roster, will be part of the expansion draft.
- Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2010 MLS Season and Home Grown Players on a Club's developmental roster at the end of the 2010 MLS Season are automatically protected (Clubs do not have to use a protected slot on them).
- If Vancouver/Portland select a Developmental Player, it must offer him a Senior Roster position and he must be on the Senior Roster as of Roster Compliance Date.
- Clubs are restricted in the number of international player(s) that they may make available. Clubs may make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus three, provided that if a Club has three or fewer international players it may make available not more than one.
- For purposes of this expansion process,
- For US-based Clubs --- any non-domestic US player (players that do not hold U.S. Citizenship or Residency) will count as an International
- For Toronto FC --- any non-domestic US player or non-domestic Canadian players (players that do not hold Canadian OR U.S. Citizenship or Residency) will count as an International.
- Designated players are NOT automatically protected (i.e., Clubs must choose whether to protect such players and if such player is not protected, he will be available for selection in the Expansion Draft). However, if the Designated Player has a no-trade clause in his contract, then his MLS club must protect him and he will count as one of the 11 players who may be protected.
- Maximum Player Loss: Once two (2) players have been claimed from a Club's non-protected roster, that Club is eliminated from the expansion draft and may not lose any further players. In addition, once a player has been claimed from a Club's non-protected roster, that Club may move a player from its non-protected roster to its protected roster.
- Right to Negotiate: Vancouver and Portland will have the right to renegotiate a drafted player's salary (either up or down) without having to place such player on waivers or giving his previous Club a right of first refusal.
- Priority: On the first day of the Discovery/Allocation Period, each of Vancouver and Portland will have priority over players on its USL roster and one additional player in the USL not on its roster, subject to another MLS Club's right of first refusal.
- Rounds: The expansion draft will be 10 rounds.