On Wednesday, the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps picked ten players each from a pool of unprotected players from around the league in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft.
On the surface, the Timbers had a fantastic draft, adding US internationals Robbie Findley and Jonathan Bornstein in addition to rising midfield star Dax McCarty. However, it is unlikely that either Findley or Bornstein will play for Portland in 2011 and McCarty was traded to DC United for defender Rodney Wallace and a 4th round pick in January’s SuperDraft. Bornstein is signed to play with Tigres in the Mexican First Division. Findley has expressed interest in playing abroad. If either returns to MLS within two years, Portland retains their rights in MLS.
With defender Anthony Wallace traded back to the Colorado Rapids for allocation money and midfielder Arturo Alvarez sent to Real Salt Lake for a 2nd round pick in the SuperDraft, that leaves only five players from the expansion draft who will likely play for the Timbers in 2011.
With those five, plus Rodney Wallace, Portland has built a defensive core of players to go with the four players already signed from the USSF Division 2.
At the defender spot they added Eric Brunner, David Horst and Jordan Graye, along with Wallace. Brunner started 23 games for the Supporters’ Shield winning Columbus Crew in 2009 and started 13 games last season. Horst has only three career MLS matches to his credit in three seasons in Salt Lake, but his 6-foot-4 frame - alongside 6-foot-4 Brunner - puts two imposing defenders in the middle of the Timbers defense. Graye started 20 games for DC United in his rookie season in 2010 along with teammate Wallace, who started 36 games for DC over the last two seasons.
In the midfield, Peter Lowry has five goals in 24 matches over the last two seasons with the Chicago Fire and Adam Moffat had two goals and an assist for the Crew in 2010.
Those six will add to the existing signings, goalkeeper Steve Cronin, midfielder Ryan Pore and forward Bright Dike from the Timbers USSF D-2 side and forward Eddie Johnson from the Austin Aztex in the USSF D-2.
Portland Timbers 2010 Expansion Draft
M - Dax McCarty (Traded to DC United)
D - Eric Brunner
M - Adam Moffat
D - Anthony Wallace (Traded to Colorado Rapids)
D - David Horst
F - Robbie Findley (Expected to play abroad)
M - Peter Lowry
D - Jonathan Bornstein (Will play with Tigres in Mexico)
D - Jordan Gray
M - Arturo Alvarez (Traded to Real Salt Lake)
D - Rodney Wallace (Traded from DC United)
4th Rd. SuperDraft pick (Traded from DC United)
2nd Rd. SuperDraft pick (Traded from Real Salt Lake)
Allocation Money (Traded from Colorado Rapids)
In Vancouver, they added players all over the field, but like Portland they traded away many of their selections.
Forward O’Brian White was taken from Toronto FC in the draft and traded to the Sounders for allocation money. The ‘Caps added more allocation money in a trade with Chivas USA, sending Alan Gordon and Alejandro Moreno for allocation money and an International Players spot.
Among those joining US international Jay DeMerit, who the Whitecaps signed last week, are forward Atiba Harris, midfielders Shea Salinas and John Thorrington, defender Jonathan Leathers and goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
Leathers joins DeMerit on the back line after three seasons with the Kansas City Wizards. He had 34 appearances in that span, but only eight of those came in 2010.
In the midfield, Salinas is with his third expansion team. He started his career with the San Jose Earthquakes in their expansion season in 2008 and played with the Philadelphia Union last year. His best year came in 2009 when he had five assists and 13 starts for the Earthquakes. Thorrington was limited to just five matches in 2010 for the Fire, scoring his only goal on a penalty against the Sounders. The best of his seven MLS seasons came when he had five goals and one assist in 2008 with Chicago.
Harris brings them a five-year veteran forward who has tallied 13 goals and 14 assists in MLS playing with Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA and FC Dallas.
Cannon, meanwhile, is the most accomplished player taken in the draft. The 13-year-veteran keeper has played 286 career matches, posting 74 shutouts. He was MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2002 and 2004.
With Cannon and DeMerit, they have established players in the back to build on and with the Nos. 1 and 8 picks in the 2011 SuperDraft, the ‘Caps will have a lot to build with.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2010 Expansion Draft
M - Sanna Nyassi (Traded to Colorado Rapids)
F - Atiba Harris
M - Nathan Sturgis (Traded to Toronto FC)
M - Shea Salinas
F - Alan Gordon (Traded to Chivas USA)
F - O’Brian White (Traded to Sounders FC)
M - Alejandro Moreno (Traded to Chivas USA)
GK - Joe Cannon
D - Jonathan Leathers
M - John Thorrington
Allocation Money (Traded from Sounders FC and Chivas USA)
International Player Spot (Traded from Rapids and Chivas USA)
1st Rd. SuperDraft pick (Traded from Toronto FC)