Plenty of pundits are releasing their own Expansion Protection Lists. Some of them will, no doubt, be reasonably accurate. Others will be based on horrible misconceptions.
We here at SB Nation have access to people who follow their teams much closer than any national pundit could. As of today, we have blogs devoted to 10 of the 16 teams that played in MLS this season. Rather than do the heavy lifting ourselves, we enlisted those bloggers to help us create our own Expansion Protection Lists. After all, what good is a resource if you aren't willing to exploit it?
To supplement those 10 sites, we enlisted the help of five other bloggers (one person covered both the Galaxy and Chivas USA) to help us round out our list.
The plan is to then take those lists and have our resident Vancouver Whitecaps blogger (86 Forever's Benjamin Massey) and an as-yet-unaffiliated Portland Timbers blogger (Chopping Timber's Geoff Gibson) play general manager for their respective teams and conduct a live mock expansion draft starting at 1 p.m. (Eastern) on Friday.
It's impossible to say how close to reality this will come, but it's our hope that it will give you a pretty realistic picture of how the expansion draft will play out. Some of our other MLS bloggers will provide commentary either here or on their sites, as well.
The basic rules of the expansion draft are these: The 16 existing teams can protect 11 players not including those classified as Generation adidas (GA) or Homegrown (HG) which are automatically off-limits from the expansion draft. After a team loses a player, that team can protect one additional player. No team can lose more than two players. The Timbers and Whitecaps will take turns picking in that order until they have each selected 10 players.
Without further ado, here are our projected Expansion Protection Lists:
Chicago Fire: Marco Pappa, Patrick Nyarko, Bratislav Ristic, Logan Pause, Wilman Conde, Steven Kinney, Dasan Robinson, Freddie Ljungberg, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Nery Castillo, Gonzalo Segares, Corben Bone (GA), Sean Johnson (GA), Victor Pineda (HG).
Chivas USA: Justin Braun, Michael Lahoud, Paulo Nagamura, Carlos Borja, Ben Zemanski, Rodolfo Espinoza, Jesus Padilla, Sal Zizzo, Zach Thornton, Alan Gordon, Jonathan Bornstein, Cesar Zamora (HG), de la Fuente (HG), Blair Gavin (GA).
Columbus Crew: Chad Marshall, Eddie Gaven, Emilio Renteria, Robbie Rogers, Emmanuel Ekpo, Danny O'Rourke, Shawn Francis, Andy Iro, Andres Mendoza, Brian Carroll, William Hesmer, Dilly Duka (GA).
Colorado Rapids: Matt Pickens, Anthony Wallace, Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Kosuke Kimura, Jamie Smith, Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Brian Mullan, Conor Casey, Omar Cummings, Ciaran O'Brien (GA), Davy Armstrong (Homegrown).
FC Dallas: Marvin Chavez, David Ferreira, Jackson, Atiba Harris, Kevin Hartman, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Zach Loyd, Dax McCarty, Heath Pearce, Brek Shea, Josh Lambo (GA), Peri Marosevic (GA), Andrew Wiedeman (GA), Ruben Luna (HG), Victor Ulloa (HG), Bryan Leyva (HG), Moises Hernandez (HG).
DC United: Troy Perkins, Dejan Jakovic, Julius James, Jed Zayner, Rodney Wallace, Clyde Simms, Branko Boskovic, Chris Pontius, Santino Quaranta, Pablo Hernandez, Stephen King, Andy Najar (HG), Bill Hamid (HG), Conor Shanosky (HG).
Houston Dynamo: Brad Davis, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Lovel Palmer, Andrew Hainault, Corey Ashe, Dominic Oduro, Tally Hall, Brian Ching, Sammy Appiah, Mike Chabal, Tyler Deric (HG), Francisco Navas Cobo (HG), Danny Cruz (GA).
Sporting Kansas City: Michael Harrington, Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, Craig Rocastle, Davy Arnaud, Stephane Auvray, Kei Kamara, Ryan Smith, Omar Bravo, Sunil Chhetri, Chance Myers, Teal Bunbury (GA), Jon Kempin (HG).
Los Angeles Galaxy: Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Edson Buddle, Juninho, Omar Gonzalez, Ryan Franklin, Donovan Ricketts, A.J. DeLaGarza, Michael Stephens, Chris Birchall, Todd Dunivant, Tristan Bowen (HG).
New England Revolution: Sainey Nyassi, Kenny Mansally, Marko Perovic, Zack Schilawski, Shalrie Joseph, Pat Phelan, Kevin Alston, Seth Sinovic, Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, Cory Gibbs.
New York Red Bulls: Bouna Coundoul, Roy Miller, Carlos Mendes, Tim Ream, Chris Albright, Rafa Márquez, Joel Lindpere, Dane Richards, Mehdi Ballouchy, Thierry Henry, Juan Pablo Ángel, Tony Tchani (GA) and Juan Agudelo (HG).
- Ben Schneider, SB Nation/Soccer
Philadelphia Union: Sheanon Williams, Michael Orzoco-Fiscal, Danny Califf, Juan Diego Gonzalez (I), Sebastian Le Toux, Justin Mapp, Fred, Kyle Nakazawa, Roger Torres (I), Shea Salinas, Toni Stahl (I), Danny Mwanga (GA), Amobi Okugo (GA), Jack McInerney (GA).
Real Salt Lake: Kyle Beckerman, Nat Borchers, Nick Rimando, Jamison Olave, Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Alvaro Saborio, Paulo Junior, Collen Warner, Fabian Espindola, Tony Beltran, Luis Gil (GA).
Seattle Sounders FC: Steve Zakuani, Fredy Montero, Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez, John Kennedy Hurtado, Blaise Nkufo, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Kasey Keller, James Riley, Mike Fucito.
San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch, Jason Hernandez, Brandon McDonald, Ramiro Corrales, Joey Gjertsen, Bobby Convey, Andre Luiz, Geovanni, Ryan Johnson, Chris Wondolowski, Sam Cronin, Ike Opara (GA).
Toronto FC: Stefan Frei, Milos Kocic, Nana Attakora, Adrian Cann, Ty Harden, Dan Gargan, Dwayne DeRosario, Julian de Guzman, Chad Barrett, Maicon Santos, Nick LaBrocca, Doneil Henry (HG), Nicholas Lindsay (HG).