SB Nation Soccer's Mock Expansion Draft Is Done! The (Fake) Montreal Impact Add 10 Players

SB Nation Soccer will conduct our live Mock Expansion Draft on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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MLS Mock Expansion Draft 2011, Tenth Round: Montreal Impact Select Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake)

With their tenth pick in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft, the (fake) Montreal Impact select:

Chris Wingert (D, Real Salt Lake)

Kevin's explanation: Like the Seattle Sounders, it was going to be impossible for RSL to avoid leaving quality players unprotected. I actually contemplated taking about half of their available guys. Chris Wingert is 29 years old and not cheap at $135,000 per season, but he is at worst the second best left back in MLS. In a league with bad fullbacks and fast wingers, having a fullback tandem of Wingert and Harrington is too attractive to pass up. Actually, this probably gives Montreal the best fullback tandem in the league right away.

No, Sean Franklin is not a good defender. Please do not email me about this.

Analysis from Drew Epperley: RSL fans will hate to see this one but they stand to lose a decent player as well here like Seattle. Grabbing a veteran defender like this that doesn't make a ton of coin makes total sense for Montreal. 


MLS Mock Expansion Draft 2011, Ninth Round: Montreal Impact Select Daniel Paladini (Chicago Fire)

With their ninth pick in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft, the (fake) Montreal Impact select:

Daniel Paladini (M, Chicago Fire)

Kevin's explanation: It took until his mid-20s for Dan Paladini to become a regular starting professional footballer, but he's had an excellent three years. After two years with the Carolina RailHawks* where he was one of the best players in the second division of U.S. soccer, Paladini signed with the Chicago Fire. The club had a terrible first half of the season, but Paladini did not.

*As a resident of Cary, NC, I am appalled that my professional soccer team has such a terrible name

At $70,000 per year, Paladini's a bit expensive for a 27 year old with only one year as a top flight starter. However, since his performance this season was a continuation of his form in the second division and not completely out of the blue, I'm willing to bet that he's actually a very good player. Paladini, Dax McCarty and Hassoun Camara would give the Impact a rock-solid, playoff-quality center of midfield in their first year of MLS play.

Analysis from Drew Epperley: Montreal should be familiar with Paladini from his days in Carolina with the Railhawks. He has a little more experience than some others on this board and doesn't take up a huge chunk of salary.


MLS Mock Expansion Draft 2011, Eighth Round: Montreal Impact Select Austin Da Luz (D.C. United)

With their eighth pick in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft, the (fake) Montreal Impact select:

Austin Da Luz (M, D.C. United)

Kevin's explanation: Yet another pick made on the basis of youth and finances. Da Luz is only 24 years old and proved that he's a solid MLS left winger during this season with DC. There aren't a whole lot of solid left-footed left wingers who can cross, so Da Luz is certainly worth a roster place for almost any team in the league, especially at his current base salary of $42,000. 

As a random aside, why did the Red Bulls axe this guy? They need cheap players to stay under the cap and they don't have a "true" left winger. Joel Lindpere is obviously very good there, but he's not really a true winger and there's no great backup option if he ever stops being Ironman. The Red Bulls are the absolute worst.

Analysis from Drew Epperley: Another youth pick here, not a bad one either considering he's at the base $42,000 salary. Finding quality wing players in MLS is tough and if you can develop a young one like this you could hit the lottery in the end. 


MLS Mock Expansion Draft 2011, Seventh Round: Montreal Impact Select Ellis McLoughlin (San Jose Earthquakes)

With their seventh pick in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft, the (fake) Montreal Impact select:

Ellis McLoughlin (F, San Jose Earthquakes)

Kevin's explanation: Much like the selection of Jake Gleeson, this is based on potential and a lack of risk involved in gambling on that potential. McLoughlin has only played seven MLS games, scoring one goal, but he's also only on $42,000 per year. His 38 games at youth national team level, combined with his promising performances in MLS indicate that he has a good chance to be an MLS starter in the future. He's only 21 years old, so even if he doesn't become a reliable starter, he'll at least get better than he is now.

And if he doesn't get much better? Big deal. He's super cheap, and it would be hard to fault someone (read: me) for thinking he's going to be a successful player.

Analysis from Drew Epperley: This pick reminds me of David Horst last year in Portland. A huge potential kind of pick, not one out of real necessity. He's only 21 years old and has a decent upside, plus he's cheap. All ingredients that make a decent expansion draft pick.


MLS Mock Expansion Draft 2011, Sixth Round: Montreal Impact Select Jake Gleeson (Portland Timbers)

With their sixth pick in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft, the (fake) Montreal Impact select:

Jake Gleeson (GK, Portland Timbers)

Kevin's explanation: This is the first of two picks that could best be described as 'gambles.' However, they are gambles on players who are very young and very inexpensive. Jake Gleeson was a highly regarded youngster coming into Major League Soccer, but looked a bit over his head in his four starts in a Portland Timbers uniform. In his defense, all four of those starts were in front of a below-average defense. He lost once and drew once on the road, then won twice at home, failing to get a shutout in all four starts. At 21 years old, his best years are almost certainly in front of him.

The Impact are likely to sign Bill Guadette to an MLS contract and they've already signed Evan Bush There is literally no reason to pick up a serviceable but unspectacular journeyman or career backup. There's no keeper better than those two who was left unprotected other than Faryd Mondragon, so I'm going with potential.

Analysis from Drew Epperley: I'm not really sold on a keeper pick. Gleeson is a decent keeper and one that filled in well early on for the Timbers but if I am Montreal, I take a page out of Philadelphia's book and go out and snag a veteran keeper to guide the club. Sure he's young but you can get quality keepers that are young in the draft if you want to go that route. 


MLS Mock Expansion Draft 2011, Fifth Round: Montreal Impact Select Ryan Cochrane (New England Revolution)

With their fifth pick in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft, the (fake) Montreal Impact select:

Ryan Cochrane (D, New England Revolution)

Kevin's explanation: Up until this point, my picks for the Impact haven't really required defending and/or justification. All four players were at least two of young, currently starter quality, and very cheap for their ability level. Ryan Cochrane is the first player selected who does not necessarily meet those criteria. He's 28 years old, a borderline starter, and he makes $70,000 a year. So why did I take him?

Simply because just about every available central defender who is better than him and available for selection makes a ton of money. The Impact are not going to spend $210,000 on Bobby Boswell. Finding inexpensive and serviceable central defenders is rough, you guys. 

Analysis from Drew Epperley: You got to take at least one guy with a mustache right? He's a little older and has started to become a bit of a journeyman. He's cheaper and worth taking a risk on. 


MLS Mock Expansion Draft 2011, Fourth Round: Montreal Impact Select Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls)

With their fourth pick in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft, the (fake) Montreal Impact select:

Dax McCarty (M, New York Red Bulls)

Kevin's explanation: Is there some insider secret that I don't know about Dax McCarty? He was left unprotected last year to the outrage of many MLS fans. Portland picked him, then traded him to D.C. United. He didn't really work out with the Black and Red, so they traded him to the New York Red Bulls. Once there, he sat behind an inferior player in Rafael Marquez. Sorry, Cules and fans of El Tri, but it's true at the moment. McCarty is a rock solid player who continues to struggle to find a home. Why?

*SPOILER ALERT* At $155,000 per year, McCarty is the most expensive player that I will be selecting for the Impact in this expansion draft. I expect the real Impact to keep it cheap during their expansion draft, but I couldn't pass up the best unprotected player on a reasonable salary. Most of the picks in this draft are combined financial and footballing decisions, even leaning towards financial. This is purely a footballing decision. Dax McCarty is the best footballer available for selection, period.

Analysis from Drew Epperley: This one is kind of funny since it happened last year but we've seen that before in expansion drafts (Shea Salines anyone?). I covered Dax in Dallas for a couple years and really there is no insider secret about the guy. He's a quality player that has just become expendable for different clubs. He's that great bargaining chip for teams. Hopefully Montreal takes him and big part of their team.


MLS Mock Expansion Draft 2011, Third Round: Montreal Impact Select Michael Harrington (Sporting Kansas City)

With their third pick in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft, the (fake) Montreal Impact select:

Michael Harrington (D, Sporting Kansas City)

Kevin's explanation: Between injuries and Peter Vermes (inexplicable) personal preference, Michael Harrington was only first choice for Sporting Kansas City for a little more than half of this season. In most of the games that he did play, he was very good. During the terrible road trip that the Sporks had to open the season, he was perhaps the best player on a team that played very poorly.

At a salary of $110,000 per year, Harrington is fairly compensated for his ability level and is not really a bargain. However, fullbacks are at a premium in MLS. There simply aren't very many good ones. Todd Dunivant's been an average journeyman for most of his career, but Bruce Arena has made him into a Best XI player. There aren't better players than Harrington just lying around.

Analysis from Drew Epperley: I actually really like this pick. Harrington is an underrated defender that just battled a lot of injuries this past year in Kansas City. He's a little pricier than most of Kevin's picks but I view him as a guy that mainly just needs a change of location to get his career back on track. This would be that kind of move for him.


MLS Mock Expansion Draft 2011, Second Round: Montreal Impact Select Mike Fucito (Seattle Sounders)

With their second pick in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft, the (fake) Montreal Impact select:

Mike Fucito (F, Seattle Sounders)

Kevin's explanation: Unlike the first pick, I can't really pick on the Sounders for leaving Fucito unprotected. The Seattle Sounders simply had too many solid players on their roster, many of them on small salaries that made them attractive picks. If this was last year's draft, they likely would have lost two players. Lamar Neagle and Servando Carrasco would also be decent options for an expansion team.

Fucito is getting picked for reasons similar to Cardozo. He's young, he's more talented than his stats suggest, and he's extremely cheap. These factors make him an extremely low-risk pick. While Fucito is a bit undersized and needs to improve his decision-making and composure on the ball, he's an intelligent player with blinding speed and a nose for goal.

Analysis from Drew Epperley: Seattle was bound to lose someone important. Fucito is a quality pick, as he is someone who has the ability to be a game-changer when needed. He's young, talented and super cheap. 


MLS Mock Expansion Draft 2011, First Round: Montreal Impact Select Paolo Cardozo (Los Angeles Galaxy)

With their first pick in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft, the (fake) Montreal Impact select:

Paolo Cardozo (M/F Los Angeles Galaxy)

Kevin's explanation: When I saw that Chad Barrett was protected but Paolo Cardozo was not, I was simply stunned. Cardozo is no world beater, but he's a very good prospect and was always a danger to get picked from the expansion draft. Cardozo is just 22 years old made starts as a striker, central midfielder and right midfielder, and was unlucky to score no goals this season.

Even if he doesn't pan out as a guy who is good enough to be first choice for a playoff team, he's low-risk. At a salary of $42,000, he's a no-brainer. Why a cash-strapped team like the Galaxy would leave a quality young player making the league minimum unprotected is hard to figure out. Especially when they used one of those protected slots on Chad Barrett. WHY?

Analysis from Drew Epperley: Starting off with potentially a MLS Cup winner here, I like it. Cardozo isn't a big name guy by any stretch - the 22-year old made plenty of starts for the Galaxy this year - a lot late in the year. Like Kevin mentions, he is cheap at $42,000 a year and would be one of those low-risk/high-reward kind of picks for Jesse Marsch. 

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