PORTLAND OR - JULY 17: Pablo Zabaleta #5 of Manchester City goes up for a header against Alex Nimo #16 of the Portland Timbers during a friendly match on July 17 2010 at Merlo Field in Portland Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Well the collective minds of the SB Nation's soccer bloggers (with a few outsiders helping) have put together their lists of who they think their teams should protect (or leave unprotected). But that is easy and many bloggers will do that, but the SB Nation took it to a new level and held a live (online) mock draft, and then moved it up another notch by having bloggers for Vancouver and Portland doing the picking.
You can check out the series of posts that made up the draft here: Major League Soccer, Mock Expansion Draft: We Have Our Results there are comments on why each player was selected as well as reaction from some bloggers representing teams that lost players. While none of us know for sure what is going to happen on Monday (when teams release their lists of protected players) and despite everyones best attempt at playing GM we don't know who will get selected on Wednesday, it was fun to see what might happen.
After the jump you can see what RSL player (s) got selected as well as all the selections from the mock draft:
Portland had pick number one and went for Sporting KC's, Jack Jewsbury, a midfielder who can play a number of positions and could be a real difference maker for the Timbers. Vancouver went next and raided the roster of their Cascadia rivals Seattle by taking Brad Evans with the number two pick, a bit of a value move for a good player with a low hit on the salary cap.
Timbers- #3 Ryan Cocharane - Defender from Houston
Whitecaps - #4 Collins John - Forward from Chicago
Timbers - #5 Alex Nimo - Midfielder from RSL
Whitecaps - #6 Andrew Boyens - Defender from New York
Timbers - #7 Sanna Nyassi - Midfielder from Seattle
Whitecaps - #8 Chukwudi Chijindu - Midfielder from Chivas USA
Timbers - #9 Eric Brunner - Defender from Columbus
Whitecaps -#10 Pat Onstad - Goalkeeper from Houston
Timbers - #11 Scott Sealy - Forward from San Jose
Whitecaps - #12 Amadou Sanyang - Midfielder/Defender from Toronto
Timbers - #13 Aljandro Moreno - Forward from Philly
Whitecaps - #14Khano Smith - Midfielder from New England
Timbers - #15 Kyle Davies - Defender from FC Dallas
Whitecaps - #16 Cristian Arrieta - Defender from Philly
Timbers - #17 Frankie Hejuk - Defender from Columbus
Whitecaps - #18 Jeremy Hall - Defender/Midfielder from New York
Timbers - #19 Dema Kovalenko - Midfielder from Los Angeles
Whitecaps - #20 Maykel Galindo - Forward from Chivas USA
So I was a bit surprised at some of the players taken, perhaps the biggest stretch for me was the selection of Pat Onstad. I know he has been solid in the past but with age come injuries, hopefully he can give them a couple solid years and help Jay Nolly develop into the keeper that some of us think he can become. The expansion draft is always about some stretch picks and giving guys a new shot and I think that was clear from a lot of the picks, this year both teams have a team that they can build around and so they are likely going to be looking for players who can meet very specific needs.
I don't think RSL will be lucky enough to lose just Alex Nimo, and by draft or by trade most people think he will end up in Portland, but with the depth of the RSL roster there are a number of guys who played huge minutes this year that will be available. I can only hope that we can escape without losing a second player.
Geoff from choppingtimber.com has posted his thoughts about the mock draft, he played the role of Portland GM. I expect that Benjamin from eightysixforever.com will post his thoughts some time this evening as well. It was a fun way to spend some time on a Friday afternoon. RSL fans can just hope that next Wednesday is as painless as this one was.
OFF MY SOAPBOX