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Tales from the Expansion Draft: 2006, the year Jason Kreis was left unprotected — and Toronto FC picked him up

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In 2006, the Expansion Draft put a damper on Real Salt Lake's second year. That lasted only a few hours, but it cost them.

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In 2006, Real Salt Lake lost Jason Kreis.

Jason Kreis, the MLS all-time leading goalscorer at the time. Jason Kreis, the captain of the club.

It was the 2006 Expansion Draft, and Toronto FC was preparing to enter the league in 2007. With the seventh pick of the expansion draft, Kreis was off to Toronto. And he wasn't happy.

"I wanted to be here, no question about it," he said at the time, according to an MLSnet article at the time.

He was, as ever, cordial about the whole thing, though, saying that he "may not like the decision or agree with the decision, but I have respect for it."

He wasn't really gone. Not for long, at least because you probably already know how the story ends. After all, Jason Kreis was Real Salt Lake's coach for a number of years, and we're all looking forward to facing him and New York City FC in 2015.

It took only a few hours for RSL to regain their captain, keeping him as a player until he abruptly retired to run the show. Real Salt Lake traded a ‘partial allocation' (the MLSnet article says that was about $125,000, but it's hard to say, really) and got Kreis back.

Will Real Salt Lake make a similar mistake in this year's expansion draft? It's hard to imagine so.

The Kreis decision isn't the only one that seemed off from that draft, too. Andy Williams, another original and a fine player in his own right, was left exposed, and he continued with the team before retiring in 2012. Meanwhile, two players protected by the administration at the time didn't play for the club after 2006 - Jafet Soto, who went back to Costa Rica after the season ended, and Cameron Knowles, who is now a reserves coach with Portland Timbers.

While hindsight is 20-20 and all that, it's a small miracle that Garth Lagerwey and Jason Kreis righted the ship and we are the team we are today.