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RSL announces 2019 MLS Expansion Draft protected list

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There are few surprises.

MLS: Western Conference Semifinal-Real Salt Lake at Sporting KC Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft looming, in which FC Cincinnati will be privileged with picking five players from across the league, Real Salt Lake has made their protected list available.

Let’s not beat around the bush. Here’s the list from RSL Communications.

  • GK Nick Rimando
  • DF Justen Glad
  • DF Nedum Onuoha
  • DF Marcelo Silva
  • MF Kyle Beckerman
  • MF Damir Kreilach
  • MF Pablo Ruiz
  • MF Albert Rusnák
  • MF Sebastian Saucedo
  • FW Joao Plata
  • FW Jefferson Savarino

Some homegrown players were automatically protected:

  • Danilo Acosta
  • Corey Baird
  • Jose Hernandez
  • Aaron Herrera
  • Brooks Lennon

But Glad, Saucedo and Jordan Allen, who all came from the academy, aren’t automatically protected.

Here’s the list of unprotected players:

  • Goalkeepers: Alex Horwath, Andrew Putna, Connor Sparrow
  • Defenders: Shawn Barry, Tony Beltran, Nick Besler, Adam Henley, David Horst, Taylor Peay, Demar Phillips
  • Midfielders: Luke Mulholland, Sunny
  • Forwards: Jordan Allen, Ricky Lopez-Espin, Luis Silva

Some of these have already declared their having left the club, had their option declined, or, in the case of David Horst, retirement. Those players are:

  • Connor Sparrow, option declined
  • Shawn Barry, option declined
  • Tony Beltran, option declined
  • Taylor Peay, option declined
  • Demar Phillips, option declined
  • Luke Mulholland, option declined
  • Sunny, option declined
  • Ricky Lopez-Espin, option declined
  • Luis Silva, option declined

The practical list of players left includes:

  • Alex Horwath
  • Andrew Putna
  • Nick Besler
  • Adam Henley
  • Jordan Allen

We’ll break this down more over the coming days.