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RSL announces protected list for MLS Expansion Draft

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The only surprises here for me revolve around rules.

MLS: MLS Cup Conference Semifinals-Real Salt Lake at Seattle Sounders FC Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

In what’s not usually a Saturday-morning affair, Real Salt Lake has announced their protected list for this year’s iteration of the MLS Expansion Draft.

There are no real surprises here — except one or two for me, which we’ll touch on in a moment.

Protected

  • Andrew Putna
  • Nedum Onuoha
  • Marcelo Silva
  • Donny Toia
  • Kyle Beckerman
  • Nick Besler
  • Damir Kreilach
  • Everton Luiz
  • Albert Rusnak
  • Sam Johnson
  • Douglas Martinez
  • Jefferson Savarino

Exempt

The players who cannot be picked consist of the following, which is where surprises came for me:

  • Danilo Acosta
  • Jordan Allen
  • Luis Arriaga
  • Corey Baird
  • Justen Glad
  • Aaron Herrera
  • Erik Holt
  • Brooks Lennon
  • David Ochoa
  • Sebastian Saucedo
  • Tate Schmitt
  • Julian Vazquez

In the last iteration of the Expansion Draft, Glad and Saucedo had to protected, as neither had a homegrown player roster designation, given their place on the senior roster and the lack of such a designation in available quasi-official rosters.

Anyway, this isn’t something worth complaining about, but celebrating.

Available

  • Alex Horwath
  • Nick Rimando
  • Tony Beltran
  • Justin Portillo
  • Kelyn Rowe
  • Pablo Ruiz
  • Joao Plata

Two standouts here are Nick Rimando and Tony Beltran, neither of whom are returning to the league in 2020. In fact, one might argue that they aren’t selectable per MLS rules:

If a player retires, he will not be a part of the Expansion Draft

Bit weird, that.

Joao Plata might be a little surprising, as well, but he’s out of contract and has seemed unlikely to return for some time.