Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Expansion Draft

So yesterday MLS released the list of players each team made available for the expansion draft on Friday. I'm not gonna pretend that I know enough about each team to break down each player available for the expansion Toronto FC to choose from, but I will go through the Wizards players left available and give my idea of who might be selected.

Wizards Players Available

Matt Groenwald - The Wizards starting right back on opening day of the season, showed flashes and looked to be a good late round pick. A few things later in the season seemed to go against his season. The first was the birth of his daughter. This caused him to have to leave the team, leaving his spot. (Side bar: I am not saying this wasn't the right thing to do, because it 100% was the exact thing he should have done.) The other thing was the replacement of Bob Gansler as coach, once Brian Bliss took over, Matt's minutes decreased. Matt could be a cheap pickup for Toronto, but doesn't seem to likely as it doesn't seem overly worth it to spend a YI spot on a player that many see as dime-a-dozen in MLS.

Will Hesmer - The Wizards back up keeper and platoon keeper for a few games. Will got his first MLS start this season, but is unlikely he'll be choosen as there are a number of better keeprs available.

Eric Kronberg - The Wizards third string keeper that spent time with Miami FC last season. Even less of a chance then Hesmer as he's still unproven.

Ryan McMahen, Sergei Raad, Brian Roberts, Stephen Shirley - I've listed all these players together because none of them got any significant league minutes, in fact, only Raad and Roberts played in an MLS match this season, for a combined total of 39 minutes. None of these guys will be going to Toronto.

Bo Oshoniyi - The Wizards number 1 the past 2 seasons. He's likely being listed because the Wizards see no risk in leaving him available. There are better keepers available in the draft this season then Bo, including 2 players with National Team experience, Nick Rimando and Zach Wells. Plus with the rumors of Toronto signing Greg Sutton, chances of them taking Bo are slim, although many Wizards fans would not shed a tear if he was picked up.

Ryan Raybould - Came on and played right back for most of the late season run. Like Groenwald, though, he's one of those players that the Wizards could find a replacement for fairly easily, but he won't be going to Toronto either.

Dave van den Bergh - The weirdest of the Wizards exposed player picks, was leaving van den Bergh available. After joining the team during the summer transfer window, van den Bergh had a good run to end the season at left forward. Due to his likely salary and his SI status, it seems unlikely that he'd be taken ,but he's the one that I am the most afraid of losing, as I think a full season with him could go very well.

Tyson Wahl - Got some significant minutes while Jimmy was at the World Cup, being the first defender off of the bench. Will he be selected? There's a chance, but I don't really see Toronto wasting a YI on him.

Lance Watson - "Scrappy" seemed to lose his place in the side once Bliss took over for Gansler, there are better players then him available in this draft.

Alex Zotinca - Alex could be a useful pick up for Toronto due to his experience and his salary which isn't too high. Chances are, though, TFC won't look his way.

The Draft

With that said here are the 10 players that I could likely see Toronto taking on Friday. This is of course expecting they don't pass on any of their picks, which they very well could.

Houston - Serioux, Adrian - One of the no brainer picks, even though Mo didn't get along with him in NY, he's the only Canadian national teamer exposed, they'll pick him up.
RSL - Williams, Andy - The other no brainer pick, as Andy was born in Toronto which classifies him as a Canadian citizen, putting him on his 7th MLS team.

From here the selection gets a bit tougher
DC - Clyde Simms - A player that people say could be a starter in this league, I think Toronto is willing to use a pick on him.
Chicago - Calen Carr - Had a productive first season coming off the bench for Chicago could be a good forward depending on what direction TFC plans to go.
RBNY - Edson Buddle - Mo really likes Buddle, I would be surprised to see him follow Mo up to Canada
FCD - Chris Gbandi - Young defender with talent, could give TFC some help along the back line in their first season.
NE - Jeff Larentowicz - Got significant minutes for New England this season, is young and is not a cap burden, could be a nice pickup.
C-bus - Knox Cameron - A forward pick up that could be used as a target forward.
Chivas - Rodrigo Lopez - US U-20 player, could be a nice pickup if given the right conditions to grow.
LA - Kyle Veris - Someone TFC could find useful if given some minutes.

Leaving KC and CO without having a player taken. Course I'm probably way off on this, but that's the fun of the expansion draft.

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