With all the changes that Sporting KC has made near the end of the season there wasn't a lot of flexibility with who the team would choose to protect in this year's expansion draft. After the automatic protection of Kevin Ellis, Jon Kempin, Mikey Lopez, and Erik Palmer-Brown, there aren't a lot of players left on KC's roster to choose from.
Here's who Peter Vermes decided to protect.
Bernardo Añor, Matt Besler, Dom Dwyer, Benny Feilhaber, Igor Juliao, Jimmy Medranda, Chance Myers, Paulo Nagamura, Ike Opara, Seth Sinovic, and Graham Zusi
Compared to my initial list, with Aurelien Collin gone, it left a spot open to be filled by Chance Myers, who while recovering from injury would have been an appealing pick up. As for the internationals, I got those fairly wrong. The addition to Bernardo Añor threw off my picks a little bit, but then I proceeded to get the other two completely wrong as well. Sporting ended up protecting on-loan defender Igor Juliao and Colombian, Jimmy Medranda with their other two international slots.
Those selections leave just four players that are currently under contract for Sporting KC exposed, Claudio Bieler, Jorge Claros, Christian Duke, and Martin Steuble. The rest of KC's out of contract players are also available for the draft: Antonio Dovale, Andy Gruenebaum, Michael Kafari, Eric Kronberg, Victor Munoz, Lawrence Olum, Jacob Peterson, Soony Saad, and Sal Zizzo.
There are a number of intriguing options out there for Orlando and New York to chose from. And that's something to watch as one of the assumptions coming out of today's trade with Orlando City was the "future considerations." With Vermes saying today that the future considerations were a player, speculation began with regards to the expansion draft. The idea Orlando giving a player they picked up in the expansion draft immediately came to mind. One thought was Zac MacMath of Philadelphia, who had been rumored to be part of the CJ Sapong deal originally. Another thought was that Orlando would pick someone from Kansas City and then return that player to Sporting as the "future considerations." That would allow Kansas City to essentially protect two extra players and only potentially lose one.
The draft on Wednesday will certainly be an interesting one to follow for Sporting.