A man misses a thing or two when his eyes are looking elsewhere. While I know that, tomorrow, Major League Soccer (MLS) will hold the expansion draft that will begin building the New Model San Jose Earthquakes (NMSJE, from here forward), I’ve been too busy to poke around to see who MLS’s 13 current teams left unprotected.
Fortunately, Goal.com (and probably the rest of the known world) pulled the unprotected players into one list. I have to say, I’m seeing some shocks in this big list, players that new NMSJE head coach Frank Yallop can use for a pretty solid foundation. And, being the wagering sort, I’m going to pick the 10 names I would pick – which could translate (extremely) roughly into the 10 picks I’d expect Yallop to make.
UPDATE: OK, I ‘fess up. Climbing the Ladder picked through the expansion draft as well, but with about half the snark and about three times the data. If you want to get smarter, go read his; if you’re in the mood for a lark and examining this whole issue through a barely decipherable sheen of ethical conduct, keep reading here.
But I wanted to start by registering my personal shock at some names I’m seeing on the “up-for-grabs” list. Taking it team-by-team, then, here’s my personal “Shock Parade”:
OK, not many here, maybe not even one…though seeing Amado Guevara’s name makes me chuckle. But here are (is?) the actual shock(s):
– Orlando Perez: Maybe he’s older than I think, but versatility is good.
– Both Curtins? You’d break up the Curtin Brothers?
– Ivan Guerrero: my man-crush continues despite his advancing years.
– John Thorrington: et tu, Juan Carlos? After he nailed LA for you?
– Conor Casey, though I expect they’re betting on his salary to scare ‘em off.
– Mike Petke: again, injuries aside, he’s about the only bright spot on an awful team.
– NED GRABAVOY? Well, fuck you too! Seriously, I like Grabavoy quite a bit; I’d keep him.
– Stefani Miglioranzi: though only given the year he had.
– On a side note going the other way, I’m surprised Sigi’s not trying to actively hand off Rusty Pierce. His commitment is more total than his talent. Don’t tell him I said that.
– Denilson de Oliveira: This is who I think it is, right? Good frickin’ luck.
– Clarence Goodson: Big shock. FC Dallas fans seem to rate him highly.
– Bobby Rhine: After all he’s been through with this club, that’s just wrong.
– Abe Thompson: Are you nucking futs? No wonder your franchise sucks!
Actually, these guys’ calls made total sense.
– Ryan Cochrane: Very surprised by that one…then again, see below.
– Craig Waibel: Again, very surprised, unless he asked for it.
– Corey Ashe: only mild surprise, but still…I thought he had some upside.
– Zach Wells: huh?
I dunno. Maybe this is the hell of having a good team.
Kansas City Wizards
– Eloy Colombano: This is more because he’s so new.
– Kevin Hartman: Again, some thanks he gets.
Los Angeles Galaxy
– Kelly Gray: Again, versatility is good and Gray is young enough. I don’t get it.
– Kevin Harmse: now who will break your opponent’s legs?
– Gavin Glinton: He’s a good sub still, as I see it.
– Peter Vagenas: It’s just getting cold in here. Things shouldn’t end like that.
New England Revolultion
– James Riley: only a mild surprise, ‘cause I thought Nicol loved Riley
The bigger question here is where Nicol goes from here personnel wise.
New York Red Bulls
I’d get rid of all these players as well…except John Wolyniec the Ironman of Journeymen.
Real Salt Lake
– Chris Brown: for the reasons cited in my 2007 season review
– Willis Forko: He seemed like one of their more reliable defenders.
– Andy Williams: If I could defend any MLS player going postal, it’d be Andy. So many snubs.
– Kenny Stamatopoulos: After the “‘Keeper Karnage” of 2007? Are you nuts?
Thus ends the Shock Parade. Now, here are the 10 players Frank Yallop really ought to select…no need to pay me, Frank, you seem like a mensch.
1. Kevin Hartman: good veteran in goal.
2. Ryan Cochrane: only because he’s younger than Waibel.
3. Ned Grabavoy: What can I say? I’m a fan.
4. Abe Thompson: good depth at forward, instantly granted.
5. Willis Forko: He seemed useful.
6. Kelly Gray: hard, but instant depth tops Glinton’s super-sub upside.
7. Ivan Guerrero: unless the recent injury is serious.
8. Andy Dorman: I’ll take a flyer here and hope for a rebirth.
9. D. Mediate/J. Moose: flip a coin; this is getting hard.
10. John Wolyniec…on principle.