Expansion Draft: Yallop v. Me

Well, MLSnet.com finally posted the list of players Frank Yallop picked up for the New Model San Jose Earthquakes in today’s expansion draft (and thanks to all the good people out there who forwarded the list while I was blab, blab, blabbing away in another post). Here’s that list:

1. Ryan Cochrane (Houston Dynamo)
2. Clarence Goodson (FC Dallas)
3. Ned Grabavoy (Columbus Crew)
4. James Riley (New England Revolution)
5. Joseph Vide (New York Red Bulls)
6. Ivan Guerrero (Chicago Fire)
7. Brian Carroll (D.C. United)
8. Jason Hernandez (Chivas USA)
9. Gavin Glinton (LA Galaxy)
10. Chris Pozniak (Toronto FC

Now, let’s compare that to the list of players I selected yesterday (the picks we shared are in red):

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.

Now…to discuss…with myself…Frank left the building (actually, he was never in it).

RP, who commented on my original post, pointed out the biggest hole in Yallop’s picks: where are the forwards? Sure, there’s Gavin Glinton, but he’s a depth forward in my book. Even among the midfielders Yallop selected, one doesn’t see much in the way of attacking mids. This makes me think two things: 1) Yallop is building from the back; 2) he’s looking elsewhere for attacking talent. On one level, that’s a heck of a gamble.

On another, though, there were few of what I’d dub a lot of top-quality attacking players in the mix, at least not reliable, or reliably healthy, ones (see: Casey, Conor). Another thing on the credit side of Yallop’s picks comes with the fact that he essentially picked up a starting defense (Goodson, Cochrane, Riley, and Hernandez), entirely credible options at holding mid (Grabavoy, Carroll), plus a nifty player in Guerrero, while leaving plenty of money available for those attacking players he’ll find elsewhere. A quick check of each player’s 2007 guaranteed pay (and a little rounding) puts Yallop’s current total at $622,617. After accounting for a designated player (or two) and assuming a $2.3 or so salary cap, it looks like Frank got the New Model ‘Quakes off to a respectable start on the field and has some room to spend.

Expansion Draft: The Unprotected, Shock Parade + My Picks

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”: Continue reading