With the list of players able to be selected in the 2016 MLS Expansion Draft, we decided to take a stab at which players Atlanta United and Minnesota United will take from current MLS rosters. The draft will be five rounds long with each current team only being able to lose one player. Daniel Sperry will be picking first for Atlanta, and I will be picking for Minnesota.
LWSC’s Mock 2016 MLS Expansion Draft
Atlanta United- Seth Sinovic
Atlanta United has filled out their midfield and attack pretty well through the transfer market so far. However, it would be smart of them to grab some experienced MLS defenders, who understand the league. Sinovic is a proven left back in the league. While he isn’t known for tearing forward and overlapping the winger, his defensive awareness and tackling ability is something that Atlanta might really need in navigating their first season in MLS
Minnesota United- Steve Clark
There are a lot of good keepers available in this expansion draft and I think Clark has the best combination of talent and experience. A good backstop can help set the tone for an entire back lines. Except for his howler to open the 2015 MLS Cup Final, Clark has been a most reliable keeper for Columbus Crew and Minnesota would be glad to have him.
Atlanta United- Jarred Watts
Jarred Watts not being protected is honestly a bit of a shock. He had a very good season with Colorado Rapids, and is only 24. He could develop into quite the good center back. Again, proven MLS defenders would be key. Watts is also a great passer on the ball. He is a little challenged when it comes to winning balls in the air, however he makes up for that with his prowess in tackling the ball off. His age is easily his most attractive attribute here considering who else is on the list.
Minnesota United- Ronald Zubar
To go along with their experienced man between the pipes, why not add an experienced defender? Ronald Zubar started 19 games for an injury riddled Red Bull defense last year and held up quite nicely. He’s adept at reading passes, clearing loose balls, and blocking shots. All are strong assets in a back line. At 31, he’s got the necessary experience to mentor what could be a young team while not too old to be losing too much of his ability.
Atlanta United- Harry Shipp
Age is a significant factor here. Maybe like Patrick Mullins, Harry Shipp going elsewhere will allow him to really ignite his potential. He was best this season playing on the left, and that is a hole that Atlanta has going forward. I don’t see them signing another significant DP attacking piece at the moment, so Harry Shipp would slide in nicely.
Minnesota United- Razvan Cocis
To go along with an experienced goalkeeper and center back, why not an wise MLS midfielder? Razvan Cocis was a casualty of Chicago Fire’s youth movement, but that shouldn’t be a knock on his as a player. He’s a skilled passer who can also provide goals going forward. He did score five times for the Fire last season.
Atlanta United- Steven Beitashour
Under 30, a right back, who has significant experience all around the league. At times, he’s been regarded as one of the best attacking fullbacks in the league. Filling out that MLS experienced defense is key, and having four solid starters across that back four could easily put Atlanta into the post season. Having a good attack is huge, but a solid defense that is experienced in the league would go a long way for Atlanta.
Minnesota United- Jack McInerney
Jack McInerney is a young player who needs consistent playing time more than anything. He has shown flashes of brilliance during limited minutes with Montreal, Columbus, and Portland over the last two seasons. The trouble is, he has spent most of his time on the bench. If you put him on an expansion team looking for a full time striker, he can really shine.
Atlanta United- Nelson Valdez
I don’t want to hear about it. Valdez may have only scored his goals in the MLS Postseason, but he’s a pretty good pure striker. With Kenwyne Jones in the mix, Nelson Valdez style is relatively similar in style. It would provide continuity in the system that it seems Atlanta are set up to play. A striker core of Valdez and Jones would be pretty hard to deal with for most MLS defenses.
Minnesota United- Alberto Quintero
This is the one risky pick of the draft. Quintero was loaned out to San Jose, but is eligible for the expansion draft. Minnesota has yet to splash any cash, so why not on a proven MLS midfielder? They could extend his loan deal or negotiate a permanent transfer fee with second tier Mexican side Lobos BUAP. I can’t imagine it would take that much money to get him either.
The 2016 MLS Expansion Draft happens Tuesday afternoon at 2pm.