Minnesota United and Atlanta United will be joining MLS next year. The league has decided that an expansion draft will be held with modified rules from the draft NYCFC and Orlando City SC participated in.
Who NYCFC Should Protect in the MLS Expansion Draft
The draft will take place December 12 at 2 pm. Each current MLS club can protect 11 players. They can also protect Generation Adidas players who do not graduate from the program at the end of the season and Homegrown Players. Homegrown player can be on a club’s Supplemental or Reserve roster. The club can only lose one player from the unprotected list. Finally, once a player has been taken from a club, none of their other players can be taken.
NYCFC currently have three goalkeepers: Josh Saunders, Eirik Johansen, and Andre Rawls on their first team roster. But, Johansens’s contract is up at the end of the season, so the club should resign him and protect him. Rawls will most definitely not be protected, as he never plays. Saunders will most likely be protected as he signed a contract extension this offseason. Overall, Saunders and Johansen should be protected.
NYCFC currently have 10 defenders on their roster, two whose contracts expire at the end of the season, RJ Allen and Shannon Gomez. NYCFC should definitely resign and protect RJ Allen. As I highlighted earlier this year, NYCFC should keep Shannon Gomez and protect him. They should also protect Ronald Matarrita, Fredric Brilliant, and Maximie Chanot. Jefferson Mena is worth not protecting because his salary his so high and his play is not that good so it wouldn’t be a disaster if he were taken. Finally, Conor Brandt, Jason Hernandez, Diego Martinez and Ethan White are not vital enough squad members to warrant protection.
NYCFC currently have eight midfielders on the first team roster. Currently five midfielders have contracts that end at the end of this season. Two of them should be kept, Tommy McNamara and Federico Bravo. Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo, and Mehdi Ballouchy should all be let go. In addition, Mix Diskerud is clearly out of favor, so he can be left unexposed. However, given his contract it is very unlikely he is selected. Also, Andoni Iraola isn’t worth protecting either. Finally, Mikey Lopez doesn’t play enough to warrant protection.
NYCFC currently have five attacking players. One, Stiven Mendoza, will most likely be unable to purchase because of his high price. However, Tony Taylor and Khiry Shelton should be resigned. Shelton should be protected, but Taylor should be left unprotected. David Villa should also be protected. Jack Harrison is Generation Adidas so he will be automatically protected.
Final Protection List
- Josh Saunders
- Eirik Johansen
- Shannon Gomez
- Ronald Matarrita
- RJ Allen
- Fredric Brilliant
- Maxime Chanot
- Tommy McNamara
- Federico Bravo
- David Villa
- Jack Harrison
GA: Jack Harrison