adidas womens Edgar among unprotected Whitecaps as expansion draft looms
For the teams not picking players, the MLS expansion draft is an exercise in calculated risk.
You get to protect 11 of your players. A few more homegrown players and those signed to Generation Adidas contracts are automatically protected. And a handful of players get exposed.
The trick in drawing up these lists is not simply to put your best players in one pile and shuffle the rest of the names one column over. It about exposing those who be least attractive to the incoming clubs. Or, put another way, it about protecting those who offer good value.
Hence, Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson has protected the low paid, high energy Nicolas Mezquida, while high cap hit, low return winger Cristian Techera could, in theory, be plucked by incoming Atlanta United or Minnesota United on Tuesday.
Not bloody likely, though.
Techera had a very good first season in MLS in 2015. He scored. He set up goals. He befuddled defenders. He dazzled at times. But in 2016 he was a $345,000 cap hit which surely includes some portion of his transfer fees and he was a shell of the player fans fell hard for the previous year.
Likewise, the Caps can afford to leave Japanese striker Masato Kudo unprotected because he on the books for $370,000 and he scored two goals in his first MLS season. In other words, he untouchable on Tuesday.
Mezquida, by contrast, has 60 MLS games to his name, works his tail off and makes $88,000. He might not have nearly the upside that Techera has, but he a far more attractive option to an expansion team.
Aside from value, the other thing expansion teams often look for is MLS experience to complement whoever they pluck from the college draft and whoever they sign from abroad.
defender/midfielder Marcel De Jong affordable, reliable, versatile and with experience in Kansas City and Vancouver will be the most attractive of the Caps exposed players.
But De Jong is a Canadian international and wouldn be a domestic player on Atlanta or Minnesota roster. He take up one of their limited international spots. So would Canadian centre back David Edgar, who has tons of experience in England, is only 29, and isn making huge money. Edgar is also exposed. Levis, a young talent from Saskatoon, is out until the summer after ACL surgery, too.
Cole Seiler, the Caps first round pick from 2016, showed promise in limited minutes as a rookie and could be attractive to the MLS newbies. That seems a stretch, though.
Before Monday lists going public, the Caps had already revealed that captain Pedro Morales wasn coming back in 2017. Same goes for defender/winger Fraser Aird, forward Blas Perez and right back Jordan Smith all available for selection Tuesday.
If Atlanta or Minnesota do want to take a chance on Morales the 2014 MLS newcomer of the year they have a window to renegotiate a contract that paid the Chilean playmaker around $1.5 million in total compensation last season.
Atlanta has first pick in Tuesday draft, which is only five rounds as opposed to the 10 round drafts we seen in past years. Far too many players were simply flipped right away for allocation money or SuperDraft picks or international spots. The players weren being used to build the expansion rosters as intended.
Whitecaps 11 man protected list:Bola Dean, Harvey, Hurtado, Jacobson, Laba, Manneh, Mezquida, Ousted,
Parker and Waston.