One thing we know will happen this offseason is that there will be another Expansion Draft to help welcome Los Angeles FC into the league next season.
If the rules are as similar as last year, each team will have to protect 11 players (minus Homegrown and Generation adidas players). LAFC should only have five total picks, which should help limit FC Dallas from losing anyone.
We plan on updating this list periodically between now and the draft. For now here is what we see happening come December.
The why on the projected list
First off, we have to throw in the line about saving Designated Players. Based on last year’s rules, FCD isn’t required to save all DPs. I debated between Chala and Colman, I see at least one of them being protected, the other not. Chala being an unknown to most in MLS makes sense to leave available. It is also possible that the team will have to keep Colman protected due to how most DP deals are structured with no trade clauses.
The rest seem pretty obvious to protect. The team will need to protect at least three internationals on the roster.
Who is in danger
Off the bat we have guys like Chris Seitz, Tesho Akindele, and Jacori Hayes. Let me go one-by-one here with these three in particular.
Seitz - He’s a serviceable back up keeper that is from California. You do wonder if he would be worth the gamble for a team in this draft given the potential for so few picks. But it is always tough to get good backup keepers in this league and this could be a steal for LAFC. He was left unprotected last year and FCD made it out okay with that.
Akindele - There are some of you that would be perfectly fine with LAFC picking Tesho. But his salary is still good for a new team to pick up.
Hayes - A young player with plenty of potential would be a nice pick for any new team.
Guys like Atiba Harris, Hernan Grana, Maynor Figueroa and Javier Morales could be interesting picks but all are aging a bit too much. Grana also is on loan like Carlos Cermeno and Luis Gonzalez; I don’t think those three are really worth picking if I were LAFC.
Homegrown status for Gonzalez
We saw this last year with Victor Ulloa. Depending on how the league classifies a player’s HGP status for this draft, we could see Jesse Gonzalez land in the need to be protected zone. If that is the case, you may see him saved over someone like Ryan Hollingshead.
I think the saving grace for FCD on this will be that last year’s draft rules stated that HGPs on the team’s supplemental roster will be saved. Right now, Gonzalez is on the team’s supplemental roster.
The same goes for Aaron Guillen though I wouldn’t imagine the team would protect him anyways.
We shouldn’t panic again this year
Like I mentioned above, the fact that there are likely only five players being selected in this draft limits the chances that it is going to be one from this team. I wouldn’t be upset if one of our guys got selected anyways.
A lot can change between now and December though. The rules could be drastically different than what we are expecting and the team could make some moves that change our minds on some things. Either way, this draft won’t be too much to worry over in the end.