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FC Dallas Announces its 12 Protected Players Ahead of 2021 MLS Expansion Draft

No real surprises in this year’s protection list for FC Dallas.

MLS: FC Dallas at San Jose Earthquakes Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 Expansion Draft is nearly here for Charlotte FC and their options are pretty decent. Like 22 other clubs (five were exempt for losing players last year in Austin FC’s draft), FC Dallas has revealed the list of players that they are protecting ahead of tomorrow’s draft.

FC Dallas Expansion Draft List

Protected Players (12): Matt Hedges, Nicky Hernandez, Ryan Hollingshead, Franco Jara, José Martínez, Jimmy Maurer, Johnny Nelson, Jáder Obrian, Facundo Quignon, Szabolcs Schön, Nkosi Tafari and Ema Twumasi.

Automatically Protected Players (12): Edwin Cerrillo, Justin Che, Kalil ElMedkhar, Jesús Ferreira, Eddie Munjoma, Ricardo Pepi, Paxton Pomykal, Beni Redžić, Thomas Roberts, Dante Sealy, Brandon Servania and Collin Smith.

Available for selection (7): Bryan Acosta, Bressan, Caiser Gomes, Phelipe Megiolaro, Andrés Ricaurte, Freddy Vargas and Kyle Zobeck.

Notes: Each current MLS club had the opportunity to protect 12 players from their 2021 roster. Generation adidas players (who did not graduate at the end of the 2021 season) and Homegrown Players (ages 25 and under) on a club’s off-budget roster are automatically protected and do not count against a team’s 12 protected roster spots. Designated Players are not automatically protected. If a Designated Player has a no-trade clause in his contract, then the club must protect him in the Expansion Draft.

LA Galaxy, Nashville SC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC and San Jose Earthquakes are exempt from the 2021 Expansion Draft because they had players selected by Austin FC during the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft.

Our quick take:

So basically, this is what we kind of expected. Just swap Bressan for Johnny Nelson and you have the same list that we predicted last week. I believe there was one comment on that post that said protecting Nelson was a smart idea, so to that person, good job. You nailed it.

Really, for the second year in a row, FC Dallas doesn’t have a ton of worry going into this draft. All available players are ones that they’ve already passed on for 2022 and Nelson being bumped up into the protected list is probably more about the club not wanting to expose a guy that they might want to invite back in January once camp starts.

What do you make of the protection list? Does anything stand out to you this year?