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Projecting the FC Dallas Expansion Draft protection list

Given the rules of the draft, FC Dallas shouldn’t have to worry too much about losing anyone.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 MLS Expansion Draft is set for next week on December 14. Teams will be releasing their 12 players that will be protected from the draft for Charlotte FC and for the second year in a row, FC Dallas likely won’t have to stress too much over losing anyone.

The Homegrown designation based on the rules is a little confusing since Jesus Ferreira, Ricardo Pepi and Paxton Pomykal are technically not on their original Homegrown contracts, but since the rules below state players younger than 25 years old, they should be automatically protected.

Due to the high number of Homegrown players currently on the roster and the offseason roster moves that have already been made by the club, there shouldn’t be too many surprises in this year’s draft protection list from the club. As wild as it sounds, there is one slot that will need to be filled, leaving players that were not signed for 2022 as players they’ll need to protect.

Now, if those three HGPs mentioned previously do need to protect somehow, I think it could be a little dicier after you toss out Bressan, maybe you go as far as to not protect Franco Jara and Nicky Hernandez. But for these purposes, we’re going to assume they are protected based on how the rules are written.

Here are the FC Dallas players that are automatically protected based on the rules above and the club’s roster online:

The projected 12 players protected:

  1. Matt Hedges
  2. Ryan Hollingshead
  3. Franco Jara (international)
  4. Jose Martinez (international)
  5. Jimmy Maurer
  6. Nicky Hernandez
  7. Jader Obrian (international)
  8. Facundo Quignon (international)
  9. Szabolcs Schon (international)
  10. Nkosi Tafari
  11. Ema Twumasi
  12. Bressan*

* Not currently under contract with FC Dallas in 2022.

List of unprotected players:

  • Bryan Acosta
  • Caiser Gomes
  • Phelipe Megiolaro
  • Johnny Nelson
  • Andrés Ricaurte
  • Freddy Vargas
  • Kyle Zobeck - eligible for free agency

Automatically protected players:

  • Edwin Cerrillo - Homegrown
  • Justin Che - Homegrown
  • Kalil EdMedkhar - Homegrown
  • Jesus Ferreira - Homegrown
  • Eddie Munjoma - Homegrown
  • Ricardo Pepi - Homegrown
  • Paxton Pomykal - Homegrown
  • Thomas Roberts - Homegrown
  • Beni Redzic - Homegrown
  • Dante Sealy - Homegrown
  • Brandon Servanvia - Homegrown
  • Colin Smith - Homegrown

Below are the rules for this year’s draft that help build out the protection list. I’ve pulled out the ones that matter most to FC Dallas.

Protected/unprotected player-related rules:

  • The other 22 returning MLS clubs that competed during the 2021 season can protect 12 players from their Senior, Supplemental, and Reserve rosters.
  • If a player’s contract expires at the end of 2021, he will still be considered part of the club’s Roster.
  • If a club protects a player, the club is not obligated to exercise the player’s option. The club may renegotiate a new contract with the player as in previous years, subject to the CBA.
  • Option Decline Free Agents and Out of Contract Free Agents not automatically protected and are eligible for selection.
  • Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2021 MLS Season and Homegrown Players (ages 25 and under –born in or after 1996) on a club’s roster at the end of the 2021 MLS Season are automatically protected. Clubs do not have to use a protected slot on them.
  • Designated Players are NOT automatically protected (i.e., clubs must choose whether to protect such players, and if such player is not protected, he will be available for selection in the Expansion Draft).
  • If a player has a no-trade clause in his contract, his MLS club must protect him, and he will count as one of the 12 players who may be protected.

International player rules:

  • Clubs with four or more international players must protect at least three international players, excluding any automatically protected players. If a Club has only three international players, it must protect two. If a Club has only two international players, it must protect one. A Club that has only one international player is not required to protect that player.

What do you think about FC Dallas possibly having to protect a guy that is out of contact with the club?