FOXBORO, MA - APRIL 2: Jake Gleeson #20 of the Portland Timbers looks back to his goal as the New England Revolution score against the Timbers at Gillette Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Tonight kicks off the SB Nation Mock Expansion Draft where each current editor for each respective SBN blog will protect their chosen eleven from our soon-to-be Montreal Impact editor here with the great MLS blog family. It should be a lot of fun and I hope you join us at 4:00 PM today for the actual mock draft.
In any case, I've gone ahead and selected my personal eleven for tonight's mock. Some choices might be a little bit controversial, but I've put my reasons next to each choice. Please let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments!
...And then when something goes horrible tonight you can justifiably blame me. (Just kidding!)So here are my protected, starting from the goalkeeper's position:
Jake Gleeson: A shocker maybe? I don't think so. Gleeson is a very promising, young keeper and I think it would be an absolute mistake to lose him to Montreal. You'll also notice that I left out Troy Perkins in favor of Gleeson, not because I don't think Perkins is a great keeper, but rather because his high salary makes him an unlikely target. Let's preserve our youth for this pick.
Eric Brunner: Easy pick, in my opinion. The young center back has been the best defender for the Timbers this year. There really shouldn't be any reason why he would be left unprotected as he's far too valuable in both his current form and his future potential.
Mike Chabala: Despite some late season hiccups, I though Chabala came into the season and helped immensely to shore up the backline and provide great distribution. He would be a prize to Montreal if they could get him.
Rodney Wallace: Another left back!? Yep, that's right. Despite already protecting Mike Chabala, I've gone ahead and protected Rodney Wallace as well. Fact of the matter is that he's young and has far too much potential to let slip away to an expansion team, especially with his growing international minutes.
Eric Alexander: We didn't see much of Alexander this year so this pick might be a little presumptuous, but I have a feeling he'll play a larger role in the team in 2012. As such I'd very much like to see him stick around and not get poached.
Kalif Alhassan: This one really should be a no-brainer. Alhassan, despite not getting any goals, continually provided fantastic service to the strikers. His absence next year would be a huge detriment to the team. Also, he's young! I wouldn't be surprised to see some larger teams come sniffing around for him in the next couple years.
Diego Chara: Another solid player who would be protected normally. Fact of the matter is that Chara has to be protected due to his Designated Player status.
Jack Jewsbury: Yes he's getting older, but that's not a bad thing. The Timbers sorely lacked the veteran flavor other teams had and I feel that letting our captain go would have a huge negative impact. Aside from that, he easily should have been "Comeback Player of the Year" if not for Beckham's shenanigans. You don't let players like that slip away.
Sal Zizzo: Another easy pick. Zizzo's speed is matched by few others in MLS right now making him far too dangerous on the attack. As the team gels better next year, I hope to see him pick his head up a bit more and actually lay in some service.
Kenny Cooper: Too valuable and ended the season on a hot streak? Montreal would be stupid not to pick up Cooper were he left unprotected. I know Cooper had a falling out about half way through the season, but I think everybody expects big things from him next year.
Jorge Perlaza: It was difficult choosing Perlaza over Dike, honestly. However, Perlaza has the speed and technical skill that I just haven't seen in Dike who is, admittedly, a big physical striker. Aside from that I don't see Montreal being interested in Dike either way. Therefore, I decided to ensure Perlaza wasn't going anywhere.
So there are my picks! You might notice that Darlington Nagbe is absent and I assure you that was no mistake. Nagbe is currently a Generation Adidas player and those players are not able to be selected during the Expansion Draft meaning he's automatically protected.
Were he not a GA, however, I'd probably have switched Alexander with him.
What do you think? Who would you change? Let's hear it in the comments and remember to join us tonight at 4:00 PM on SBNation Soccer for the mock draft.
UPDATE: To clear up any confusion. I made a late change to my list yesterday morning to the spreadhseet we all used. Perkins > Gleeson. Apparently the guys running the thing didn't see it until 2-3 and wouldn't accept the change. That's how Gleeson got taken.
Bummer, but stuff happens. Sorry guys!