Pardon my French.
With less than a day until the Montreal Impact make their selections in the Major League Soccer Expansion Draft, the predictions on who will be packing their bags for Quebec are coming from all over so I thought I would toss my hat into the ring.
As the quality on MLS rosters continues to grow year after year, the league’s new teams find themselves with a wealth of options from which to build their team. Like the Whitecaps and Timbers before them, the Impact are sure to throw some curve balls at us but as the lone team selecting players Montreal can be assured of getting their men. Keeping them will be another story.
The full list of who is protected and who isn't can be found here.
The Risky Guys
San Jose Earthquakes - M - $336,000
Convey is an experienced player with quality to spare, who can provide from the left side of midfield. Fresh from a falling out with coach Frank Yallop, Convey would benefit from a change of scenery.
The rest of the picks are after the jump.
Colorado Rapids - D - $67,000
One of Colorado’s most dependable and underrated players, there are rumors that Kimura is looking to return to Japan. However, if he can be convinced to stay, he is a proven back in MLS that is capable of getting forward and serving in a good cross.
The Young Guys
Chivas USA - D - $132,000
Valentine is young, capable, and a real surprise to be left unprotected. As he was graduated from the Generation Adidas program this season, Valentine is somewhat pricey for an unproven defender but looked good in the 25 appearances he made for Chivas in 2011.
FC Dallas - D/M - $53,000
A defensive midfielder in college, Warshaw has potential as both a midfielder or defender and, at only 53k a year, is a bargin in the process. Warshaw filled in capably for FC Dallas this year and could mature into a solid squad player in the future.
Austin Da Luz
DC United - M - $82,000
Of all the young and cheap central midfielders available in the expansion draft, Da Luz is probably the most attacking minded. From the Peter Lowry school of players that everyone seems to agree should be starting for someone, just not their team, Da Luz seems to be on the edge of breaking out, and an opportunity to grab a starting spot with the Impact may be just what he needs.
Houston Dynamo - M - $123,000
At only 21 Danny Cruz’s industry and skill on the right wing were a large part of Houston’s late year form, including their unsuccessful bid for the MLS Cup. Known to Timbers fans equally for his hard hit on Mike Chabala and his impressive long distance goal over Troy Perkins, the Impact would do well to pick up Cruz.
LA Galaxy - M - $79,000
Michael Stephens is a skillful winger who is still young and cheap despite playing a big role with the Galaxy for the last two years. With Landon Donovan pushed out of the forward line and into the midfield, Stephens did not see much time as a starter late this year for the Galaxy, but on any other team he likely would have been on the field.
Sporting Kansas City - D - $137,000
This year was a rough one for Michael Harrington. Battling injury and losing his starting spot despite some solid play early in the season saw him made surplus to the requirements of SKC. If Montreal were to pick him up they would find themselves with a solid fullback who has shown he is capable of starting in MLS.
Real Salt Lake - M - $42,000
One thing that will make moving to Quebec easier? Speaking French. In addition to his linguistic abilities, Alexandre is a powerful athlete, similar to James Marcelin in style, who is also capable of scoring from the midfield as evinced by his one goal o the week nominee this year. Alexandre has lined up everywhere from defender to forward for Real Salt Lake and his versatility would be a real bonus for the expansion Impact.
New England Revolution - F - $42,000
Young but determined to make it as a professional soccer player, Guy can play up top or on the wing. Playing late in the season for the New England Revolution Guy showed his class and, despite being protected behind Rajko Lekic, has the potential to be a very productive forward for the team that gives him a chance.
New York Red Bulls - G - $80,000
A onetime Canadian national team keeper, Sutton has in turns inspired and horrified his supporters. While not someone the Impact will want to rely on to start, Sutton is a capable backup whose Canadian citizenship will make him an attractive pick for the Impact.
The MLS Expansion Draft will take place at noon tomorrow.