With the Montreal Impact becoming the 19th MLS next season comes yet another dreaded Expansion Draft. Each team can protect 11 players from the draft, while Generation Adidas players and Homegrown players are automatically protected. The teams’ lists were due on Monday.
The Crew protected Bernardo Anor, Rich Balchan, Dilly Duka, Eddie Gaven, William Hesmer, Julius James, Chad Marshall, Sebastian Miranda, Emilio Renteria, Robbie Rogers, and Tony Tchani. Aaron Horton was automatically protected as a Homegrown player. Both Duka and Tchani graduated as Generation Adidas players, so the front office had to use two spots to protect the pair this year.
Left unprotected were Kevin Burns, Jeff Cunningham, Emmanuel Ekpo, Shaun Francis, Josh Gardner, Eric Gehrig, Cole Grossman, Andy Gruenebaum, Tom Heinemann, Justin Meram, Andres Mendoza, Danny O’Rourke, John Owoeri, Santiago Prim, Alex Riggs, Dejan Rusmir, Ben Sippola, Korey Veeder, and Josh Williams.
Montreal can only select 10 players from the 18 teams currently in MLS. No team can have more than one player selected. That means that the Crew may not even have anyone picked.
Josh Gardner and Shaun Francis are both solid left-sided players, something that isn’t all too common in MLS. Justin Meram showed potential as a rookie last year. These three players are probably the most likely to be heading to Montreal. That is, of course, if Columbus even has a player picked.
The Expansion Draft will take place at 3:00 pm on Wednesday.