Draft News

Union’s protected list ahead of Wednesday’s Expansion Draft

Photo: Barb Colligon

On Monday evening, MLS released the protected lists from around the league ahead of Wednesday’s Expansion Draft, which will take place at 2 pm.

Here are the protected and unprotected players on Philadelphia Union:

Protected (11)
Maurice Edu
Fabinho (International)
Sebastian LeToux
Cristian Maidana (International)
Vincent Nogueira (International)
CJ Sapong
Carlos Valdes (International)
Andrew Wenger
Sheanon Williams
Ethan White
Raymon Gaddis

Automatically Protected
Andre Blake (International / Generation adidas)
Cristhian Hernandez (International/ Homegrown)
Jimmy McLaughlin (Homegrown)
Zach Pfeffer (Homegrown)

Austin Berry
Brian Brown (International)
Corben Bone
Brian Carroll
Conor Casey
Danny Cruz
Antoine Hoppenot
Michael Lahoud
Rais Mbohli (International)
Zac MacMath
Leo Fernandes
Richard Marquez
Pedro Ribeiro (International)
Aaron Wheeler

Earlier on Monday, the Union announced that it had declined the options on five players: Corben Bone, Fred, Brian Brown, Conor Casey, and Cristhian Hernandez. Additionally, Brian Carroll is out of contract.

2014 Expansion Draft Rules

• MLS clubs may protect 11 players between their Senior Roster and their Supplemental Roster.  If the player’s contract expires at the end of 2014, he will still be considered part of the club’s roster.

• If a club protects a player, it is not obligated to exercise the player’s option. It may renegotiate subject to terms of the CBA.

• If a player retires, he will not be a part of the club’s roster, but his club will lose its right of first refusal to him should he ultimately decide to play.

• Players on a club’s Supplemental Roster, other than Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2014 MLS season or Homegrown Players on a club’s Supplemental Roster, will be part of the expansion draft.

• Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2014 MLS season and Homegrown Players on a club’s Supplemental Roster at the end of the 2014 MLS season are automatically protected (clubs do not have to use a protected slot on them).

• If NYCFC or Orlando City SC selects a Supplemental Roster Player, it must offer him a Senior Roster position and he must remain on the Senior Roster as of Roster Compliance Date.

• Clubs are restricted in the number of International Player(s) that they may make available. Clubs may make available a number of International Players equal to their total number of International Players minus three, provided that if a club has three or fewer International Players it may make available not more than one. (See table below).

• For purposes of this expansion process, any non-domestic U.S. players will count as an International.

• 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). However, if the Designated Player has a no-trade clause in his contract, then his MLS club must protect him and he will count as one of the 11 players who may be protected.

• Once two players have been claimed from a team’s non-protected roster, that team is eliminated from the expansion draft and may not lose any further players. In addition, once a player has been claimed from a club’s non-protected roster, that club may move a player from its non-protected roster to its protected roster.

• Right to Negotiate: NYCFC and Orlando City SC will have the right to renegotiate a draft player’s salary (either up or down) without having to place such player on waivers or giving his previous club a right of first refusal.

• Rounds: The expansion draft will consist of 10 rounds.

Number of Internationals               Minimum Must Protect   May Make Available Not More Than

10                                                        3                                              7

9                                                          3                                              6

8                                                          3                                              5

7                                                          3                                              4

6                                                          3                                              3

5                                                          3                                              2

4                                                          3                                              1

3                                                          2                                              1

2                                                          1                                              1

1                                                          0                                              1


  1. They went with Fabinho over Ribeiro or MBolhi !? There must be some deal in place with the expansion teams, because there’s no way Sak lets his World Cup keeper go. If we end up losing MacMath and MBolhi I’m gonna be like wtf

    • World Cup keeper that can’t clear a ball out of the box in the most important part of one of the most important games of the year. Big bust.

  2. Fabhino? I got nothing.
    Looks like the Union are daring NY and Orlando to take a keeper… Any keeper. I suspect (if I read the rules right) that once a team picks up a keeper the union will put the other on the protected list.

    • Right, that makes sense but why protect Fabinho over Ribeiro? Fabinho shouldn’t even be on this team, let alone protected.

      • For that I got nothing. It seriously makes me doubt curtins ability to evaluate talent.

      • Old soccer coach says:

        Look at the holes in the rosters of both Orlando and Manchester City West. Both are looking for left backs, and left backs are scarce. Protecting Fabinho is guessing for what the two drafting teams are looking. Since both have already acquired goalkeepers, Hall and Saunders respectively, we are gambling that neither want M’Bohli as a back up for a quarter of a million a year and that one hundred fifty five thousand for MacMath as a back up is too expensive for the salary cap’s effect on the rest of the respective benches.

      • So they take him? We are losing 1-2 players. PLEASE make Fabinho one of them. Can they take Carroll too? Oh wait, they won’t take either one!

      • I give the Union the benefit of the doubt on a lot of things – to a fault – but Fabinho can’t possibly be the 2015 starting left back, can he? Can he?

        I’m pretty sure I already know the answer.

      • Nothing’s stopping either expansion team from selecting one of our GKs and dealing him off to another club.

      • I don’t think the Union care what the team does with one of the keepers just so long as they go away.

  3. This might not be rational but I am definitely more angry about them protecting Fabinho than I am about anything else that has happened in human history

    • I can empathize I am still pretty bitter about Max Headrom being cancelled.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I. LOVED. THAT. SHOW.
        Anyway… MacMath? You couldn’t have traded him, and got something, anything? Ribiero? A guy that you drafted in the 1st round, played out of position, and are now willing to let go? Fabinho – I have already typed too much. I have defended a lot from this club, sometimes I even come off as an apologist… But COME ON with those moves… someone please explain it to me.
        PS – I am working on a Kickstarter to fund the rocket

  4. Rockets to the sun are expensive. Practice fields ate up the capital budget.

  5. There’s gotta be something in the works with that..

    • Only thing that makes sense is hoping to clear the glut at GK by leaving both out there. If one gets taken protect the other. Beyond that, I have nothing

  6. MikeRSoccer says:

    Great to see that Rais is a designated player according to the MLS report. That’s the signing that just keeps on giving, isn’t it? Extra cap hit probably played a role in letting Okugo go, is going to bite us in the ass when Nog asks for the money he deserves, and probably cripples our search for a striker.

    Also, didn’t Sak say he was NOT a DP? Just when you think this team could not possibly make itself look more incompetent…

  7. I think they left Mbohli and Zac unprotected because of the rule “once a player has been claimed from a club’s non-protected roster, that club may move a player from its non-protected roster to its protected roster.”

    They probably didn’t want to put both on the protected list, so they put neither. Now, if (and likely when) Mbolhi or Zac is picked, the other will be protected. In which case, we’re letting the expansion draft decide who our keeper is.

    Either that or they have some handshake agreement in place.

    They had to protect 4 international players, and if it was already worked out that Mbohli wouldn’t be one, then they were left with a choice of Fabinho, Pedro, and Brown. In the end, it probably didn’t matter which got protected, since it’s unlikely any of the three would be selected. All this does is assert that Fabinho is still part of the plan which is simply disappointing…

    • That’s what I’m afraid of. My fear is come Spring time, Curtin will come out and say Fabinho is the starting left back and that will last until….about the third game of the year when we (once again) realize that Fabinho is not a very good left-back at all and can’t really defend at all and then (once again) have to play Williams or Gaddis out left.

    • Actually, I got that last part wrong. We only had to protect 3 international players. That’s actually worse since it implies we went out of our way to protect Fabinho, even over another non-international.


      • Seeing as how Fabinho’s salary is the highest of the 3, this decision is so dumb. So, so, so, so dumb.

  8. Fabhino may not be the starting left back, but who do they have besides him as a backup outside back?

    • Old soccer coach says:

      Well observed, sir, well observed. We are deep at center back; not so much on the flank.

    • Yeah, plus it seems like left backs are in high demand and low supply right now. Not exactly a buyer’s market

    • Well, assuming Gaddis is your starter and also assuming no other roster moves: both Le Toux and Lahoud have spent time (albeit in an emergency) at full back. You obviously wouldn’t want to go that route long-term – that would make Fabinho look like defender of the year. But very short term – one game or so – you could get by with that sort of arrangement, even if it meant moving Williams to the left and playing your emergency FB on the right.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Fabinho had his moments…good and bad. He’s not your starting LB, but he does serve as a useful bench resource (He can provide offensive support, down the left flank…if the situation called for it). The club will definitely…err, I mean I hope they will…pursue a starting caliber LB, through transfer/trade (Sheanon).

  9. MLS is so weird when it comes to these things. Likely there are understandings in place that justify the list. Perhaps there’s a pragmatism about Fabinho — either they don’t want to lose a left back without another one on the roster or they have interest from another club and stand to get something for him. Who knows? It’s pretty baffling all on its own.

  10. Seems like there could be a slight disadvantage for Union, KC, and Columbus as they traded players to Orlando or NYCFC. You won’t be able to sneak someone through when the expansion teams will have inside knowledge from those players of their previous teams. Thank God we protected Fabinho.

    Interesting that the KC trade with Orlando lists “future considerations” as part of the deal (“don’t take anyone else from us”?), not so in the Philly trade. Not to mention Orlando was formerly KC’s USL-Pro affiliate, so they won’t mess with them anyway. Guess we’ll see Wednesday…

    • Old soccer coach says:

      I think I may have seen that KC’s future considerations are financial? Not sure.

      • Certainly could be, though allocation money was already part of the deal. Those teams already have a good relationship anyway. New England left some talent to nab: Fagundez, Mullins, and Neumann among them. Though they announced they had a deal with both teams not to take Fagundez…whatever that may be.

  11. The Realist Brian says:

    Here is the deal. This shit is fixed. Expansion drafts in theory would mean the top two teams, LA and Seattle will have players selected. Multiple players each. Because they are the deepest teams.
    They won’t. Just like the last expansion draft, where LA didn’t lose a single player. Single entity is a fucking joke. Meanwhile we will lose two players again that will move on to do well..

    • Drops mic and exits stage left.

    • The International players rule hurts newer teams more because they have less flexibility (hence our being forced to previously use a protection slot on Juan Diego Gonzalez when the only other possibility was Eduardo Coudet) whereas now we can choose to protect only the international players we want to keep. L.A. has been able to do that for a while.
      Additionally, expansion teams are likely to look for the same type of young (or experienced leaders), promising, and cheap players that previous expansion teams chose, so they end up stealing from one another.
      I think this is why Seattle and Philadelphia tended to lose proportionally more players in the Philadelphia, Vancouver, Portland, and Montreal expansion drafts

  12. Who was the Ligue 1 striker we were supposed to be getting? I know it fell through but was curious if anybody got a name?

  13. So just a quick run through the names available, I picked out the goalkeepers I recognized. They are:

    Fernandez (Dallas), Perkins, Knighton, Nasco, Ricketts, Attinella (RSL), Busch, Gruenbaum, and Kronberg. And MacMath and M’Bohli.

    That’s a pretty good number, and possibly missing some more I missed or don’t know of. Still possible we have 3 GKs come Wednesday night.

  14. I’m going to get so much bs for this but everyone commenting on Fabinho should be put on a rocket and sent to the sun haha.

  15. Thoughts:

    I’m guessing Fabinho was protected since he is the only true left back on the roster – which is important just from a depth standpoint.

    I would bet the trade with Orlando had a “gentleman’s agreement” that they would not take certain players. Since NYFC already has Saunders and plenty of other quality keepers unprotected, they are betting that NYCFC will not take MacMath (no one will take Rais at his salary if they already have a starting keeper).

    With Carroll out of contract and Okugo now gone, it might be a little telling that Lahoud is unprotected because we could quickly become thin at CDM. We could be in the market for a midfielder as well as the left back and striker we are missing. My guess now is Valdes-White at CB and Edu-Nog holding unless moves are made (which Valdes is a questionmark).

    The most likely player to get selected IMO is Berry. He has been good since entering the MLS and most of his issues this past year could be attributed to injuries. NYCFC only has 2 defenders listed on the current roster with only Brovsky as a a real starter. Orlando has Collin now but no other clear starting CB. If he is taken, we have to hope Marquez is ready to cover depth.

    Another one is possibly Cruz since both clubs do not really have any wide midfielders. This could open the door for Pfeffer to see more first team time…

    • Correction, Fabinho is the only player with a left foot who can play as a left back. He is a converted mid fielder, just like the rest of the team is a converted…..
      maybe maybe maybe regarding your Cruz point. Hope. Hope. Hope.
      Now that Okugo is gone, Pfeffer seeing more time is my next horse to ride. I will beat it to submission.

  16. Bye, Zach. You are the pick of the litter.

  17. kingkowboys says:

    Leaving both MacMath and M’bohli unprotected is certainly a calculated risk. I don’t think either team will select M’Bohli. I aslo think that part of the Okugo deal was a hand shake with OC that they would not select MacMath. That leaves only 1 team to worry about and MacMath is an expensive backup to Saunders. MacMath is more critical to keep of the two, even with both MacMath will have game time due to call ups.
    Fabinho being protected is odd, but he’s our only true left back. Like it or not we have a larger issue with him off the roster. Plus if both teams need a left back there may be behind the scene deals going on to trade him.
    Personally I hope one team has an episode and takes Danny Cruz.

  18. My guess is the only player taken is Austin Berry. All the other players are nice to haves, but CB experience and depth is always at a premium in the league. So I say Austin get selected by NY

  19. Holy cow . . I just looked at who’s available. New England alone has an impressive list. This is where I wished we had a good front office that could work trades and pick up some people from other squads for picks, allocation money, etc. If they really liked Steve Neumann as much as they said I’m sure a deal could be made with NY or ORL

    These guys should easily get snapped up, although I haven’t looked at the salary list to compare

    Diego Fagundez
    Marvell Wynne
    Corey Ashe

  20. So angry! Ribiero is gone!

    • I’ve been cool with everything that’s developed this week until now. This just sucks. I’m kind of pissed also that a club like Orlando, coming in with a player who makes 10 times Philly’s entire payroll can get away with stealing a good young player from us. This feels like exploitation.

      And so much for speculation that Orlando would stay away from our players as part of the Okugo deal.

    • Got so mad that I spelled his name incorrectly. Ribeiro. Grrrrr… Marquez to Orlando next?

  21. Ok. It’s over. We lost Ribeiro in the draft. Damn.

    Now I have a new team to hate: Orlando.

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