The Expansion draft where most teams will wind up losing two players to the new Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps is coming up very soon and today the MLS released the official lists of who would be protected from each team. Colorado's protected list is as follows; analysis of both the players we protected and the players we didn't along with who I think will not be a Rapid come December coming up;
1. Matt Pickens
2. Drew Moor
3. Marvell Wynne
4. Kosuke Kimura
5. Pablo Mastroeni
6. Jeff Larentowicz
7. Brian Mullan
8. Jamie Smith
9. Macoumba Kandji
10. Omar Cummings
11. Conor Casey
12. Davy Armstrong - Protected by default due to the homegrown players rule.
My personal list of Expansion Draft protectees used in the SBnation Soccer mock draft was pretty similar to this one, with the biggest difference being I protected Anthony Wallace rather than protect Mac Kandji. Basically the entire starting midfield and both of our dangerous forwards will be protected for another season, with the biggest chunk coming most likely out of our defensive depth.
Probably the biggest surprise for me is the fact that they used up a spot on saving Kandji, who has not been at the top of his game this season while playing as a Rapid, despite scoring by proxy the game winning goal in the MLS Cup final. A question of Julien Baudet and his protection status was raised several times by Rapids fans before today, but the trade earlier in the evening put an end to it.
Interestingly, Peter Vagenas is being left unprotected immediately after they picked him up. I doubt he will be picked up by either the Timbers or Whitecaps as he is 32 with a recent injury but it's an interesting conundrum.
Ciaran O'Brien wound up graduating from his Generation Adidas title, therefore automatically unprotecting him.
Our unprotected players are;
Andre Akpan, Quincy Amarikwa, Ross Schunk, Ross LaBauex, Claudio Lopez, Ciaran O'Brien, Wells Thompson, Peter Vagenas, Scott Palguta, Anthony Wallace, Ian Joyce, Steward Ceus.
I would wager a guess that Colorado will lose no more than one player in the draft, simply because past Anthony Wallace and Wells Thompson there is really not that much to see on the Rapids' unprotected list. My best assumption is that later in the draft, somebody will take a flyer on Anthony - who improved immensely in his game over the last month or two of the season, thus my reason for personally protecting him - and the Rapids will then auto-protect Wells.