The 2014 MLS Expansion Draft is only three days away as of right now, so it's time to decide who the Colorado Rapids should be protecting.
I said in a post a while back that the Rapids were actually not likely to have a hard time with this one simply because there weren't all that many players worth protecting around, and a few of the options that I would have assumed would have been protected had their contract options declined, like Marvell Wynne and Nick Labrocca. That in mind, when putting together a list I included none of the players whose options had been declined, though Carlos Alvarez was a tempting add.
It's also worth noting that Shane O'Neill, Dillon Serna and Marlon Hairston (Homegrown and GA players) are ineligible for the draft, which meant the only difficult decisions involved some of the few youngsters that remained. Do I protect two goaltenders after John Berner's half-decent rookie season? Jared Watts? John Neeskens? How about trusting Zat Knight will be re-signed and protecting him? Like I said before, it's really kind of slim pickings.
In our mock expansion draft, where Marvell Wynne was selected, my protected list looked like this:
Deshorn Brown, Jared Watts, Marc Burch, Clint Irwin, Jose Mari, Drew Moor, Dillon Powers, Vicente Sanchez, John Neeskens, and Gabriel Torres.
However, Tony Cascio returned to the team following that, a player with more Rapids experience and, in my opinion, a clearer path to a bright future in MLS than Neeskens has. If I had to gamble on which was more likely to be picked, I think Cascio is also a higher probability, though I don't see either as too high on either expansion team's priority list. As such, my new protected list looks like this:
Deshorn Brown, Jared Watts, Marc Burch, Clint Irwin, Jose Mari, Drew Moor, Dillon Powers, Vicente Sanchez, Tony Cascio, and Gabriel Torres.
Do you agree? Disagree? Share your preferred protected list in the comments below or with @BurgundyWave on twitter.