MLS teams revealed their expansion draft-protected players list this evening. The Rapids, who had already reduced their overall roster to 18 players on November 27, protected 11 players. Another 4 players were automatically protected due to their Homegrown Player status.
Among the players the Rapids had re-signed for 2018, the Rapids left only Sam Hamilton and Mike da Fonte exposed to selection by new expansion franchise LAFC. This was what we expected, with the one exception being Johan Blomberg. Burgundy Wave expected he would be protected, but apparently MLS did not require the yet-to-report player be exposed to the expansion draft. That gave the Rapids one more spot to protect, which they used on Jared Watts.
Around the league, a number of interesting players were left available for the Angels of Exposition Park. Former Rapid and Los Angeles native Jeff Larentowicz, Bobby Boswell, and Jacob Peterson were left unprotected by Atlanta, as well as Yamil Asad, who is likely to sign overseas. Chicago left attacking midfielder Michael De Leeuw unprotected, although he is recovering from a torn ACL and won’t be ready to return until mid-2018. Other intriguing possibilities include goalkeepers Brian Rowe, Matt Lampson, Josh Saunders, and David Ousted, midfielders Maurice Edu, Chris Pontius, Matias Laba and Brek Shea, defenders AJ De La Garza, DaMarcus Beasley, Victor Bernardez, Steven Beitashour and Brad Davis, and forwards Christian Bolanos, Marco Urena, Yura Movsisyan, Latif Blessing, and Miguel Ibarra.
Other former Rapids on the list include Marcelo Sarvas, Deshorn Brown, Maynor Figueroa, Michael Harrington, Atiba Harris, Jermaine Jones, Ensign Joe Greenspan, Dillon Powers, Quincy Amarikwa, Clint Irwin, and Drew Moor.
For a full list of available players, click here.
The draft will take place at 12 noon MST on Tuesday, December 12.