The 2020 Expansion Draft is Tuesday, December 15 at 4 p.m. MT and because Charlotte FC won’t be joining MLS until 2022, all eyes are on Austin FC.
The newest MLS club has already started building their roster thanks to a half-day trade window yesterday and have acquired Nick Lima from the San Jose Earthquakes, Jon Gallagher from Atlanta United, Julio Cascante from the Portland Timbers, Ben Sweat from Inter Miami, and Ulises Segura from D.C. United.
They will have the opportunity to select five more players from five different teams during the draft (no single team can lose two players). Whoever Austin FC chooses, that team will receive $50,000 in GAM and not be responsible for any part of the departing player’s salary.
In the meantime, clubs are able to protect 12 players. All homegrown players 25 years old or younger are automatically protected.
The clubs that Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF chose players from in last year’s expansion draft are exempt from selection this year. Those teams are New York City FC, FC Cincinnati, Los Angeles Football Club, Columbus Crew SC, Seattle Sounders FC, Minnesota United FC, Portland Timbers, New England Revolution, Atlanta United, and Sporting Kansas City. That leaves 16 teams who will be available to choose from.
The automatically protected players for the Colorado Rapids include:
- Kellyn Acosta*
- Auston Trusty*
- Seb Anderson
- Cole Bassett
- Matt Hundley
- Sam Vines
- Will Vint
- Kortne Ford
- Abe Rodriguez
*Acosta and Trusty are still on their Homegrown contracts.
The 12 players that the Rapids chose to protect in this year’s draft are:
- Goalkeepers (2): Clint Irwin, William Yarbrough
- Defenders (4): Lalas Abubakar, Keegan Rosenberry, Jeremy Kelly, Danny Wilson
- Midfielders (3): Jack Price, Younes Namli, Braian Galvan
- Forwards (3): Jonathan Lewis, Diego Rubio, Andre Shinyashiki
The following players are available for selection:
- Andre Rawls
- Steven Beitashour
- Drew Moor
- Nicolas Mezquida
- Collen Warner
- Nicolas Benezet
Just because a player is protected does not mean the Rapids have necessarily reached a deal for or with him, but it means that they are protecting the rights to that player.