Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Philadelphia Story

Yesterday was the deadline for MLS clubs to announce their lists of protected players for Wednesday's expansion draft, and the Red Bulls put forward their eleven, along with the rest. No huge surprises and, in my opinion, no great miscalculations, à la Jeff Parke to Seattle last time around.

Here is the full list of NYRB players Philly could take:

Boyens, Cepero, Garcia, Krupnik, Patterson-Sewell, Petke, Rojas, Sassano, Ubiparipovic, Wolyniec, Mbuta, Zimmerman

The only move I would question is the inclusion of Carlos Mendes on the protected list, at the expense of players such as Zimmerman or Mbuta. Mendes was injured for the latter portion of last season, and though versatile would seem to be utterly replaceable. Leaving grizzled veterans such as Petke and Wolyniec unprotected is a calculated gamble that PU will find their combination of age and salary unappealing. Ernst Oebster, who some had predicted would be left unprotected, was only included to make up the required number of international slots. You really did not want us to protect Rojas, did you?

In any case, if I had a guess the most likely outcome is that Nowak selects no one from RBNY, leaving us intact. If he does decide to take one, I would bet on it being either Zimmerman or Mbuta, both of whom offer an appealing combination of skill and value. Cepero is another possibility, but with Kevin Hartman and several other keepers available, he may be a less desirable option.

Philly selects tomorrow (one player per team maximum and ten in total), so stay tuned!
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