One of the downsides of getting all the way to MLS Cup, ok there aren't really any downsides, is that there is very little time to talk expansion draft protection lists for FCD. The club has to turn in their list tomorrow, so we'll know who they protected or not quickly. But with MLS Cup now over, I'll take a shot at what you might see tomorrow.
A quick rules overview. Each team can protect 11 player, and must protect at least three internationals, Generation adidas player are auto-protected, as are home grown players. So here's our guess prediction of the FCD list.
FCD Protected List Prediction
1. David Ferreira - The MVP. Enough said. (International 1)
2. Marvin Chavez - His play over the stretch run made him a lock. (I2)
3. Jair Benitez - The first choice left back all year, it makes sense he would be protected. (I3)
4. Kevin Hartman - After the season he had, he's a no brainer as well. Set the league record for GAA.
5. Daniel Hernandez - Hyndman's captain. Is the coach brave enough to expose him thinking DH would retire rather than leave? Doubtful and Hernandez deserves more respect than that.
6. Ugo Ihemelu - Another one of the coach's guys. He's also the leader of the back four.
7. Jackson - New signing, the guy played 6 spots and was the starter down the stretch at right back. (I4)
8. Dax McCarty - Now that he's on the bus, he's a vital part of this team.
9. Brek Shea - The future is bright, and FCD won't want to lose him.
10. George John - Hyndman picked him two years ago and won't let him go now. First choice center back.
11. Zach Loyd - The coach really likes this kid, he did pick him in the first round. Loyd would be tempting for a team to take. He can and does spot start in a few spots. The only reservation to protect him might be the Jackson signing.
Protected by Rule
The following players are exempt form being picked by rule as either home grown or generation adidas.
You may notice I left some key names off. I'll go into each of them.
1. Heath Peace - Let me say that the club was less than pleased with the nature and timing of Heath Pearce's injury late in the year. Pearce also mouthed off enough the week before MLS Cup on his twitter account about how healthy he was and if he didn't play it was 100% on coach Hyndman. Pearce's tweeting was bad enough the club had his account closed down (according to the ESPN broadcasters). Add to that the end of Pearce's current contract and his own desire to play in Europe (remember Pearce only came to MLS cause his deal in Turkey fell through on a contract paperwork technicality). Hyndman recently said the team was almost all his, 85% I think was the number. I think Pearce was who he was talking about.
2. Jeff Cunningham - When you make over $200k, don't start, don't talk to media all year, cause your coach headaches, and don't score as much as you used to, then you don't get protected. Would an expansion team risk him at his age? Doubtful.
3. Milton Rodriguez - To old, not enough production, probably to expensive for anyone to pick even if he is a great team guy and hard worker.
4. Atiba Harris - Lost his job to Marvin Chavez late in the year, played some striker but almost in a desperation move by the coach. Sure he's not to pricy and not to old. I just don't think he's worth a protected spot when he likely isn't a starter here anymore. Could be up for that last spot for Hyndman, but wouldn't be on my list for sure.
5. Dario Sala - A great servant of the club and solid MLS keeper. But with Kevin Hartman's season I'm not even sure Dario would say to protect himself.
6. Eric Alexander - Eric will, I believe, be the first player Hyndman protects if he losses someone. (You get to "pull back" a player if you lose a player.) Coach loves this kids calmness, heart, skill, and toughness. Does he love him enough to protect him in the first 11? Maybe. It was a close call on my list with Loyd.
7. Eric Avila - You may ask why a player this talented is not protected. The answer is you can only protect 11. Avila doesn't play enough defense to be a starter for Hyndman. His role is as a late game offensive sub. Is he talented? For sure. But he's behind Harris, Shea, and Chavez for a starting spot. Maybe even Alexander. Could he be protected over Loyd? Maybe, but Loyd starts frequently, Avila doesn't.
8. Kyle Davis - a young defender with potential. But not a enough PT to protect him.
9. Bruno Guarda - He's one of the coach's guys, but he doesn't play enough to protect.
10. Jason Yeisley - A taller center channel type striker, but not a big prospect. To far down the roster.
11. Edson Edward - No chance a player this far down the roster gets protected. He is going to have a real fight on his hands to make this squad in 2011.
That's our list, we'll find out soon how on the money we are. Who would you have protected or left off.