Crew Protect 12
Shawn Mitchell has the Crew’s expansion draft protected list. The team protected 11 and Jed Zayner was exempt due to his remaining status as a Generation Adidas player. I was not too far off in my; the usual suspects are there and the Crew obviously took salary concerns when they made their list.
From the upper tier, the Crew protected Schelotto, Rogers, Marshall, Carroll, and O’Rourke. Even though Schelotto is out of contract, he still can be resigned or traded if it comes to that. Mystery still surrounds the contract status of Robbie Rogers, but like Schelotto, he has too much value to the team even if he doesn’t stick around. Marshall, Carroll, and O’Rourke were locks to be protected. All are either too good or too cheap to leave unprotected.
The next tier is a mix of mid tier talent. This included the expensive options like Gaven, Hesmer, and Ekpo. These players are all very talented and are more expensive options. The two wingers make in exess of $100,000 and are under 25 years old; the type of player that you can build a team around. Perhaps Philadelphia isn’t looking for a keeper, but a two year starter making $77,000 a year is valuable trade bait, much like how the Crew got him from Toronto.
The last three are from the cheap talent list. Lenhart, Brunner, and Moffat have upside and don’t cost much against the cap at all. They have been starters and make great cogs to a new roster. This is the valuable depth for the Crew to have, but perhaps may have been sacrificed to protect a veteran back like Gino Padula.
The unprotected list is very interesting. Team captain Frankie Hejduk is available as is valuable left back Gino Padula. 2008 first round draft pick Andy Iro is also available on the defensive side. The Crew also left several strikers available, Ale Moreno, Jason Garey, and Emilio Renteria all provide a certain offensive spark and may be intriguing to the Union. There is value on the Crew’s exposed list.
I expect Padula to get picked and traded. A veteran left back is too valuable of a commodity. I bet some team in MLS will want to trade for him as the final piece of the puzzle. If it isn’t Padula, I could also see the Union picking up one of the Crew’s strikers as an offensive option. Garey and Moreno have proven they can score goals. Garey has always been too low on the pecking order to really get any minutes, but he has produced when he has had a chance.
If the Crew do lose Padula, I can see Zayner starting on the left side. I also could see a back line of Zayner, O’Rourke, Brunner, and Marshall next year as well if Hejduk doesn’t rebound from his injury and poor performance plagued 2009 season. That would mean the Crew are looking to Moffat, Burns, or even Gaven to fill the hole in central midfield. I am intrigued who Philly picks from the Crew and how the team starts to rework the team.