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Nkufo, Ianni, Nyassi, Sturgis, Leo unprotected

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Nov. 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm with 15 Comments »
November 22, 2010 8:21 pm

Here are the players the Sounders protected from the coming MLS expansion draft:

Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Mike Fucito, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Nate Jaqua, Kasey Keller, Fredy Montero, Jeff Parke, James Riley and Steve Zakuani.

Therefore, this is the list of Sounders available to Portland and Vancouver in the expansion draft Wednesday:

Baudet, Julien
Boss, Terry
Earls, Danny
Estrada, David
Gonzalez, Leonardo
Graham, Taylor
Ianni, Patrick
Levesque, Roger
Marshall, Tyrone
Montano, Miguel
Nkufo, Blaise
Noonan, Pat
Nyassi, Sanna
Scott, Zacharias
Seamon, Michael
Sturgis, Nathan
Wahl, Tyson

Here is a statement provided by the club:

“Expansion is good for our league, but the expansion draft is a tense and emotional time for the club and the players,” said Owner and General Manager Adrian Hanauer. “Unfortunately, we may lose one or two members of the Sounders family on Wednesday. Once the draft is complete, we will make the best of it and move forward, strengthening our team with the aim of winning championships.”

Here’s the release from the league, listing all available players:

Major League Soccer today announced the available player list for the 2010 Expansion Draft on Wednesday, November 24, at 2:00 p.m. ET. The Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC will each select 10 players during the 10-round draft.

Representatives from all 18 MLS clubs will participate in an Expansion Draft teleconference which will be streamed on during a special LIVE edition of ExtraTime Radio. The coverage will begin at 1:45 p.m. ET.

Each current MLS club has had the opportunity to protect 11 players from their 2010 roster. Generation adidas players (who did not graduate at the end of the 2010 season) and Homegrown players are automatically protected and do not count against a team’s 11 protected roster spots. Designated Players with a no trade clause in their contract must be protected. MLS Clubs may lose no more than two players from their 2010 roster during the Expansion Draft.

Through the Expansion Priority Draft, Portland earned the first selection in the Expansion Draft.

A complete list of the Expansion Draft rules can be found on the Expansion Draft Page of


Chivas USA

Borja, Carlos

Bornstein, Jonathan

Chijindu, Chukwudi

Espinoza, Rodolfo

Galindo, Maykel

Gordon, Alan

Kennedy, Dan

Lillingston, Eduardo

Maldonado, Giancarlo

Mayen, Gerson

Padilla, Jesus

Romero, Osael

Saragosa, Marcelo

Trujillo, Mariano

Zotinca, Alex

Chicago Fire

Castillo, Nery

Dykstra, Andrew

John, Collins

Krol, Krzysztof

Ljungberg, Freddie

Lowry, Peter

Robinson, Dasan

Thorrington, John

Umanzor, Deris

Colorado Rapids

Akpan, Andre

Amarikwa, Quincy

Ceus, Steward

Joyce, Ian

LaBauex, Ross

Lopez, Claudio

O’Brien, Ciaran

Palguta, Scott

Schunk, Ross

Thompson, Wells

Vagenas, Peter

Wallace, Anthony

Columbus Crew

Brunner, Eric

Burns, Kevin

Garey, Jason

Griffit, Leandre

Gruenebaum, Andy

Hejduk, Frankie

Moffat, Adam

Oughton, Duncan

Padula, Gino

Schelotto, Guillermo Barros

Williams, Joshua

FC Dallas

Avila, Eric

Cunningham, Jeff

Davies, Kyle

Edward, Edson

Guarda, Bruno

Harris, Atiba

Hernandez, Daniel

McCarty, Dax

Rodriguez, Milton

Sala, Dario

Yeisley, Jason

D.C. United

Allsopp, Daniel

Barklage, Brandon

Cristman, Adam

Graye, Jordan

Hernandez, Pablo

McTavish, Devon

Morsink, Kurt

Pena, Juan

Perkins, Troy

Rice, Barry

Varela, Carlos

Houston Dynamo

Appiah, Samuel

Ashe, Corey

Cochrane, Ryan

Mulrooney, Richard

Ngwenya, Joseph

Obodai, Anthony

Oduro, Dominic

Onstad, Pat

Robinson, Eddie

Sporting Kansas City

Aiyegbusi, Korede

Beasley, Jamar

Chhetri, Sunil

Conrad, Jimmy

Diop, Birahim

Hercegfalvi, Zoltan

Hohlbein, Aaron

Kounenakis, Nick

Kronberg, Eric

Leathers, Jonathan

Myers, Chance

Thomas, Shavar

Wolff, Josh

LA Galaxy

Berhalter, Gregg

Cazumba, Alex

Da Silva, Leonardo

Jordan, Bryan

Kirovski, Jovan

Kovalenko, Dema

Magee, Mike

Marshall, Yohance

Perk, Brian

Saunders, Josh

New England Revolution

Boggs, Zak

Burpo, Preston

Colaluca, Nico

Dube, Kheli

Gibbs, Cory

Griffiths, Jason

Linck, Roberto

Murray, Tim

Phelan, Pat

Sinovic, Seth

Smith, Khano

Stolica, Ilija

New York Red Bulls

Angel, Juan Pablo

Boyens, Andrew

Chinn, Conor

da Luz, Austin

Garcia, Irving

Nielsen, Brian

Robinson, Carl

Salou, Ibrahim

Sassano, Luke

Sutton, Greg

Talley, Carey

Ubiparipovic, Sinisa

Philadelphia Union

Arrieta, Cristian

Coudet, Eduardo


Jacobson, Andrew

Knighton, Brad

Miglioranzi, Stefani

Moreno, Alejandro

Noone, Joseph

Salinas, Shea

Seitz, Chris

Zimmerman, Nick

Real Salt Lake

Alexandre, Jean

Campos, Pablo

Findley, Robbie

Gonzalez, Nelson

Grabavoy, Ned

Horst, David

McKenzie, Rauwshan

Melia, Timothy

Nimo, Alex

Reynish, Kyle

Russell, Robbie

Schuler, Chris

Warner, Collen

Williams, Andy

San Jose Earthquakes

Alvarez, Arturo

Andre Luiz

Beitashour, Steve

Burling, Bobby

Cannon, Joe

Corrales, Ramiro



Glen, Cornell

Leitch, Chris

Morrow, Justin

Ring, Brad

Ward, Tim

Seattle Sounders FC

Baudet, Julien

Boss, Terry

Earls, Danny

Estrada, David

Gonzalez, Leonardo

Graham, Taylor

Ianni, Patrick

Levesque, Roger

Marshall, Tyrone

Montano, Miguel

Nkufo, Blaise

Noonan, Pat

Nyassi, Sanna

Scott, Zacharias

Seamon, Michael

Sturgis, Nathan

Wahl, Tyson

Toronto FC

Barrett, Chad

de Guzman, Julian

Gala, Gabe

Garcia, Nick

Hscanovics, Raivis

Ibrahim, Fuad

Kocic, Milos

Martinez, Miguel Angel Ferrer

Nane, Joseph

Sanyang, Amadou

Saric, Martin

Usanov, Maxim

White, O’Brian

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. ciscokid says:

    So we protected:




  2. SoundersRiot says:

    Unless they have deals worked out be prepared to say good bye to Nyassi! And also 1 of either Nkufo, Montano, Ianni, Estrada, Gonzalez and Sturgis. The decision to leave off Nyassi is just plain stupid IMO. Yes he has areas where he needs to improve, but now he’ll be improving for some one else. And for what? To protect Jaqua and Evans? Please. Nyassi has FAR more upside than either of those two ever did or ever will. And makes FAR less.

    As for the others I listed above, we could deal with the loss of any one of them but Nkufo, Montano, and Estrada would especially smart. Montano and Estrada have great potential and are both still young. And as for Nkufo, yes he is getting up there in age, and yes we could use the DP money to replace him. But I still would like to see how he is with a full off-season and a full season of play.

  3. ciscokid says:

    Actually SounderRiot we may not have lost Nyassi yet. After a Sounder is chosen, we get to pull one player back and protect him. Portland has forwards so they might choose to take Ianni and then we’d pull back Nyassi.

    It all depends on the other players out there which I haven’t carefully reviewed yet. So all is not lost. At least not yet

  4. As much as like Nate Jaqua…
    I am shocked to see him on the list and not Nkufo.
    Will the money be a deterrent?
    If I was a Sounders rival, I’d pick up two players from the team, if I could. And it’s a sure bet the Sounders lose two players.
    We all knew this was coming but it hurts and they haven’t even picked yet!

  5. joepublic says:

    I wouldn’t be too sad to see Nyassi go. He had that hot streak but toward the end he was pretty much back to Brain Dead Sanna, making poor decisions with the final ball.

    The schocker to me is leaving Sturgis unprotected. I think he was better this year than Evans was in the same role last year, but the team opted to go back to Evans. If I’m Portland or Vancouver, I go for the player who is coming off a good year instead of a player coming off a yearlong injury. I doubt anybody would have taken Evans.

    Scratching head.

  6. ciscokid says:

    I think it’s unfair to judge Nyassi too harshly. He’s only 22, with a ton of upside. Look at the improvement of Zakuani this year. We need to have a little patience as fans. Nyassi has tremendous potential if you’re willing to mold it.

    I remain a Jaqua supporter. He brings energy, grit, a physical presence and high work rate to a team that desperately needs those qualities. When healthy of course.

    Interestingly, Nate and Montero seem to work pretty well together.

    I think the sure loss from this list is Ianni. A centerback who started as many games as he did this season is a valuable commodity. That’s probably why we made the trade for Baudet from Rapids, a centerback himself

  7. Joe and Cisco make good points and I agree that Ianni is probably gone.
    Unfortunate… He and Parke worked well together but of the two Parke has more of an up side.
    Rumor has it that Nkufo’s wife is from Vancouver, if that’s true…
    A lot of fans are bashing Evans over Sturgis. A really tough call but I remain an Evans fan and agree with the choice.

  8. exSlacker says:

    In haiku form:

    Sanna is young and fast
    You cannot teach speed
    He was making the league base

  9. I knew it wasn’t likely he’d be protected, but bummed Montano is left off. Just see so much potential in him and suspect another team might as well.

    Ianni is as good as gone. A CB that can move up and play CDM or outside? Forget about it. I can understand both sides of the Evans debate. Some of his performance issues weren’t his fault. Playing forward just isn’t his bag, nor is right back. Then being called up, injured, etc.

  10. exSlacker says:

    The Passback-Pete trade was genius…here is why:

    We took a player we needed to move, that was unlikely to be selected in this draft, and has a high salary and replaced him with two player who might attract attention in this draft and away from our current players. If not, lots of upside in this pair.

  11. exSlacker says:

    So…last time we were here, we were all up in arms that we left Riley unprotected. Some were fine with LeToux being unprotected…others were upset. Here is the hypothetical situation….One of the expansion teams picks Earls and we get to protect ANY of our existing players….who do you protect? Discuss.

    BTW…and as a ps…having seen 2 of these now (and cared), the players picked are always surprising and are taken for reasons you would never think of….X coached Z in elite club and liked his attitude…etc.

    I’m excited to get this over with and see what our club does to adjust. I have FAITH in our managment. I BELIEVE!

  12. elmocatt says:

    Very interesting choices by the Sounders. Am shocked that Leo is unprotected while Riley is protected. Quality left backs are much hard to come by than right backs. Glad to see Pass-back pete leave – and two apparently qualifed players come in – that trade has a big upside for the team

    As for Nkufo, his family currently is in Vancouver, so not too surprised to see him on the list of unprotected. Perhaps the sounders had some kind of sign and trade type deal for Nkufo – he comes over here, plays for 6 months, and then head to Van. But seeing Jacqua protected is a real surprise – all the Jacqua haters must be going crazy right now.

    Would appear that the team has choosen Evans over Sturgis for the Central mid role. Not too surprised as Evans has more versatility, more stamina, and more likely to make slashing runs forward than Sturgis.

    Would also appear the team has chosen Fucito over Nyassi – I have no problem with that choice, especially with the team protecting Fernandez. Nyassi is pure speed winger but lacks composure, defensive ability and, at times, crossing. But, Fucito actually is faster than Nyassi – recall he won the fastest man competition on the team last year. He also is more versatile than Nyassi, able to play up top, on the wing and tucked inside to the mid a little. And Fernandez is more versatile too.

    Who to protect after first Sounder taken – Leo – teams need quality left backs, assuming he is not first Sounder taken. If he is gone, then Sturgis.

  13. EC, I was kinda surprised by the choice of Riley over Gonzalez as well, though they’ve both established themselves as solid MLS backs. Both cover a ton of ground and play a lot of minutes.

    I don’t think he’s necessarily gone though. I think Ianni is the more tempting target depending on where the teams are at. He can play multiple positions and probably has more potential (if he can leave behind his habit of falling asleep periodically). If that’s the case then I think they protect Gonzalez after Ianni is taken.

    Should be interesting to see what happens.

  14. exSlacker says:

    I think that Ianni is certainly an attractive option for Portland…he’s young, and he and Spencer already have lots of familiarity. If N’kufo goes to Vancouver, and Ianni to Van…we’re done.

    There is a rumor that Steffen Iverson could be headed to MLS from Norway. He’s a tall forward known for heading ability and skills in opening up tight spaces in opposing Ds….couple that with the fact that we were the only MLS team to play against his club, Rosenborg, and it would make sense that we are the ones expressing interest in him as a replacement for Nkufo in the scenario above.

  15. exSlacker says:

    To add to my rumor-mongering above:

    Steffen Iverson and a guy named Kasey Keller were teammates with Tottenham Hotspur from 2001-2003. :-)

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