The Philadelphia Union’s arrival in Seattle always serves as a reminder of how painful MLS expansion can be.
The Union arrives for its 7 p.m. Saturday match along with Sebastien Le Toux, who went from a hyper-popular Sounder to a hyper-productive All-Star after the 2010 expansion that brought Philly into the league.
The coming off-season will bring another expansion, into Montreal this time. And it’s likely the following season will bring another as MLS finally closes in on its goal of becoming a 20-team league.
Yesterday at training, I asked general manager Adrian Hanauer about the past and future expansion drafts:
Looking ahead: “My assumption is that (the draft format) will be the same as the Philly year. … You never know what other teams value in terms of your roster. And with 18 teams in the league, basically half the teams won’t lose a player. I certainly think there’s a good chance that we will lose a player, and it is gut-wrenching, the process for us and the players. It’s always distressing and a little bit sad when one of the family leaves.”
Looking back: “In some cases it gives the guy a fresh start and maybe an opportunity that might not have existed in the current organization. Sebastien obviously has flourished in Philly. Sanna has done well in Colorado. Stugis, maybe that situation hasn’t worked out quite the way he would have loved and maybe hasn’t been a huge positive. But it’s the system we’ve got and unfortunately it’s likely we’ll lose someone.”