- 30 Mar 2018, 13:51 #16147
With New York City FC and Orlando City joining Major League Soccer next year, the league will hold an Expansion Draft next Wednesday (December 10). Clubs are currently preparing to submit their player lists to league office – they are allowed to protect eleven players and could lose two. Here is a link to the full rules for the Expansion Draft. --- http://pressbox.mlssoccer.com/content/2 ... raft-rules For MLS coaches, the next few days will be a guessing game as they take into account which pieces of their squad would be valued by New York and Orlando, but also being aware of the potential trade value of any players that are left exposed. Vancouver Whitecaps have built a squad that includes plenty of depth, and that makes them vulnerable to losing a player or two, as it is impossible to protect all of the players who played an important role for the club in making the playoffs last season. So lets throw a dart at the board and see how close we can get to the bullseye. Here are my predictions: Protected: Steven Beitasour, Sebastian Fernandez, Jordan Harvey, Erik Hurtado, Gershon Koffie, Matias Laba, Kekuta Manneh, Darren Mattocks, Pedro Morales, David Ousted, Kendall Waston Unprotected: Mehdi Ballouchy, Mamado Diouf, Johnny Leveron, Andre Lewis, Nicolas Mezquida, Andy OBrien, Mauro Rosales, Omar Salgado and Paolo Tornaghi The Whitecaps Homegrown Players do not need to be protected, so Sam Adekugbe, Marco Carducci, Caleb Clarke, Kianz Froese, Ethen Sampson and Russell Teibert are all automatically safe, as is Christian Dean, who is protected because he is on a Generation Adidas contract. Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson knows the whole process is a calculated risk: Youve just got to protect your players and the rest will take care of itself, said Robinson recently. And that is the key to this process. There is little margin for error, so the Whitecaps will have to ensure they protect the players they most want to keep, and not get into the game of wondering whether or not clubs would be interested in some of their key men due to other factors. We have seen in the past, clubs leave players unprotected because they believe a players high salary would make him undesirable and that has backfired on a few occasions. For example, earlier in the year, there was debate as to whether the Whitecaps would need to protect goalkeeper David Ousted as he is one of the most expensive shot-stoppers in the league, and takes up an international spot. But Ousteds performances towards the end of the season mean the Whitecaps cannot afford to lose him, so he must be protected. The majority of the players on my predicted protected list are easy decisions to make. Even with a player like Darren Mattocks – who likely will be traded in the New Year – it is necessary to protect him because of his value in the league. The Whitecaps will be able to receive something sizeable in return for the Jamaican striker rather than lose him in the Expansion Draft. The only slot I debated was whether to protect Sebastian Fernandez or Mauro Rosales. The Whitecaps would love to keep the veteran Rosales with the club next year, but it would need to be on much less money than last year. I believe Rosales could be more valuable than Fernandez next season, but the Uruguayan youngster has more upside in the long term. With both players, there are factors that would make the expansion clubs think twice about using one of their picks. Fernandez return to MLS hasnt yet been confirmed following his loan from Boston River last season, although both the Whitecaps and the player are hopeful of keeping him in Vancouver. As for Rosales, he could just decide to return to his native Argentina – if that happens, New York or Orlando would have wasted a pick. The same could be said for veteran defender Andy OBrien, who would be provide depth and veteran leadership to either of the leagues newcomers but is out of contract. I dont believe OBrien would be interested in the upheaval of moving to another club. He wants to stay in Vancouver, but if that isnt possible, he may just return to the UK. So of the players left unprotected, who are the Whitecaps most likely to lose? Mehdi Ballouchy would be top of my list. He has a wealth of MLS experience and would be a great player to have within an expansion squad. He is quality on the ball and can be a good influence on games in the midfield as he showed for the Caps last year off the bench. Honduran international Johnny Leveron has shown his ability and composure in the centre of defence but Im not sure whether either team would view him as the starting central defender that he wants to be. Even in Vancouver, it is unlikely Leveron will be the first choice to partner Kendall Waston in defence next year. Omar Salgado would be an interesting reclamation project should either NYCFCs Jason Kreis or Orlandos Adrian Heath believe they can get the unproven and unpredictable former top pick back on the right track after a controversial end to his time with the Caps. Of the players on my unprotected list, in my opinion, Nicolas Mezquida would be the biggest loss. Carl Robinson has often talked about Mezquidas qualities and ability but we have only seen limited glimpses of the young Uruguayan due to the fact he is an understudy for MLS Newcomer of the Year Pedro Morales. But its clear Robinson believes Mezquida will have a big role to play moving forward, and with the Whitecaps also in the CONCACAF Champions League next season, he could see his playing time increase dramatically. There is a strong chance Carl Robinson will lose one of his players on Wednesday. Thats the price to pay for a job well done in building a squad that has many valuable assets, even outside the players who are considered regular starters. Gary Payton Jersey . The move is retroactive to Aug. 1. Hosmer was originally hit on the hand in the first inning of a July 20 loss to Boston. He has played most of the time since, but missed a few contests due to the injury, then departed Thursdays win over the Twins and had tests that revealed the fracture. Terrance Ferguson Jersey . Garcia had eight birdies overall to go with a lone bogey on the fourth to move to an 18-under total of 198 at the Asian Tour event. 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Ortiz hit a pair of two-run homers, including his 400th shot in a Red Sox uniform, and drove in a career high-tying six runs to power Boston past the Houston Astros 10-7 on Saturday night.EDMONTON -- The Calgary Stampeders likely wish that they still had a few more games left against the Edmonton Eskimos this season. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell rushed for two touchdowns and passed for two more as the Stampeders continued their dominance over their provincial rival, winning their fifth game in a row with a 41-34 victory in the Labour Day rematch on Saturday. It was the 11th consecutive win over the Eskimos dating back to 2011 for the Stampeders, who improved to 9-1 and padded their lead atop the West Division. Calgary running back Jon Cornish said he has no specific answer as to why his team has owned the Eskimos in recent years. "We just get fired up for these games against them," Cornish said. "I wouldnt say that we have some innate advantage over them. We just get fired up and we understand how much these games mean to the inhabitants of Alberta, especially in Calgary. It means a lot to win this series. "Edmonton is going to be a good team and we are going to have a lot of struggles with them. It means a lot to have these three wins and put some space between us and them." With the win, Mitchell became the first quarterback to have a 12-1 start to his CFL career, leaping past former Eskimo Jackie Parker (1954-55) and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Jim Van Pelt (1958-59), who both lost their 13th games to go 11-2. "Were 9-1 and in first place, thats all I care about," Mitchell said. "Ive been blessed to have a good team around me. Obviously I am glad about the record, although I dont think it is something people are going to be talking about in a couple of years." Calgary coach John Hufnagel said Mitchell deserved his fair share of praise for the win. "I thought he was outstanding," he said. "It wasnt all smooth sailing, but a trademark of Bo is that he is going to go out there the next series and do the best he can. I thought he saw the field very well and took great care of the football. He had some big throws and allowed us to do the things we needed to do to win." It was the second straight loss for the Eskimos, who fell to 7-3 on the season. All three of their losses this season have come to Calgary. "We dont care about the last couple seasons, we care about this season and we feel like weve done some things to hand these games over to them," said Eskimos quarterback Matt Nichols. "Obviously, theyre a great football team, we give them a ton of credit, but whether its a bad snap or a penalty here or there, theyre just the difference in the game." Added Edmonton coach Chris Jones: "Its disappointing. The one good thing is we didnt ever quit, it didnt look like we ever stopped playing. We took it to the wire and, agaain, just came up a little short.dddddddddddd Weve certainly got a lot of things to work on in all three phases." Calgary took a 3-0 lead just past the mid mark of the first quarter on a 41-yard Rene Paredes field goal that came on the heels of a high snap on a third-and-three gamble at midfield by the Eskimos. Edmontons offence finally woke up from a tepid start to put the Eskimos in front 7-3 with eight minutes remaining in the second quarter as long passes to A.J. Guyton and Adarius Bowman set up a 26-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Nichols to Guyton. Calgary responded just a few minutes later as a face-masking penalty put the Stampeders in range for a 30-yard TD pass from Mitchell to Simon Charbonneau. The Stamps took a 17-7 lead with two-and-a-half minutes left in the opening half as a 38-yard passing play to Marquay McDaniel set up a one-yard quarterback keeper into the end zone by Mitchell. The Eskimos countered with a 25-yard Hugh ONeill field goal as time expired to make it 17-10 at the half. Calgarys defence came up big to start the third quarter as it knocked the ball out of Nichols hands four minutes in. Corey Mace recovered on the Edmonton 10, setting up a TD pass to McDaniel on the next play. McDaniel factored in on another touchdown with five minutes left in the third as his 32-yard catch led immediately to a 20-yard TD run by Mitchell, who danced across the goal-line to put the Stampeders ahead 31-10. Edmonton went to its bag of tricks to try and get back into the contest to start the fourth quarter as Guyton took a handoff before then completing a 32-yard pass to Fred Stamps. However, the Eskimos then took a procedure call on a third-and-one gamble on the Calgary eight and were forced to accept an ONeill field goal. The Stampeders responded with a 35-yard Paredes field goal with seven minutes left in the game. The Eskimos finally found their way back into the end zone with just under five minutes to play as Nichols hit Bowman for a 21-yard strike. The play seemed to give them some new life as they came right back with a 38-yard pass to Stamps, leading straight to a two-yard TD run by Nichols to make it 34-27 with 2:34 left on the clock. Calgary quickly put thoughts of a comeback out the picture, though, as Mitchell found McDaniel on a 43-yard passing play, eventually setting the stage for a 10-yard Cornish touchdown run. Edmonton closed to within a touchdown again with 21 seconds left to play as Nichols hit Nate Coehoorn for a 24-yard major. A short kick attempt was recovered by the Stampeders, allowing them to run out the clock. The Eskimos remain at home to face the Montreal Alouettes next Friday, while the Stampeders return to Calgary to host Toronto next Saturday. 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