I’m still trying to grasp all the aspects of the MLS Expansion Draft, so I won’t nearly try to be an expert on the MLS Re-Entry Draft, the details of which were announced by the league this afternoon.
Last year, Sounders FC selected goalkeeper Chris Seitz in the second stage of the re-entry draft, but immediately traded him to Dallas for a draft pick. Quite a few players whose options weren’t going to be picked up changed teams through the new mechanism, including ex-Sounder Tyrone Marshall to Colorado and somewhat familiar names in Josh Wolff, Jimmy Conrad, Juan Pablo Angel, Jeff Cunningham and others.
Back to the expansion draft, Seattle coach Sigi Schmid spoke a little bit on the subject after Thursday’s practice:
It’s something that obviously we knew was coming. … We went through it last year. I think when you’re a quality team there’s always a chance that you’re going to lose somebody. Unfortunately, the way the rules are, you can’t protect everybody. Sometimes you’ve got to leave somebody out there that you really don’t want to leave out there. Hopefully we don’t lose anybody. We’ll see, but those decisions we’ll make at the time we have to.
Sounders FC has lost the maximum amount of players in the last two expansion drafts — Sebastien Le Toux in 2009 to Philadelphia, and Sanna Nyassi/Nathan Sturgis in 2010 to Vancouver, later traded to Colorado and Toronto FC, respectively.
Schmid said that speaks to the team’s depth:
For us to be able to (lose them) and maintain and improve upon what we’re doing in league play is I think a tribute to the club and a tribute to the depth we’ve built up. … It’s sort of a backhanded compliment when you lose players. It means you’re doing something right because you’re producing players.