Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My top 10 picks for today's expansion draft

I've decided to pick the top 10 players I think would be perfect for either Vancouver or Portland. I did not allocate them to either team, but instead just picked the 10 I think are the best available.

John Thorrington (Chicago Fire) midfield- A solid MLS vet who fell off the radar this season, but I believe that to be more the Fire's manager than Thorrington who showed quality up until this past season.

Eduardo Lillingston (Chivas USA) srtiker- Though he may have an attitude I feel Livingston is a good player who has bagged eight goals in 25 matches in MLS, a decent return for MLS and Chivas standards. Lillingston is a big bodied striker who could be used as a target man for either team. Being 32 he maybe past his prime, but either team could get a good one or two seasons out of him.

Adam Moffat (Columbus Crew) midfield- In Columbus' MLS Cup winning season many raved about Moffat until his 2008 was cut short by a knee injury. Since then the Scotsman hasn't achieved the heights that were expected of him. However, a move and a fresh start could be what he needs. Making Moffat the intragal part of the central midfield could be exactly what he needs.

Dax McCarty (FC Dallas) midfield- McCarty is a solid MLS player who helped FCD to the MLS Cup Final this past season. McCarty maybe looking to test the waters in Europe and that could be the reason for his surprise inclusion to the draft. McCarty is only 23 and has been in MLS since 2006. A young league veteran could go a long way to helping Vancouver or Portland settle into the league next season and boss the midfield against more established MLS teams.

Juan Pable Angel (NY Redbulls) striker- The big one. I know JPA is 35 and with NY was a DP. However, with the chance to play one or two more seasons, perhaps his contract can be renegotiated. Angel, though, is worth the DP money. He has scored 58 goals in 102 games. Better than one in two, and will arguably go down as the best MLS striker of all time. This past season saw him play the whole season injury free for once, though he was marginalized with the aquiring of Thierry Henry. Angel is the pick that would provide either team with both a leader and proven goal scorer.

Troy Perkins (DC United) goalkeeper- Another player who has had a massive fall off in the past year. Though, it didn't help he played for DC whom had a terrible defense in front of him. Perkins' past MLS achievements over shadow this for me. He is an experienced goalkeeper both in MLS and Europe; and that experience will be paramount to organizing a defense in a team's first season in MLS. The only problem in selecting Perkins is the size of his contract and his willingness to relocate to the Great Northwest.

Sunil Chhetri (Sporting KC) striker- Most people will wonder who this guy is, but for the SKC fans in the know Chhetri is a promising Indian international who wasn't given a chance in Kansas City in 2010. Chhetri is a striker that SKC signed in the pre-season to 2010 following a trial. He featured only in a friendly versus Manchester United and 45 minutes in a US Open Cup. Though he has only played club level in India Chhetri has been a scorer. Many will complain he played in India or plays for India's National Team and the level of play is low, however, in the limited time he has played for SKC he has shown flashes of what he can do. Given a chance I believe he can show MLS that there is A LOT of untapped talent in central and east Asia. Not only do I think he is an excellent choice for his play, but the marketing that can be put in place for MLS' first Indian born player is limitless and is something yet again SKC's clueless owners couldn't figure out.

Leonardo Gonzalez (Seattle Sounders FC) defender- Gonzalez is an experienced fullback that can also get into the attack as well as defend. In Seattle's first MLS season he was an important player after signing late in the season. He is another player that could help either expansion team settle early.

Alex Nimo (Salt Lake City) midfield- Nimo spent much of last season on loan at Portland, so Timbers' fans should be familar with him. In two seasons Nimo has played 45 games scoring one goal from a winger/wide midfield position. Youth is on Nimo's side at the age of 20 which could make him a player that could be with the team for years to come. Nimo's experience with Portland for the past two seasons will make him ideal as he and the club are familar with each other.

Mike Magee (LA Galaxy) striker/midfield- Though it seems he has been in the league forever, Magee is only 26. Magee brings leadership and experience to the frontline for either expansion team. Though he isn't a prolific scoring I feel with the right situation he can become a vital part of the team. Yes, he may have only scored three goals in 39 matches for LA, but that is a reflection on the emergence of Edson Buddle. Magee can also drop back and play in midfield, and versatility is important for a first year MLS team.

Yes, I know I only picked one defender, but I feel the top 10 players in this years draft are more of the attacking variety. I think this will be the most intriguing offseason in MLS history with five seperate player drafts; and there should be much movement with in teams because of it.

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