Well, the Expansion Draft just wrapped up. As we expected, we were wrong. We were, oh so wrong. With the exception of one of the picks, the Loons picks strike me as picking based off of potential. Without much further ado, let’s dive in...
1st Pick: Chris Duvall - RB - New York Red Bulls (Traded)
Chris is a 25-year-old right back from Duluth...Georgia. The Wake Forest product appeared 25 times for New York, while starting 20 games. He did not tally a goal, but he did have 2 assists. He has started 54 of 59 games since joining NYRB, and has tallied 4 assists and 1 goal in his New York career.
Duvall has a pretty favorable salary. He had a 2016 base salary of $63,000. The question I have about this pick is where is he going to play? He plays the same position as Venegas. My guess is this is a depth pick to push Venegas up into more of his LM role that he can play with the hope that Duvall can play in the center as well. Just speculation.
Well, we hardly knew ye. MNUFC has traded expansion pick Duvall to the Montreal Impact for midfielder Johan Venegas
2nd Pick: Collen Warner - MF - Houston Dynamo
With their second pick, MNUFC took the defensive-minded midfielder, Collen Warner. He has started all 24 games that he has appeared in for the Dynamo adding 1 assist. He has played for Toronto, Montreal, and Real Salt Lake in his career.
This pick may be a depth piece or a trade piece. His 2016 base compensation is pretty high for a player that may be at most a depth piece. We will have to wait and see.
3rd Pick: Mohammed Saied - MF - Columbus Crew
This is an interesting pick. Saeid is from Örebro, Sweden meaning he likely will count against an international spot on the roster. The Crew midfielder joined the club in 2015 moving from his Allsvenskan club, Örebro SK.
Since moving Stateside, Saeid has started 42 of the 50 games that he has appeared in. He tallied 4 assists in 2016. The interesting thing is that his 2016 base compensation and 2016 cap figure are pretty agreeable at $110,000 and $120,000 respectively. We will have to wait and see, but this seems like a pick for the team to keep.
4th Pick: Jeff Attinella - GK - Real Salt Lake
This was suprising to me. I thought that it was very likely the Loons would draft a keeper, but I did not see them taking a backup. That being said, the more I read about Attinella, I am impressed.
The franchise knows about him as he was part of the Tampa Bay Rowdies team that beat the Minnesota Stars in the NASL Championship in 2012 (even saving 3 kicks from the mark in that game). Attinella started 4 games this past season, and the talking heads from MLSSoccer.com thought that he could have been shipped elsewhere to start.
This could be an interesting piece for the future.
5th and Final Pick: Femi Hollinger - Janzen - FW - New England Revolution
Okay, let me be the first to say... I. Love. This. Pick. A native of Benin, Femi appeared in 19 games for the Revolution, starting 1. He scored 1 goal and added 1 assist. Not mind-blowing numbers, but the potential is there for the 22-year-old to grow in the future.
He is raw, but the Indiana product could be a great choice. His 2016 base salary was only $51,500, so it seems like he is a solid depth piece.
What do you think about the pieces? Do you think all of them will be with the team at TCF Bank Stadium next year? Let us know below!