MLS Expansion Draft: Philadelphia Union Protected Players List


Among the many trades during the four-hour trade window, MLS teams also had to submit their list of players they wanted to protect. It’s tough for managers to have to pick only 11 players to protect from the MLS Expansion Draft. On Monday, there were some trades that occurred around the league due to the Expansion Draft on Wednesday. For the Philadelphia most of the players protected made sense, but there were a few questions worth asking.

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The Union’s protected and automatically protected lists are below.

Protected (11)
Maurice Edu
Fabinho (International)
Sebastian LeToux
Cristian Maidana (International)
Vincent Nogueira (International)
CJ Sapong
Carlos Valdes (International)
Andrew Wenger
Sheanon Williams
Ethan White
Raymon Gaddis

Automatically Protected
Andre Blake (International / Generation adidas)
Cristhian Hernandez (International/ Homegrown)
Jimmy McLaughlin (Homegrown)
Zach Pfeffer (Homegrown)

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  • Therefore, the Union left the following players unprotected.

    Austin Berry
    Brian Brown (International)
    Corben Bone
    Brian Carroll
    Conor Casey
    Danny Cruz
    Antoine Hoppenot
    Michael Lahoud
    Rais Mbohli (International)
    Zac MacMath
    Leo Fernandes
    Richard Marquez
    Pedro Ribeiro (International)
    Aaron Wheeler

    On Monday, it was rumored the Union looked to trade Antoine Hoppenot, Aaron Wheeler, and Zac MacMath, but those trades never occurred. The one big surprise on the protected list is Fabinho. He is at best a back-up defender. He primarily played left back in 2014 and it looks like the Union will play him there next year. Yet, the Union should have protected Marquez or Riberio instead given their potential and youthfulness.

    Another point that caught people off guard was that the only goalie currently protected is Andre Blake. He was automatically protected due to his generation Adidas status. Don’t worry the Union won’t lose both MacMath and Mbohli in the Expansion Draft. They most likely won’t lose either. Mbohli’s $240,000 salary doesn’t entice neither Orlando City nor NYCFC. On the other hand, the Union have tried to trade MacMath for almost a year now and there’s hasn’t been much interest. NYCFC or Orlando City may grab him, but they each have a solid starter already.

    In the Expansion Draft, a team gets to protect an additional player if one of their players is selected. Therefore, if MacMath is taken the Union would logically protect Mbohli, or vice versa. Given that each keeper is not garnering much demand from Orlando or New York City, the Union were able to protect a player that fits in the Union system and also could help New York or Orlando to success.

    All in all, it’s a solid 11 players Jim Curtin protected. Yet, it’s a little head scratching that they would protect Fabinho over players like Danny Cruz, Richie Marquez, and Pedro Riberio. We will find out Wednesday if Orlando City or NYCFC take a Philadelphia Union in the MLS Expansion Draft.