Jaqua leads Seattle’s 10 expansion picks


Nate Jaqua (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                          Photo by ISIphotos.com

Former Houston Dynamo striker Nate Jaqua was one of 10 players chosen in Wednesday's MLS Expansion Draft for Seattle Sounders FC, sources with knowledge of the list told SBI on Wednesday afternoon.

Here is the list of players chosen by Seattle:

  • Nate Jaqua (Houston)

  • Brad Evans (Columbus)

  • Stephen King (Chicago)

  • Jeff Parke (New York

  • James Riley (San Jose)

  • Khano Smith (New England)

  • Jarrod Smith (Toronto FC)

  • Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake)

  • Peter Vagenas (Los Angeles)

  • Tyson Wahl (Kansas City)

Those of you wondering if the list would have a Sigi Schmid imprint on it need look no further than to the inclusion of Vagenas, who played for Schmid with the Galaxy (and UCLA) so many years ago.

Red Bulls fans will be disappointed to see Parke taken, but sources tell me Parke has his sights set on Europe and is asking for a big contract to stay in MLS, something the Red Bulls weren't ready to offer. Parke just might wind up being this year's Clarence Goodson. You may recall it was Goodson who San Jose grabbed in last year's expansion draft only to see him move to Europe and never return.

So what is the new Seattle team looking like after this expansion draft: Here is a projected lineup as of today:



K. Smith—————-Ljungberg———————–Evans

————————-King (or Vagenas)———————-



BENCH– Jarrod Smith, Sanna Nyassi, Stephen King or Peter Vagenas

The abundance of central midfielder makes you wonder if a trade isn't in the works. Might we see King shipped elsewhere? Also, the selections of Khano Smith and James Riley make you wonder if there's still a chance that New England assistant Paul Mariner might wind up as Seattle head coach.

Sturgis gives Seattle a versatile player who is capable of playing in midfield or in the back. I know he's not really a left back (played their for the U.S. Under-23 team) but for the purposes of the above lineup I have placed him there.

With Parke unlikely to sign with MLS, look for Seattle to sign current Sounders defender Taylor Graham from the USL side. Graham has been one of the best defenders in the USL the past two seasons after an unsuccessful tenure with the New York Red Bulls.

What do you think of the draft picks? Which pick surprised you? Which pick disappointed you? What player do you hate to see your team lose? Which player are you happy to see go?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in BREAKING NEWS, Major League Soccer, MLS- Expansion, MLS- Seattle Sounders. Bookmark the permalink.

88 Responses to Jaqua leads Seattle’s 10 expansion picks

  1. fire fan says:

    No Pappa or Prideaux makes me happy!

  2. martha c says:

    Oh man….!!!!!

    Theyre going to suck big time!!

    Glad they didnt touch Pappa and took King who was great at killing the attack and runs slower than Blanco.

  3. Nick says:

    Some of these picks are a little confusing, such as taking Khano Smith over Jorge Flores.

    Very disappointed to see Parke leave NY.

  4. firefan06 says:

    THRILLED we’re keeping Pappa! :)

  5. hendrix says:

    JARROD smith??? not Johan Smith??

    cuz Jarrod was like the 6th best guy available on TFC’s unprotected list… weird pick.

  6. STX81 says:

    Bye, bye, Khano. The Revs will miss your moments of brilliance and the months of frustration!

  7. Allez RSL says:

    Can Sturgis play out wide? I think we only used him (all 7 times he played for us) in dmid or central defense. That’s where he played for the Nats, too, isn’t it?

  8. Isaac says:

    If he wants speed, I dont know why he wouldn’t pick someone who could run a 100 meters in 10.5 seconds.*cough cough* Johann Smith*Cough*

  9. Freddy says:

    Not bad choices for Starbucks FC. Galaxy definitely needs to go shopping for a defensive midfielder now…

  10. KingSnake says:

    Bassackwards. First the coach, then the players.

  11. Ossington Mental Youth says:


    Jarrod Smith.

    I wonder if someones made a mistake here.

    Please god no.

    I hope they take him.

    Hes a hardworker but we wont miss him.

  12. ravenrooney says:

    Wow….they took Vagenas?!

    That sucks for them.

  13. Cindy says:

    very depressed about Jeff Parke

  14. Ben says:

    Ugh, don’t like the Vagenas pick at all.

  15. Tim F. says:

    Did Schmid do the selection???? Interesting that he wanted Brad Evans. Seattle should have taken Pappa but King wasn’t a terrible choice.

    Parke was on the brink of breaking all sorts of team records (e.g., games played, games started, minutes played, etc. — and would have if he wasn’t suspended… Good luck in Europe Parke!!!

  16. EDB says:

    I callled king!

  17. Duane Rollins says:

    Are you sure you have the right Smith from Toronto?

  18. Ben says:

    And why didn’t they go after Eddie Gaven? He has loads of potential.

  19. drock says:

    Yep…Sigi written all over it. We had a lot of good laughs at the pub Sigi. You were true class. The only person in C-bus who won’t miss you is Jon Busch, who lives here in the offseason.

    Cheers and thanks for a great ’08.

  20. A.S. says:

    “With Parke unlikely to sign with MLS…”

    Seattle must have some info you don’t have, Ives. They would have to be pretty stupid to waste one of their 10 picks on a player who is unlikely to sign with MLS.

  21. Matt says:

    I’m withi you guys:

    JARROD SMITH? I can’t believe anyone would pick him up on WAIVERS, much less draft him.

    Why use up an international slot on Jarrod when you could get Johann?

    I’m also not sold on Khano Smith (Better to have Johann again), Vagenas (no longer better than mediocre), James Riley (not impressive at San Jose, Prideux, Waibel, Klein and three or four others would be better) and Stephen King.

    King is a solid prospect but surely they don’t need both him and Brad Evans.

    Where does Sturgis fit in? Backup to Wahl and Parke (may be going to Europe, I’m not worried about the suspension) or to Vagenas?

    Not impressed. I had a dozen players I’d pick ahead of half these guys in a heartbeat.

    Jarrod Smith? NO

    Khano Smith? Maybe


  22. kebzach says:

    And why didn’t they go after Eddie Gaven? He has loads of potential.

    Posted by: Ben


    Kwame Brown has potential too. Potential gets people fired.

  23. Mark says:

    @A.S.: San Jose selected Clarence Goodson last season before he went to Europe

  24. John says:

    1. I’m disappointed they didn’t take Prideaux. He’s from Washington. He asked DC United to trade him West so they send him for a song to Colorado. Who then traded him to Chicago. But then, Prideaux doesn’t really fit into a Schmid scheme of fast outside attacking outside defenders.

    2. Khano Smith I see as a wasted pick. Big, fast, some years of MLS experience but pretty bad actually as a player.

    3. Vagenas–that makes sense ONLY if Schmid is the incoming coach. Otherwise that’s a terrible pick. Arena is probably happy that he’s got the cap room now–I don’t think LAG is feeling this was a bad day for them.

    4. Jarrod Smith–meh! But then I wasn’t real excited about most of the TFC options.

    If it’s Sigi Schmid as coach, than Riley, Evans, Parke, Sturgis and maybe Wahl and Vagenis are smart picks.

    On the whole, while many people won’t get excited about this draft, I think Seattle probably got a 4 starters out of this draft: Evans, Riley (who won’t start past the 1st year), Jaqua and maybe Vagenas. And getting 4 starters out of your expansion draft is really more than you can expect. Just look at SJ, RSL, Chivas, Miami, Chicago, TFC and you find that by season’s end, usually half of their expansion players are no longer on the roster and they’re usually not starting more than 2 (unless they’re RSL or Chivas at the time and absolute dreck).

  25. scott47a says:

    Most of these are about what expected … except Vagenas and Jarrod Smith.

    Hoping to hear a good explanation for those.

  26. yes says:

    Does this mean, Jaqua wont play (CCL game)with the Dynamo today?

  27. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    JaSmith isnt a bad player, hes a hardworker that never got alot of time (especially in any one position). That being said, hes still the last player i would have taken from us given the options…

  28. scott47a says:

    Oh, and expect a bunch more signings soon, including a S. American striker, and five or more players from the USL Sounders.

    So that projected lineup isn’t really close to the real thing come March.

  29. Rashid says:

    I’m SUPER STOKED hopefully Petey stays in Seattle! He is overpaid and under-skilled in my mind. I just wonder why Lalas and everyone else over at the HDC kept telling me for so long that “…Vagenas knows what true Galaxy spirit is!” heres to hoping that he forgets and never comes back!!

    Galaxy are going to run the MLS next season!!

  30. JRo says:

    Oh man….!!!!!

    Theyre going to suck big time!!

    Glad they didnt touch Pappa and took King who was great at killing the attack and runs slower than Blanco.

    Posted by: martha c | November 26, 2008 at 02:07 PM

    I don’t think they’re looking so bad. $10 says they outpoint TFC, probably the Galaxy as well. Either way, definitely glad we’ll still have Pappa next year.

  31. Il Consigliere says:

    Good by Jeff Parke! Now you can get caught ball watching in Seattle rather than at The Swamp.

  32. jloome@yahoo.com says:

    This list is astounding.

    I can only think the reason guys like Thompson, Marmol, Cooke and Gaven were ignored is because of salary considerations. They must be eyeing other players to bring in already who cost more.

    Sturgis you can see, because the potential is huge if he’s shaken off injuries. But Khano Smith has already shown maddening inconsistency, and Jarrod Smith is just a puzzlign choice;an absolute utility sub, at best.

  33. AlexS says:

    Transfers go into effect Friday, so Jaqua is still on the roster for the Dynamo match tonight.

    In fact, I expect him to start. And get a standing ovation.

  34. ravenrooney says:

    Yeah…good luck with that, Rashid.

  35. Drew says:

    King’s not a bad pick at all…he’s pretty solid, young and i imagine cheap.

  36. AlexS says:

    How do they not choose Phlen over Khano Smith? And taking the bad Smith from TC over Flores from Chivas? At the very least you can get a good trade out of Flores (say, to Houston for Waibel? I know he’s not Sigi’s type at outside back, but he plays into the ofense better than most of the speedy guys and already has good working skills with Jaqua) but Jarrod Smith – nothing.

  37. Eric says:

    Los Angeles must be happy to see Vagenas leave. He was eating up a lot of salary room despite the fact that, although a solid player, wasn’t worth the salary they were paying him. If they get rid of pires and maybe Franchino, they’ll have cleared up a lot of cap space that they can use to get a decent back line to go with Becks, Buddle, Lewis and possibly Landon.

  38. Mark says:

    First of all, as a SJ fan, you have to wait to see what kind of trades come out of this. That will answer some of your questions. Secondly, damn I am going to miss Riley! Good defender, pace and work rate.

  39. Sterlinho says:

    This is garbage! I’m pissed off! There were way better players to take! I feel like cancelling my season tickets and moving back to New York! At least the Red Bulls will be playing on grass in the future!

  40. Jimmy23 says:

    Ives, I smell something fishy going on. I saw this list on your site first, then went to Goff’s site and it wasn’t there, but when I went back later and he had the list, Goff was claiming to have it first and his time stamp was even a minute before yours. What gives? It looks like someone is being very shady.

  41. eric says:

    The eric’s agree. Vagenas pick was terrible. They’ll say he’s a veteran, I say he’s mediocre at best and not cheap.

  42. cb says:

    Parke will be missed, but he’s toast for another 8 games in MLS, anyway. I’m surprised by the choices overall. Not too scary, considering what was possible out there.

  43. lane says:

    jose angulo would be great addition

  44. MasterShake says:

    cb, Parke suspension is down to 4 games not 8 and thats nothing compared to how long injured players are usually out for.

  45. Eugene says:

    Interesting. Not a great selection, but not terrible either. I think they could have done better.

    Should have picked a left back (Prideux). Riley is suspect at right back (hello own goal?). Sturgis and Wahl could partner well as centerbacks. Parke will likely go to Europe — I think that’s implicit in him being left exposed.

    Their attack won’t be bad, with some speed on both wings and some height. Jarrod Smith is a stunning selection, they could have done much better there. Vagenas? Kovalenko is a better destroyer, should have picked Dema instead.

    I don’t really see much trade bait here…

  46. John says:

    If Parke goes to Europe does Seattle get some allocation to replace him? Just not sure. Did San Jose get something for Goodson last year. If they do, will we ever know?

  47. Ted says:

    Jimmy23: I did the exact same thing, but the other way around. I checked SBI, didn’t have it, then checked Goff and he had it, only to come back and Ives has it.

    Most likely, they posted it at the same time, maybe a couple seconds apart. I don’t think you can prove either one had it first.

  48. Hincha Tim says:

    I am surprised that they took Sturgis. Sturgis has not been able to stay healthy, not a good thing on a team that will lack depth. Plus both his serious injuries this year came while playing on turf (at Toronto and at RES) and he would play the majority of his games on turf. It is a loss for RSL, who do have the depth to nurture him along. I think if he can stay healthy that he will be a very good player down the road, just don’t think its a good pick for an expansion team who needs to build depth and quality.

  49. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    Curious to see if that rumor about Freddy Monteiro is true, regardless it looks mostly like trade bait.

  50. sounders wizards says:

    the selections were bad i would have taken chris klein from los angels not vagenas

    i would have taken obrien from san jose not riley

    i would have taken abe thompson from kc not tyson whal

    i would have taken Prideaux, Brandon not stephen king

    i would have taken Gaven, Eddie not brad evans

  51. kco says:

    Someone get Kasey Keller some throat lozenges cause he’s gonna need them.

  52. Jason says:

    I think half the picks are decent, and the other half suck.

    They made no big splashes or trade bait picks (Hartman, O’Brien, Cooke) and I don’t see a huge upside on anyone, save maybe Sturgis, who is injury prone and now playing on turf.

    The SUCK:

    1) Vagenas (LA).

    Really old, really slow.

    Now your midfield really blows.

    If you wanted to get a more veteran midfielder who could contribute, why not go for Cooke, O’Brien, or even Gaven?

    Plus, if Freddie is playing centrally, is he going to play in front of Evans, or behind? Or does one sit?

    2) Jarrod Smith (TFC). Not a bad player, but had MUCH better TFC players to choose from (Johann Smith, Velez, Ricketts, Ruiz).

    3) Khano Smith (NE). Attitude problem.

    4) Riley (SJ). OK player, but didn’t do much for the expansion Quakes this year. Plus, I’d think there were players from other teams (CHV: Razov, Flores, Vaughn) I would have taken before SJ. OK pick from SJ’s list, but you picked the wrong team.

    The rest are decent, but all lunch pail guys, except possibly Sturgis, who is injured all the time.

    Plus, for each one, I think there was player with more potential, value, or skill from each team.

    1) Evans (CLB). Didn’t start for us until Moffat got hurt. Gaven is the better player. The kid can play, but as a Crew fan, I’m happier with Eddie and Adam.

    2) King (CHI). Again, a solid player, but kind of the some player as Evans, and both Prideaux (starter at RB) and Pappa (huge upside, CR national) would have been better.

    3) Wahl (KC). Solid starter for half the year, but Hartman had value (LA, CHV). Don’t you think you could have traded Hartman to LA for, say, Franklin AND Vagenas? Or to Chivas for Flores AND someone else?

    Good Picks:

    1) Jaqua (HOU). He’s a stiff. Decent in the air, but benefits from Ching, DeRo, Mullan, Clark, Holden, and Davis all being more dangerous. Plus, I’d think Ashe has more upside.

    2) Parke (NY). Solid CB starter, but what if he goes to Europe. Best

    3) Sturgis (RSL). Bit of a risk with his injury situation, but big upside and still very young. The best pick they made.

  53. LDQ says:

    I’m sad to see Khano go, as I liked him on our left wing better than Castro, but I will be happy that we know longer have to worry about him getting a red card or doing something stupid. He’ll be a great addition to the wing for Seattle.

  54. Justin says:

    Goff’s piece has a 2:02 timestamp but Goff’s timestamps are not when the story posts. It is when he starts writing them. I am pretty sure SBI’s timestamps are when the story actually posts and it has a 2:03 timestamp. Considering how much more info was in the SBI post, and the fact that the first SBI comment came three minutes before the first comment on Goff’s post tells me it was on SBI first.

    Who cares, I’m just glad Seattle didn’t take Marco Pappa. WOO-HOO!!

  55. skatetyb says:

    Tyson wahl was a great pick. I expect him to be on the national team soon enough. It’s about time he will get the permanent start.

  56. Eugene says:

    Enjoy Taylor Graham, good luck with that

  57. Carl Setterlund says:

    I don’t like the Khano Smith pick from the Revs perspective. I think that they thought Seattle would probably pass on him with plenty of other good wide options and his (roughly) 100k salary. I wasn’t in the Revs locker room every day but to me it always seemed like he was Shalrie’s best friend and was a great locker room presence (along with the decent play/flashes of brilliance).

  58. pappdeux Sounder Sammy says:

    Uh…. I hope they have a few ringers lined up from their forray down Argentine way..

    Jarrod Smith? I really hope this guy makes me eat my words,.. but WTF?

  59. Fumar says:

    I would have been much happier losing Prideaux then King, but at least its not pappa and maybe it will relieve the log jam in the fire midfield. That said the fire can do better than Prideaux at RB, we need to move Thorrington back there (he played well for the nats there) and deal Prideaux for allocation $

  60. Ethan says:

    I was a bit surprised at the positions they selected. I would have thought defense would have been the number one priority. Wahl and Parke could make a good defensive tandem, and I think Seattle intends to offer Parke money to keep him there (or to trade him to some team that is willing to offer him money…LA maybe?) Riley and Sturgis also will be alright, but would you rather have Sturgis in midfield or defense? I guess that is debatable.

    Still, Seattle already had two midfielders, and they ended up selecting quite a few more. They would have been wise to select 5 or 6 defenders in the draft in my opinion. They also should have been more willing to take players with trades in mind. And as everyone else has stated…VAGENAS! WTF!

  61. Chase says:

    If Wahl is going to break into the Nats, he has quite the logjam in front of him, with Gooch, Boca, DeMerit, Marshall, Parkhurst, Orozco, Spector, and potentially Subotic in his way…

  62. heioo says:

    where in the hell is Alex Delpiero on that list?


  63. John says:

    $100,000 salary for Khano Smith. His salary this year was $45,000 (according the Players Union sight)…that’s why he was tempting to Seattle. He might be due a raise though. Jeff Larentowicz made $33,000 this year. Starters who make $33,000 are insanely valuable.

  64. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Riley is an under rated player, particularly if you only recall his own goal – which I think was as much Cannon’s fault as his. His work rate is good, he’s not push over and his pretty decent bringing the ball up. I would like to have kept him.

  65. Tony in Quakeland says:

    As for Va-heinous, I wouldn’t have picked him for a rec league. He is way past his sell by date.

  66. Heffe says:

    I am really surprised Seattle took Sturgis from RSL. From seeing his limited play at RSL, Sturgis looks like he has great potential, but he is so injury prone. I really expected them to take either Joy or Kovalenko. On one hand, I am a little sad to see good talent go, but on the other, if Sturgis stays hurt, then it was a good loss for RSL.

  67. landy says:

    wow, from a great amount of talent, I think they’ve chosen the worst back 4 possible

  68. Tim says:

    Any idea why they got Parke over anyone else, especially since he is going to europe and he even has that long ban??

    Otherwise i dont have much of a problem with the picks and are we talking about Johann Smith not Jorrad Smith??

  69. G man says:

    On behalf of LA Galaxy fans everywhere, thank you Seattle!

    Good luck with Vagenas. Tell your defense to be ready whenever ‘Pass Back Pete’ gets the ball. If they wanted veteran leadership, they should have gone with Klein who is a much better player.

    I like the Sturgis pick. He’s got a huge upside.

  70. landy says:

    Can we call this the worst picks in MLS history? I guess the guy who made the picks was the one who said “we want asians in our club, like ichiro”

  71. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    Cmon folks, Seattle was obviously looking for young, cheap, and defensive minded players. They were never going to pick Gaven and his contract. The Vagenas pick is a mystery. I’m assuming it means we now know who their coach is going to be.

  72. Tony in Quakeland says:

    “The Vagenas pick is a mystery. I’m assuming it means we now know who their coach is going to be.”

    That makes sense. Or else he’s got pictures of Schmidt doing something he shouldn’t with a Cub Scout…

  73. Skinn says:

    Nope Tim, it’s Jarrod.

  74. Eugene says:

    @Tony in Quakeland

    Riley has now been passed over by 2 teams in 2 consecutive expansion drafts…

  75. Sterlinho says:

    This draft has gotten me totally bummed out. Why Jarrod Smith and not Johann? What were they thinking in Peter Vagina? Why didn’t they take Mike Randolph for left back instead? Hartman was there for the “trade bait” taking. This makes no sense to me whatsoever. I hope they had some really great scouting trips in Agrentina and Africa. I’d rather have most of the current USL Sounders that the guys they took. This is Garbage and unexcusable!

  76. Mike says:

    How they picked King over Prideaux, who’s been one of the league’s most underrated defenders since he was back at KC, I’ll never know.

  77. ryan fisher says:

    i will not be suprised if people cancel there season tickets this waas a shame all the good players they could have

    very disappointed with picks, you choose parke which was a waste because he will most likely go to europe you should have chosen klein instead of vegenas. obrien should have been picked up amazing player and good for trade. should have picked up gavin young and amazing should have picked up prideaux, stephan kings to slow and ruins the attack, i think these picks hurt the team more than helped.

    sorry keller you will have alot of action this year

  78. roberto says:

    other than jaqua, brad Evans, khano &

    parke (who won’t be in Seattle ) all the other picks are a waste

    I’m assuming they left out wade barret (one of the best left backs in this league) as an agreement for taking jaqua … Otherwise there’s no excuse.. Left out wade, razov, gaven, prideux etc. These people are idiots!! Seattle had the better chance of all expansion teams thus far and wasted it.. And no johan smith oh my god..looks like NYRB front office

  79. metro fan says:

    wow wtf i seattle doing….

    didnt take pappa or flores???

    took jarrod smith?


  80. Tony in Quakeland says:


    You picked twice in consecutive expansion drafts.

    I watched every game he played this year. He is being unfairly trashed by some posters. He’s solid.

  81. JB says:

    This was actually really good for Seattle, they were very conservative in adding to their salary cap which allows them lots of room to make their own signings rather than tying up wages in other teams castoffs.

  82. bubba says:

    Since they managed for the most part to keep it cheap let’s see who they spend some of the bigger bucks on…

  83. zach says:

    “Bassackwards. First the coach, then the players.”

    Posted by: KingSnake | November 26, 2008 at 02:10 PM

    EXACTLY…What the hell were they thinking? Why wouldn’t they have the coach first who could then pick players according to his style???? Makes no since. Ives or someone please make since of this. I don’t know why I didn’t ask this before now.

  84. aristotle says:

    Just when you think player selection in MLS can’t get anymore stupid! I couldn’t believe how good the selections in the draft were. Best draft for an expansion team in MLS history, by far, and they pick these players! I now retract what I said about Seattle being an above average team next year. They had the opportunity and they blew it. Now a coach (ha ha Sigi) has to come in and the bulk of his team was already picked by the village idiot? I don’t doubt for a minute that nearly everyone on SBI could have picked a far better ten players than this. Seriously, were pages missing from the list they selected from? Peter Vagenas? Jarrod Smith? James Riley? Their defense is garbage. The midfield won’t be much better. Their offense and goalkeeper are in a different class than the rest of the team. What a wasted opportunity. Excuse me going on and on and on! I just had such high hopes for Seattle. Maybe they can trade their way out of this mess, but who would be as stupid as they are?

  85. LJ says:

    johann smith sucks and yet is cocky, I would have taken jarrod over him.

    I want to see if they get that young columbian striker, freddy m. If ljunberg and Keller stay healthy, and they sign this striker to go with jaqua then you better start taking the team seriosly

  86. Sammy Sounder says:

    I think it went pretty good. I was afraid we’d go overboard on high-priced signings. It looks like Vagenas is the only one who fits into that category and while he wouldn’t be my choice I can still understand why we picked him up.

    Adrain wouldn’t have picked Parke without some guarantee that he’d be around for a bit, probably already began negotiating an extension.

    The fact that we picked Evans instead of Gaven shows that the club still has their eyes set on bringing in more talent from outside.

    There are a few that can walk into the starting line-up, which is what I was hoping for. There’s still some holes, but I think the team’s looking pretty good.

  87. Marshall says:

    So, is Riley the first player left unprotected and then selected in two consecutive expansion drafts?