MLS Expansion Draft Thoughts


The Philadelphia Union is just hours away from having its first set of players and Philly fans will soon have names to put on the jerseys they are ordering in bunches.

We ran our SBI Mock Expansion Draft on Tuesday, but several readers have asked which ten players I would take if I were running Philadelphia's expansion draft. Here would be my selections:

Kevin Hartman, Anthony Wallace, Eddie Robinson, Shavar Thomas, Robbie Russell, Bobby Convey, Amado Guevara, Pat Phelan, Sanna Nyassi, Alejandro Moreno

I know there are folks who don't rate Bobby Convey as a worthy pick, especially based on his terrible year in San Jose, but I just happen to think he could revitalize his career by returning home to Philadelphia. There aren't many left wing options in the expansion pool and I think the upside of Convey's selection would make his pick worth it.

Here are some other things to note as we draw closer to the announcement of Philadelphia's selections: 

Unless Philadelphia has a goalkeeper it plans to sign form overseas I'm not sure how the Union pass on someone as experienced and reliable as Kevin Hartman. It also wouldn't shock me if Philly grabbed Pat Onstad in order to hold him ransom from Houston. That said, I can't see Nowak passing on Dynamo defender Eddie Robinson.

For my money, Eddie Robinson, Amado Guevara and Anthony Wallace are the no-brainer picks in the bunch. Wallace is a very exciting left back prospect who could blossom into a standout while Robinson could be the perfect anchor for Philly's defense. Guevara has serious trade value so even if Peter Nowak doesn't like him for his own team, he could easily flip him for more draft picks or players (Chivas, Houston and Colorado are three places I could see him going).

Frankie Hejduk is a tough call. If salary wasn't something to consider then he'd be a great pick because he's a top-notch locker room leader and a fan favorite, but his form late in the year leaves you wondering how much is left in the tank, and with his high salary, Philly might be better off looking at less expensive alternatives. I go with MLS Cup hero Robbie Russell, who is strong, fast and can play either fullback position and even central defense if called upon.

Just how much will hometown ties play into Peter Nowak's selections? I don't think he'll be taking ten Philly natives, but I do think he will take a few players with local ties. This is what makes Convey, Stephen King and Chris Albright strong possibilities.

Speaking of ties, you always expect coaches to go after players they have coached before, so we have to at least consider that Nowak will want to re-unite with someone from D.C. United's list of available player. Leading the list of potential picks from D.C. is defender Devon McTavish.

Lastly, don't get too caught up in contract figures when the expansion list comes out. Philly can negotiate new deals with the players they select and something tells me players like Convey and Albright will be ready to take paycuts for the chance to play for their hometown team.


Check back into SBI this afternoon for the latest on Philadelphia's expansion draft.

What do you think of my expansion draft picks? Still not sold on Convey? Do you think Guevara will stay in Philly, or will he be traded?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in MLS- Expansion, MLS- Philadelphia Union. Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to MLS Expansion Draft Thoughts

  1. stewy says:

    salinas for sure will be taken. no brainer

  2. Amit says:

    Convey better be willing to take a paycut just to play period, regardless of where he is.

  3. Chicago Mike says:

    Why the hell is Chicago protecting MAPP?

  4. Doug says:

    Chicago Mike – VALUE. Not to Chicago, but to Nowak. Greater than zero chance they think he is someone Nowak would want.

    Does Nowak WANT Convey? I’m not so sure.

  5. Amit says:

    It has to be to the hair

  6. sjquakes says:

    Why would you take a player like Convey who is going to almost guarantee that you don’t contend for a playoff spot, merely because he has hometown ties?

    Playoffs > Hometown ties

    (SBI-You need to realize that just because a player has a bad year with a team doesn’t mean that’s the level he’s destined to play for. I’m sure MetroStars fans were saying good riddance to Jaime Moreno when New York sent him back to D.C. after one wasted year with the MetroStars. What did Moreno do a year later? He led D.C. to a title and should have been named league MVP. I’m not saying Convey will have that kind of turnaround, but it’s funny to hear San Jose fans automatically write him off simply because he was bad for San Jose.)

  7. joe k says:

    it seems like convey isn’t valued by san jose… couldn’t philly do better by trading for him?

  8. ec says:

    No kidding. Who needs $250k of bench time and turnovers? I would have thought that they were regretting his new contract.

  9. smits says:

    Oh I like that Guevara sign-and-trade with Houston, especially if Holden leaves, though I’m still convinced he signs some type of short-term deal to stay with MLS until World Cup is over. But Guevara might be a nice cog in that wheel.

  10. Beckster says:

    According to the Centerline Soccer blogs, Nowak and Convey can’t stand each other and there is some thinking that the Quakes put him out there as a gamble thinking that the Union would not pick him and if they pick him up, it will be to trade him.

  11. sammysounder says:

    Convey played well when I saw him in Seattle. I think people are being way too hard on him. He might not have had a great year, but he’s still got skills. A change of scenery might be just what he needs.

    If nothing else, he’s got a great upside. Plus, the draft is full of players with higher salaries that are iffy. Getting some of these is the nature of the draft. For Sounders, it’s Sturgis and Vagenas that filled that “is-this-guy-really-worth-that-much” role.

  12. Steve C says:

    Any rumors Philly might test the DP market? Seattle jumped in full-force w/ Ljunberg. Just curious…

  13. megs says:

    Convey all but came out in the press after his move to San Jose and said that Nowak’s antipathy towards him was the reason he was no longer in the picture with the national team. He also said that he didn’t want to immediately become the face of Philly, saving it for a little further down the road. Between those and the fact that the two never got along all that well when Convey played for DC, I have a hard time seeing Nowak taking him.

  14. sammy says:

    QUESTION: If they take players like Clark who are bound to go overseas, would they then own the transfer money share, as well as future allocations spots teams get when losing a national team level player?

  15. Joamiq says:

    Convey has real demonstrated talent and is young. Giving up on him entirely now would be silly.

  16. Steve C says:

    I’ve heard that story before about a young American… whats that guys name again? =P

  17. Manny F says:

    You are kidding me right?

  18. MLSyeyeyee says:

    what time is this gonna happen? and when’s the regular MLS draft?

  19. Chicago Mike says:

    for sure it’s not his ability to hit pk’s

  20. Joamiq says:

    Well, in all seriousness, Convey was a key player for a Championship juggernaut. It’s not like he’s never excelled at the professional level before. If he was just a case of year after year of unrealized potential, it’d be different…

  21. Steve says:

    SOmoen tell Booby the reason that he is no longer in the picture with the national team is tha he is always hurt and hasn’t poitively contricuted to a team in about 5 years.

  22. Dave in San Jose says:

    Freddy Mercury? Fred Flintstone? Damn – it was on the tip of my tongue.

  23. WK says:

    this is why Quakes fans are upset- they left both Convey AND Salinas unprotected. we figure we lose the huge upside that is Salinas, and have to hope the ‘turnaround’ for Bobby materializes next year, since his big salary takes up a lot of cap space we could use on another CM, F, or CB.

  24. Robert says:

    I’m still very upset to see the Earthquakes make Salinas available. With his speed and emerging ability, he will be a great winger in MLS (and maybe overseas) for years to come. I sure hope the Quakes lose Convey instead.

  25. wk says:

    you know that convey is making $250k right? which left winger (aside from Mapp) is getting paid more and played more iffy than BC did for us? we brought him in to centrally, and it didn’t work out. if he can regain his form on the left, we can threaten down either wing. problem is, he turned the ball over so badly all year, the left side was more of a liability than a break for us. i’m rooting for him to get back to that ’05-06 Cola’ship form w/ Reading!

  26. Robert says:

    Convey played hurt for most of the year, so he does have considerable upside for this coming season. Whether he plays in SJ or Phily in 2010, I expect him to have a much better season (if he keeps healthy…) If he is picked, they have Salinas ready to start in his spot.

  27. Sonicdeathmonkey says:

    Clark and Holden are out of contract, so if they do go to Europe there won’t be any transfer money.

  28. Isaac says:

    I agree with Ives about Convey. In his hayday, he had excellent skills and could play with the same zest Donovan is on the left flank.

  29. jloome says:

    The one big downside to the ongoing Guevara theory is whether he’ll stay in MLS. Twice, it’s been indicated in papers back in Honduras that he wants to finish his career with Motagua, where he’s treated like a national hero.

  30. Coug1990 says:

    Very true Ives. Many Toronto fans came over to Seattle boards and laughed when the Sounders acquired Tyrone Marshall.

    They said he was too slow and that he was done. He turned out to be a rejuvenated player and was so thought of in Seattle that he was protected.

  31. peterjh says:

    “It also wouldn’t shock me if Philly grabbed Pat Onstad in order to hold him ransom from Houston.”

    I think if he did this it would be more like he was holding Onstad for ransom than Houston, who have Talley Hall on their roster.

    One thing I haven’t heard anything on, does Onstad have any interest in being involved with the new Vancouver franchise? Not only would it be a homecoming, but I believe he and Lenarduzzi have crossed paths with the old 86ers and the Canadian national program. It would be a very natural fit.

  32. madmax says:

    Convey will be a plodder in Philly, Nowak will trade Guevara to Houston.

  33. DC Josh says:

    When they draft these players, they still have to sign them to contracts right? Do they own the rights to whatever players they draft? Always confused about this.

  34. TK says:

    Well, Convey hasn’t had a good MLS season in his whole career yet. What the heck, gotta happen sooner or later…right?

    Never have I seen a guy have one good year as a pro and ride it like he has. Unreal.

    Only in the US, where we are desperate to create stars…perform on the field…eh.

  35. madmax says:

    I like your picks but don’t take Moreno, or Robinson, both in severe decline.

  36. AlexS says:

    I don’t see Guevara being a Dom Kinnear type player. To quick to complain and whine.

  37. Emerald_City_Jason says:

    Can’t figure out why you all (Ives included) keep skipping James Riley. He was only the starting rb on the second stingiest back line in the league, in his prime, and never injured.

    He’s a huge community service guy, never made a single weak clearance the entire year, and makes overlapping runs deep into the attacking third late in the game. He’s going to Philly.

  38. Sean M says:

    Really?Im pretty sure Tottenham wanted Bobby Convey but the transfer couldn’t work out,so he ended up going to Reading

  39. Seviybreccos says:

    The draft is suppose to be starting right now according to MLSnet. Any news?

  40. Carl says:

    is there anyway we can find news?

  41. Seviybreccos says:

    Looks like Nowak will talk about the picks live at 3:00 PM on MLS’ website now.

  42. sammysounder says:

    Sounders boards are thinking that the turned in the list at 10 and are now contacting players.

    MLS really needs to get their act together. If you announce 10, then release the list at 10. C’mon, people!

  43. sarahsilky says:

    Ok, I thought it was going to start at 1 p.m. or is this a behind closed doors type thing. Pretty mickey mouse.

  44. Doug says:

    I agree…when are we going to hear something?

  45. Ne-Dub says:

    The suspense is killing me! Just give me the picks!

  46. Waterlewd says:

    link to

    By reading this, I had a feeling it would take an hour or two after the deadline. is probably your best place to find the info first. That is, if they release the list before the online presser at 3 ET.

  47. sjquakes says:

    Yes I understand that. But he already had the changes of scenery you discussed when he moved from Premiership back down to championship, and then from championship back to MLS. This is a guy who was at one point rated the top player in the championship back in 2005. He should have been able to destroy MLS or at least be very good. Instead he sucked it up, constantly turned the ball over and missed shots badly. How many more changes of scenery does this guy need/deserve?

  48. Adam Sq. says:

    union’s wikipedia site now has mike chabala as their first pick?

  49. Brent McD says:

    I can’t understand why did Houston protect Holden if he’s going to Europe as everyone says? Do the Dynamo really think they can re-sign him?

  50. ko'd says:

    No–but they will get the transfer $$$.

    And as to Adam Sq.–Wikipedia is not reliable. And there is no cite for that entry, even if it is eventually proven true.

  51. Amit says:

    They are probably scared that Philadelphia might try to entice him with a max salary offer or something close for next season. Who knows really. One more year of assured playing time might be worth it at 400k +

  52. Tony in Quakeland says:

    There is no way in hell I would have left Salians unprotected…Doyle needs to be fired.

  53. George says:

    Chivas-Carey Tally-Center Defense
    Chicago-Gonzalo Segares-Left Back
    FC Dallas- Andre Rocha-Attacking Mid
    DC United- Devon McTavish-Center Mid/Defense
    Houston Dynamo-Mike Chabala-Right Back
    Kansas City-Kevin Hartman-Goalkeeper
    New England-Wells Thompson-Left Wing/mid
    LA Galaxy-Alecko Eskandarian-Striker
    RSL-Pablo Campos-2nd Striker
    Seattle-James Riley-Center Defense/Right Back
    Toronto-Carl Robinson-Holding Mid

  54. Ne-Dub says:

    Tony, I love the Quakes but I think Salinas is expendable. How many times is he going to lose the ball by putting his head down and moving towards goal faster than he can handle the ball?

  55. Waterlewd says:

    Umm…that’s 11.

  56. Sean M says:

    George is that the real list or just yours??

  57. Tony in Quakeland says:

    In part it’s my frustration that they have not developed him. There were plenty of games where he added to the attack off the bench. But rather than develop him they just kept cramming left-footed mids all over the place.

  58. Carl says:

    Apparently, Seitz has been traded for allocation money

  59. sonicdeathmonkey says:

    How exactly will they get transfer money for Holden if hes out of contract? Think before you post.

  60. SeattleStan says:

    This live feed on MLSnet is ridiculous, I’ve heard a stupid Apple laptop startup 3 or 4 times

  61. Ne-Dub says:

    I agree, he has a lot of talent. I have always been of the opinion that he would make an excellent right back. Sort of like a Roberto Carlos coming into the attack a lot.

    Maybe he isn’t sound enough defensively yet but I see him aggressive enough to learn the position and excel at it.

  62. Bob says:

    Alejandro Moreno and Shavar Thomas confirmed

  63. sonicdeathmonkey says:

    Nowak is broadcasting the list on MLSnet as we speak.

  64. SeattleStan says:

    What Le Toux?! Holy crap!

  65. Bob says:

    Latest expansion draft word I’m hearing: LeToux, Salinas and David Myrie also taken. List should come out shortly. From SBI twitter.

  66. Bob says:

    Philly Union’s picks: Knighton, David Myrie, Shavar Thomas, Jordan Harvey, Salinas, Miglioranzi, Andrew Jacobson, Zimmerman, Moreno, LeToux. SBI twitter

  67. Sean M says:

    hahaha WTF…..Kneighton (NE),Thomas (Chv),Salinas (SJ),Miglioranzi (LA),Jacobsen (DC),Zimmerman (NY),Moreno (Col),Le Toux (Sea),Harvey (Col)….Im missing one I couldnt hear

  68. tyson says:

    sebastian noooooooooo!!!!!

    you will be missed. we love you.


  69. SeattleStan says:

    I have mixed feelings. He was an expensive backup, but a total class act. Super awesome and nice every time I met him. Maybe he has a chance to get some minutes at forward now.

  70. Sean M says:

    What a awful draft….no Convey or Guevara no Chabala no Hartman no Hejduk no Riley.hahahaha wow.