Trades galore after MLS expansion draft

Sanna Nyassi (

Just when you thought the MLS Expansion Draft would be the main business of the day in Major League Soccer, a wave of trades followed after to make it the busiest day in MLS history.

The Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps pulled off a plethora of post-draft trades, shipping off many of the players they just acquired. In total, seven of the 20 players chosen in today's expansion draft were traded away in six deals (for now).

Here is a rundown of all the trades (we'll update if any more come through:

Portland traded:

Dax McCarty and allocation money to D.C. United for Rodney Wallace and a 4th round pick.

Anthony Wallace to Colorado Rapids for allocation money.

Arturo Alvarez to Real Salt Lake for a 2nd-round pick in the 2011 MLS Draft.

Vancouver traded

Sanna Nyassi to Colorado Rapids for international player slot

O'Brian White to Seattle Sounders for allocation money.

Alejandro Moreno and Alan Gordon to Chivas USA for allocation money.


What do you think of all the wheeling and dealing? Who do you think is in a better position to succeed in year one, Portland or Vancouver?

Share your thoughts below.

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72 Responses to Trades galore after MLS expansion draft

  1. El Fur says:

    Nice to see Chivas pick up (or keep) two of the worst starting forwards in MLS. The tradition keeps getting better.

  2. Big Chil says:

    Sweet! Colorado got Wallace back! And Nyassi, not bad! Way to keep the team together.

  3. The Dude says:

    As a Seattle fan, I’m not at all happy about this draft. First we lose Nyassi (who we should have protected). Then we pick up O’Brian White? WTF. That’s a net loss of talent for us.

  4. Kejsare says:

    It goes to show both clubs think they wanted more flexibility than just taking what they got. It appears they’re going after more international signings to flesh out the starting squads.

  5. nam says:

    Vancouver might be, but Portland I doubt.

  6. matt in detroit says:

    McCarthy never impressed me. He was slow and not as good a defender as others claimed him to be. Rodney Wallace had a good rookie season before getting hurt. I might make that trade if circumstances allowed.

    As for the others, I don’t know.

    1. Alverez for a 2nd round pick? Guys you need starters ASAP. How many 2nd rounders give you that. If you didn’t think Alverez was the guy, why take him over a dozen other mids?

    2. Anthony Wallice for cap room? I thought he was finally meeting his talent when given a permanent position. Cap room doesn’t buy you much on the foriegn player market.

    3. White to Seattle? What about have SOME canucks on board?

    4. Nyassi to Rapids. Again, don’t you need SOME players on the field in May? OK, I guess if you can go out and get another foreign (for one year).

    5. Gordon / Moreno – sorry, Moreno hasn’t been steady in years and Gordon is one dimensional, a decent holdup guy and fierce in the air but can’t beat a traffic cone.

    Just don’t get it.

  7. Kejsare says:

    Per John Strong: [I paraphrase]

    “We didn’t need Dax because we already have an offer for a overseas midfielder.”

  8. JesseMT says:

    When you list out Vancouver’s post-draft trades like this, it looks as if they will try to acquire a quality target forward forward. At least, somebody much better than Moreno, Gordon, and White. They’re collecting allocation $$.

  9. CUFCdad says:

    Is allocation money more valuable to an expansion team than players? What does that allow them to do that makes it better than having drafted players for their roster? Essentially, what the expansion teams did in a few cases was hold another team’s player hostage for ransom……..

  10. JoeW says:

    I won’t comment on any specific deals. But generally, I think this is SMART behavior by the two expansion teams. Here’s why:

    –there are very few quality starters (other than some aging guys like Angel or Schelotto or Conrad) in the expansion draft. The expansion draft is mostly about
    –failures or guys you don’t want to pick (they’re going to Europe, they’re injured, they’re a team cancer, they’re no good as a player….yes, I mean YOU Khano Smith).
    –role players who, in the right system and with the right coach, can be good contributors or without those things look lost and mediocre
    –young guys with athletic ability and potential who in 3-4 years can be a good starter (ala Jason Hernandez).

    Getting a Sebastian Le Toux or a Chris Armas is rare–it’s like getting a pearl in your oyster you ordered for diner–it happens but just enough to notice how rare it is.

    So a smart expansion does 3 things:
    –jumps on a player you’re convinced is a starter now (and usually that’s a player who has shown they can start in the league in 2-3 different systems)
    –goes for a few young players with physical skills who clearly have room to grow.
    –keeps a role player who they know fits their system like a glove
    –uses the bulk of their expansion picks to acquire things that give them more flexibility (draft picks or allocation $ or international slots).

    Teams who counted on the expansion draft for more than 2-3 starters in year one have sucked: RSL is the poster child for this approach. Chicago and Seattle (the two most successful expansion teams) are ones that relied on a spine of foreign or outside MLS talent (Chicago was originally: Campos, Kubik, Nowak, and Podbrozny and Kosecki down the middle, Seattle was Keller, Kennedy, Alonso, Lundberg, Montero in key roles). Far better to grab 1-2 likely starters, 2-4 young guys who will be over-matched in your first year but are likely to still be with the club in 3 years (or valuable enough to trade for someone else down the road) and then get “other value” (by agreeing to pass up another team, or picking someone a third team wants–Brian Carroll is a brilliant example of one team’s trash is another team’s treasure as a limited player who’s very good at somethings, not so good at others) that you have fewer limits on (like draft picks and allocations.

    Also, really smart move passing up all the GKs in the expansion draft. Portland and Vancouver already have GKs available and it only makes sense to add a GK if it’s someone like Marcus Hahnemann–a major upgrade over MLS veterans.

  11. Scottie says:

    Losing Nyassi is not a huge loss of talent. Speed? Yes. Talent? No.

    If all Seattle wants is a guy that can run fast down the wing and put awful crosses into the box, they could pick up any track athlete and give him a uniform.

  12. Kevin Smith says:

    Don’t Vancouver and Portland get to bring some/most/all of their USL/NASL squads with them? Maybe they have confidence in the teams in place, and don’t feel the need to essentially start over – which is what you’d be doing with 10 new players added to your roster.

  13. Zorbthegeek says:

    O’Brian White is now Seattle’s #3 target forward, behind N’Kufo and Jaqua. Can we now please release Pat Noonan and free up his 100k in salary to keep Zakuani in RBP? Losing Nyassi is tough, but Fernandez is a better player and more than capable replacement. I have eben less of a problem losing Sturgis, given that we have Seamon & Evans. Today could have been worse for Seattle. That said, I won’t sleep well until this “Zakuani training w/ Everton” thing is over and he’s back in Seattle.

  14. StevenG says:

    I wonder if MLS will ever have free agency? Anybody care to guess?

  15. JoeW says:

    “You need starters ASAP”–I don’t think so. They don’t start playing games (even preseason) for a couple of months. They don’t need ANY starters now. They need players that fit there system who are worthy starters or they need players they can swap for something they can use.

    As for getting some Canadian’s on board, I think that’s what part of the cap room/allocation money is about. The best Canadians are mostly overseas and they’re over-priced. You pay Donovan prices but you don’t get Landon Donovan. Frankly, I’d prefer to overpay for a good player than play less for someone who has contributed little to this point (OBW) if you feel that player isn’t going to get much better.

  16. The Dude says:

    I’ve been chuckling all day about Portland. Spencer is proving himself to be a pretty inept coach. Can’t wait for Seattle to destroy this team next season. There’s no chance that Portland makes the playoffs, but a very good chance that Spencer gets Prekied during the summer.

  17. Jupeo says:

    Chivas sucks they will be next years whipping squad yet again.

  18. DomiNate says:

    You can’t teach speed, but you can teach a guy to cross a ball accurately. Nyassi is in his early 20’s, and if he plays anything like he did for the second half of the season this is a huge loss.

    He might blow up like Le Toux did.

  19. DomiNate says:

    No idea why we signed O’Brian White.

    Fernandez is definitely a better player than Nyassi, but I still would have protected him and brought him off the bench.

    Losing Sturgis will only be a big deal if Evans doesn’t recover from injury. Do you think Seamon will ever become a starter?

    Don’t worry, we’ll have Zak for another season.

  20. steve says:

    Don’t make a judgement before everything is said and done. You and I both know there are still several things that are going to happen in the next few days, weeks and months.

    Also, rumors going around that PDX is targeting an international midfielder and getting the allocation money will help offset the cost of that.

    There are also several players that were with Portland last year that are believed to be joining the team (goldwaithe, alhassan, Marcelin et al.)

    Typical seattle jumping to conclusions. I forgot that seattle’s definition of success is crashing out in the first round of playoffs.

  21. ohgetoverit says:

    @The Dude: Blah blah blah, bias, blah blah blah, unwavering seattle fan must hate portalnd blah blah blah, must avoid cognitive dissonance.

    Have a thought of your own today?

  22. steve says:

    the timbers didn’t let the draft dictate their roster. Took an unprotected player that wasn’t the type of player they wanted and flipped him for a protected player that they did want.

    Don’t let the draft dictate your roster, use it as a vehicle to put together your roster according to your plan.

  23. Paul Dickov says:

    Seeing that I’ve feared this day as an RSL fan for almost a year, I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised with how well things turned out. Horst was horrible and despised by almost every RSL fan – so for him to be picked first (instead of Warner, no less) is amazing. Losing Findley’s rights does suck a bit – but he never really had the breakout season everyone expected and RSL was ready to move on. THEN landing Alvarez for a second round pick (which is usually a crapshoot anyway) and I have to say that if the Sabo deal can get done, RSL will be back in contention again next year.

  24. Terry says:

    Fernandez is going to be our replacement for Sturgis not Nyassi. Fucito is much better than Nyassi and should replace him on the wing. With an off-season addition at either one of those positions, they should be just fine without both of those guys.

  25. Terry says:

    I agree that it is a little too early to make a judgment on Portland’s success, but what a lame final statement. Crashing out in the first round of the playoffs? Ask Toronto and Philadelphia fans, along with most likely you guys next year how successfull that is.

  26. SoccerDotTel says:

    An international player slot? Who could the Whitecaps get??

  27. steve says:

    Success in sports shouldn’t be measured in one year. Especially a new team.

  28. Jim says:

    Have to disagree with you about Horst. This year on a team that played route one, The Islanders, he ate the Galaxy for lunch in the CCL and he played well against the Mexican and Central American sides in that tournament. He’s good against teams that play the same as well (Seattle for example). I’m not sure if he can last a full season on turf though. Not a big loss to RSL since they don’t play that way, it wasn’t a good fit for Horst.
    I liked that RSL gave up Findley, I hope they can use the extra cap space to sign Paulo Jr. He’ll fit in well to their attack.

  29. Duck says:

    As a neutral whose team was not affected (Houston), I love watching the opening shots of the MLS Cascadia rivalry. The 2010 season ended three days ago and vitriol for 2011 is already here. Are you listening, Mr. Garber? We don’t need engineered rivalries. Sorry for the the off-topicality.

  30. The Dude says:

    To all the Portland fans out there: Even though I am a Seattle fan, I was prepared to at least respect your coach and your franchise. However, I didn’t see anything worth respecting today. First, you let Dax go to DC. Then you selected my least favorite soccer players on the planet: Findley and Bornstein. Does Portland want to be seen as the home of crappy national team players? Apparently, it does. Maybe Portland will nab a huge DP. Still, I don’t see much talent on this team. Certainly much inferior to Seattle. And don’t start talking smack about the Sounders. They’ve won the US Open Cup twice, and made it to the playoffs in their first two seasons. Let’s see if Portland can come close to those achievements.

  31. Second City says:

    The Nyassi twins are at least 28–29 years old. At least.

    Check out their hairline and aging face is all I’m saying.

    They’re 21 like Freddy Adu is 21.

  32. Second City says:

    Won’t be anytime soon. Probably 6-10 years due to the leagues training wheels mantra

  33. elduderino says:

    Just wanted to say I was right and you were wrong about Vancouver taking Cannon instead of Onstad.

  34. Second City says:

    They’ve won two cups in their first two years. You think Portland will replicate that let alone surpass that?


  35. Frank says:

    I do believe Freddy is older than he says, but he is not near as old as some have suggested. My brother played against him several times when he was supposedly 14 playing U-18 and the consensus seemed to be that at that time he was likely playing in the correct age group. Older than 21? Probably. 28+? I personally don’t think so

  36. Zorbthegeek says:

    As of right now Sounders look like this…
    Montero — N’Kufo
    Zakuani — Alonso — Evans — Fernandez
    Gonzalez — Parke — Hurtado — Riley

    Most used subs:
    Fucito then Levesque play either wing or Montero’s FW
    Jaqua then White sub N’Kufo
    Ianni sub Alonso & both CBs
    Seamon plays either central MF
    Of course Wall, Scott and Graham sub backline

  37. slughog says:

    No surprise New England is once again active and strategic in rebuilding their squad…and do nothing.

  38. Kejsare says:

    Dude, there are only 11 on the roster ATM. Premature.

  39. Peter says:

    Where is Angel going to end up?

  40. BJ's are the best says:

    And Michael Bradley and Arjen Robben are 33 and 42 respectively.

  41. Fred Garvin says:

    Here’s where the PDX legacy begins….. good luck


  42. steve says:

    If you really want to appear knowledgeable go listen to the Podcast of TalkTimbers and tell me the head coach and GM don’t have a plan. They have mentioned signing a “returning USMNT player” and a South American “versatile midfielder.”

  43. CSD says:

    “With the two trades, Vancouver now has 10 international slots…”

  44. steve says:

    and kalif alhassan has been verbally put on the team. Kid has got talent. Look up his goal from earlier in the year.

  45. gstommylee says:

    Seattle will fill those gaps in depth. I’m actually happy at the 3 players they lost/traded away. It finally gives the team a reason to finally FIX the midfield.

  46. CSD says:

    Vancouver is putting together a very impressive team. They added some pieces last year that they are planning on moving up to MLS. Guys like this:

    link to

    It makes sense they are getting all of these international spots and allocation money. Look on there site at the players they have in camp.

  47. cc says:

    Someone better learn how to take set pieces though…

  48. georg says:

    Did any team do as well as RSL did today?

    We lost a defender we did not want!

    We lost a one trick pony striker who was leaving anyway.

    and we got a quality midfielder in Alvarez for a 2nd round pick?

  49. JoeW says:

    I’m not a Portland (or Seattle) fan so I don’t have a dog in this fight. That said, it’s really pretty silly to be talking smack at this point. a PDL team could take Portland at this moment–and so what? The purpose of the expansion draft is to gain some useful talent (which might mean draft picks or allocation $), not create a team that can play that day.

    I’m kind of surprised so see some of the Seattle smack b/c Portland seems to be building remarkably similarly to the way Seattle did. Both teams have taken fliers on guys supposedly going to Europe (Parkes and Jaqua for Seattle). Both teams totally rejected the idea that they were going to get a bunch of starters from the expansion draft (Keller, Kennedy, Alonso, Lundberg and Montero–that was the strength of your team in year one and they were all brought in from outside MLS). Portland is saying they’re moving McCarty b/c they’ve got a foreign central midfielder in their eyes and intend to sign two strikers from outside MLS. Oh, and then the re-entry draft will come up where guys like Conrad will be available. I’m not arguing Portland is going to win the MLS Cup. Truth is, they’ll probably be a typical expansion team and not make the playoffs (especially in a tough West). But if the Seattle fans would take off their green-colored glasses, they’d see a team that (even to the point of selectively signing USL players from their side) is building using a model almost identical to the one that Seattle used.

  50. scott47a says:

    Well, you make a lot of interesting points and then get to the bottom and just misstate a fact. Vancouver did indeed draft a keeper, Joe Cannon.

    Makes on wonder how many other things you had wrong in all that.

  51. sciroccer says:


  52. Frank says:

    Michael Bradley and Arjen Robben didn’t come from a very poor African childhood. Faking ages is very common in those countries. In fact, I just finished reading Declan Hill’s book “The Fix,” and a high ranking Ghanaian soccer offical admitted point blank that their youth teams were good in the past only because they made it a habit of playing over age players(great book but DO NOT read it if you dont want to be shocked to your very core about mathc fixing because it is very detailed and very incriminating). So, before you just write off suspicions about Freddy’s age, learn your facts. Also, when he was a teenager a bone density scan said he was older than his claimed age. So, once again, good job knowing the facts.

  53. Frank says:

    And I should clarify, I actually am a Freddy Adu fan so this isn’t suspicion for suspicions sake.

  54. willy says:

    Teaching a player to cross is far easier said than done. A guy who has been playing professionally for years should be able to look up before he delivers his crosses. Sanna has trouble with it because his touch is usually off and he has to concentrate on regaining control.

    He will have some good years. Better than say… Chad Barret but I think you will get a solid work rate and the occasional hot streak from him. Unlikely that he will blow up.

  55. RK says:

    Seeing those allocation $$ moves, they must have some big moves in the works…

  56. GMD says:

    I laughed at this. Nice.

  57. Jake says:

    A long touch is also gives defenders a much larger tackling window so he’s worrying not only about controlling the ball, but also about having a defender come in and crunch him.

  58. Jake says:

    Doesn’t Estrada hit a pretty good free kick? Or is that Nakazawa in Philly? I think I may be getting my UCLA grads mixed up but I do know one of them can serve a good ball

  59. Brian says:

    Why would you trade for Alan Gordon once, let alone twice!?

  60. Brian says:

    “Also, when he was a teenager a bone density scan said he was older than his claimed age. So, once again, good job knowing the facts. ”


  61. Brian says:

    Not just green colored glasses. Rave green colored glasses. Rave green. Get it right.

  62. JoeW says:

    I humbly stand corrected.

  63. JoeW says:

    Yep, Vancouver did go for Cannon. But I think there were a lot of projections of them going for Onstad. And there was lots of talk about Portland also going for a GK. And my argument throughout was that both of those teams have guys who are solid so you don’t pick a GK unless you think he’s a guaranteed starter for you and a significant upgrade over what you have.

    If there are other points you disagree with, than point ’em out.

  64. sciroccer says:

    When Freddy was in SLC, we used to see him all over the place. The places you would see him at (type of movies he would be at) and the players/friends he was with, I would argue that he is the age they say he is. Either that, or he’s inmature. I spoke with his mom for about 20 minutes at an RSL event, and their interaction’s where also very age appropriate.

  65. Charles says:

    Chad Ochocinco !!!

  66. sciroccer says:

    The fact that they don’t makes the league more balanced. Would you like the MLS to be superstar dominate teams in LA, NY? One of the reason the MLS is able to grow and survive is because the don’t have free agency. An equal playing field for all teams makes it more exciting. I’ve always hated how the NFL, and NBA have the same teams getting to their finals year after year. The Galaxy are already getting old, just like the Lakers are. Look at the teams in the Cup the last few years- Crapids and Dallas, RSL and LA, NY and Columbus, Houston and N.E. You get the point. Much more entertaining.

  67. Charles says:

    Well the Whitecaps and Sounders HAVE played each other 111 times. ( Timbers and Sounders around 80 )

    While I don’t disagree with your post,

    if you want rivalries like that for 2011 in a league where the teams have been in existance for 16 years, good luck….or manufacture away.

  68. sciroccer says:

    Unless he drop’s is income a lot-playing in another league! He could trade salaries, and teams with Pablo Campos- wishful thinking I know.

  69. sciroccer says:

    Georg- The only way this would’ve been better for us, (in my eyes) is if they took Campos instead of Findley. I won’t be upset with the Alturo move either, if Jason can get him into the RSL system? I still think we had a great day.

  70. jamesey says:

    Arguing about Adu’s age is like arguing if Obama is American.

  71. William says:

    Freddy, inmature? Nooooo

    Most of the reason he’s tanking is because he is inmature and apparently does not have a good work ethic

  72. matt in detroit says:


    How are they going to get more starters?

    They have seven foreign slots and the typical MLS team has a mixed record with foreign signings. At best, they’ll only get three or four good foreign players out of that.

    Where else will they get players?

    Trades? Trade what?

    Draft? What are the odds they’ll get multiple MLS ready rookies?

    Most of the signable US/Canadian are already on other MLS teams or getting paid better in europe. Even if some want to come back, there is a process for that. Van/Port will only get one each.

    That adds up to only eight or ten MLS ready players to start the season. That won’t go over well.

    Van/Port needed to form the basis of the roster in the expansion draft and then fill it out with allocations, amateur draft and foreign signings.

    I’m not confident.