There have been a few minor issues swimming around and I took the opportunity to try to get to the bottom of some them today at practice. With the Portland Timbers announcing former Dynamo assistant John Spencer as their coach, it seems the expansion draft is on lots of people's minds. Similarly, some have noticed that Real Salt Lake was rocking a third kit this week and question have arisen about that. Anyway, hopefully these answers suffice.
Rather than interpret anything, here's what Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer said: "We could lose zero players, one player, two players. We can protect 11, if we have one taken, we can put one more on the protected list."
He went on to clarify that only one type of player is exempted from the expansion draft: "Any 11 other than Generation Adidas players who have still not graduated out of the Generation Adidas program" are eligible for the expansion draft.
"Ljungberg was on the list last year because we wanted to keep him. I've read the rules and they are confusing, but a DP ... it doesn't matter if you protect them. If a Designated Player has a no-trade clause, he must be protected. You don't have to protect a Designated Player if you choose to protect someone else." (Note: By this he means that a DP can be exposed to the expansion draft, but the team risks losing them in that instance.)
With Real Salt Lake breaking out their "Victory Gold" kits during MLS play, and Sounders fans previously being told that the Electricity kits could only be used for non-MLS matches, I asked for some clarification on that rule as well. Hanauer said said he doesn't normally get involved in kit issues, but it does appear that the Sounders never formally asked to use them in an MLS match. Hanauer said Sigi Schmid usually has strong opinion on which kits his teams where, but so far wearing them in MLS matches has not been attempted. Apparently, the main concern is creating a contrast with whatever the other team is wearing and the Rave Green normally do a fine job.