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Who should Sounders protect in upcoming expansion draft?

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There are some tough choices that will need to be made.

How many players from this picture won’t be back in 2020?
Mike Russell / Sounder at Heart

In what has become an almost annual rite of frustration, the MLS Expansion Draft is coming up fast. That means the Seattle Sounders — as well as the other 18 teams who didn’t have a player selected last year — will have to go through this rather uncomfortable exercise.

The good news, if you choose to look on the bright side of things, is that this year’s Expansion Draft should be a little less painful than previous ones. For one, each team can protect an additional player, bringing the total to 12. That’s in addition to any Generation adidas or Homegrown Players who were born in or after 1994. For the Sounders, that means Jordan Morris, Handwalla Bwana, Danny Leyva, Trey Muse and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez don’t even need to be accounted for. Like the last couple drafts, each team can only select five players and no current team can lose more than one, for which they’ll be compensated $50,000 in General Allocation Money.

On the flip side, unlike last year’s draft there will be two teams selecting.

The danger in this is not just in the possibility of losing a player — the most recent example was Tyler Miller being selected following the 2017 season — but the fallout over simply exposing a player. Osvaldo Alonso famously fumed when he was exposed in that same draft, possibly even greasing the skids for his eventual departure following the 2018 season. The decisions over who to protect also aren’t as simple as “who are the best players” but the game-theory of trying to figure out which players are most likely to be selected if exposed.

With all that said, we’re curious who you think the Sounders should protect. We’ll share your results along with who the staff felt should be protected in a post later this week. (One note: it’s likely that Emmanuel Cecchini has a no-trade clause in his loan and will have to be protected.) Fill out the form below or here and let us know what you think.