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No real surprises on Sounders’ 2021 Expansion Draft protected list

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Several notable players left exposed.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

While there were some quality performers left exposed, there really weren’t any big surprises on the list of players the Seattle Sounders protected from the 2021 MLS Expansion Draft. Of the 11 players the Sounders left exposed, only three are currently under contract for the 2022 season and all of them were accurately predicted by our “Protectionator.”

Predictable or not, the Sounders could still suffer a painful loss when Charlotte FC picks five players in Tuesday’s Expansion Draft.

Perhaps the most attractive of those exposed players is Abdoulaye Cissoko. The soon-to-be 22-year-old is coming off a MLS debut season in which he made 12 starts and logged nearly 1,000 first-team minutes. He’s also due to make something close to the league minimum.

Also left exposed were Kelyn Rowe, who played in all 38 games; Fredy Montero, who had 7 goals and 6 assists while playing on a league-minimum contract; Will Bruin, who is one of the top active scorers in MLS; and Shane O’Neill, who made 19 starts for the league-leading defense.

No team can lose more than one player in the Expansion Draft. If the Sounders do lose a player, they’ll be compensated with $50,000 in General Allocation Money and be exempt from the next Expansion Draft. The Sounders have lost at least one player in 4 of the 6 Expansion Drafts for which they’ve been eligible.

Sounders 2021 roster

Player Roster Category Player Category Protected Roster status
Player Roster Category Player Category Protected Roster status
X. Arreaga Senior International Y Signed
J. Atencio Supplemental Slots 25-28 Homegrown Y Signed
R. Baker-Whiting Supplemental Slots 29-30 Homegrown Y Signed
N. Benezet Senior International N Option declined
W. Bruin Senior N Out of contract
L. Chú Senior International, U22 Initiative Y Signed
A. Cissoko Supplemental Slots 25-28 N Signed
S. Cleveland Senior N Out of contract
J. Delem Senior N Option declined
E. Dobbelaere Supplemental Slots 25-28 Homegrown Y Signed
S. Frei Senior Y Signed
Yeimar Senior International Y Signed
S. Hopeau Supplemental Slots 25-28 Homegrown Y Option declined
D. Leyva Supplemental Slots 25-28 Homegrown Y Signed
N. Lodeiro Senior Designated Player Y Signed
J. Medranda Senior Y Signed
João Paulo Senior Designated Player Y Signed
F. Montero Supplemental Slots 21-24 N Option declined
J. Morris Senior Y Signed
T. Muse Supplemental Slots 29-30 Homegrown Y Option declined
S. O'Neill Senior N Out of contract
A. Ocampo-Chavez Supplemental Slots 29-30 Homegrown Y Signed
S. Richey Supplemental Slots 21-24 N Option declined
C. Roldan Senior Y Signed
Á. Roldan Senior Y Bonafide offer
K. Rowe Senior N Option declined
R. Ruidíaz Senior Designated Player Y Signed
B. Smith Senior International N Signed
A. Thomas Supplemental Slots 21-24 N Signed
Nouhou Senior International Y Signed