Should New England Revolution have protected Patrick Mullins?

As we all know, the New England Revolution were hit hard by the MLS Expansion Draft and have lost one of their brightest prospects in Patrick Mullins to New York City FC.

The forward almost single-handedly changed the MLS Cup Final when he entered the frame for Charlie Davies. And although the Revs lost in the end, Mullins showed what he is capable of with some good hold up play and created space to get other players in the game.

The 22-year-old netted four times in all competitions last term and although not prolific, he showed in glimpses the potential he has in his rookie season.

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When looking at their protected list ahead of the Expansion Draft, it is hard to look into who could have been substituted out to fit Mullins in as a protected player.

The two forwards who were protected, Charlie Davies and Teal Bunbury, are both players who are a key part of the side and the Revs couldn’t afford to lose either of them.

New England Revolution protected players:

Goalkeeper: Bobby Shuttleworth

Defenders: Kevin Alston – Andrew Farrell – Jose Goncalves – Chris Tierney

Midfielders: Jermaine Jones – Daigo Kobayashi – Lee Nguyen – Kelyn Rowe

Forwards: Teal Bunbury – Charlie Davies

The draft was hard on New England, but it would appear they had done as much as possible to cover themselves from losing key players and given the nature of the draft it just seems as if it was something they had to accept.

Mullins will learn a lot from his new teammates David Villa and Frank Lampard, and the move will continue to improve him as an up and coming young player.

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The service from Lampard and finishing ability of Villa are areas he will benefit from no end, and playing alongside the Spaniard will be particularly crucial for his development.

The Revs will no doubt be disappointed to see him go, but couldn’t afford to lose any top performing midfielders given that their preferred system is 4-2-3-1. Bunbury is a more rounded and versatile player than Mullins at this moment in time, and Charlie Davies is the main striker and is the one who can create the unexpected.

Do you think New England were right to leave Patrick Mullins unprotected for the Expansion Draft?

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MLS News Roundup: December 10

It’s been another busy day for clubs across Major League Soccer. The 2014 Expansion Draft saw New York City FC and Orlando City draft ten players each ahead of their debut campaigns in MLS, while there was also a MLS Waiver Draft. The trade window then reopened and will stay open until tomorrow evening.

To summarise all of today’s top stories we’ve rounded up the key moves and developments in one place here:

1. New York City and Orlando City bulk up squad ahead of debut season

The 2014 MLS Expansion Draft was the most interesting event of the day and one that New York City and Orlando have had in their diaries for a long time. It was over in a flash as both expansion franchises picked ten players each to give their first ever MLS squads a true identity.

All the expansion draft results can be found here.

2. Nigel Reo-Coker moves to Montreal Impact in one of just three Waiver Draft picks

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The MLS Waiver Draft followed the Expansion Draft as all 20 teams had the opportunity to select one of 58 players on the waiver wire. But only three teams took advantage of the opportunity as three former Chivas USA players were picked up. Nigel Reo-Coker moved to Montreal Impact with the first pick, with Leandro Barrera and Bobby Burling moving to San Jose Earthquakes and Colorado Rapids respectively.

3. Jamison Olave leaves New York Red Bulls to rejoin Real Salt Lake in trade

Real Salt Lake re-acquired powerful centre-back Jamison Olave from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for allocation money today. The 33-year-old, who won MLS Defender of the Year while with RSL in 2010, made over 50 appearances for the Red Bulls in two seasons. Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh revealed he was traded for salary cap reasons.

4. Daniel Lovitz traded back to Toronto FC despite New York City Expansion Draft selection

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Daniel Lovitz has had a busy day. The 23-year-old midfielder was picked by New York City in the fourth round of the MLS Expansion Draft on Wednesday. Though he was immediately traded back to Toronto FC in return for allocation money. Lovitz was selected in the second round of the SuperDraft last year and made 18 appearances in his debut season.

5. Eric Gehrig on the move twice as he lands move back to hometown Chicago

Eric Gehrig was another player who had an overly active day on the move. The defender left the Columbus Crew as he was selected by Orlando City in the tenth round of the Expansion Draft. But he was promptly traded to the Chicago Fire in exchange for a 2016 SuperDraft second round pick. The 26-year-old made 46 appearances in four seasons with the Crew. 

MLS Expansion Draft Results: New York City FC and Orlando City SC Picks

New York City FC and Orlando City went head-to-head in a fierce search for Major League Soccer talent to fill their squad’s ahead of their debut season in MLS in the 2014 Expansion Draft tonight.

Both clubs had to select ten players each from a list of 240 players who were left unprotected by the 18 other MLS teams.

The existing MLS teams could only lose a maximum of two players in the draft, and if a player was selected from their club, they had the chance to protect another player from the unprotected list.

Orlando City had the first pick and the pair then took it in turn until all 20 selections were made in total.

Here are the results of the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft:

Full results of the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft

Full results of the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft

Many were surprised by some of the selections but both clubs look to have acquired the players they think will help them finish their inaugural MLS campaigns as high as possible.

DC United striker Eddie Johnson was available but was overlooked. Other surprise omissions include LA Galaxy’s Dan Gargan, Houston Dynamo’s Corey Ashe and New York Red Bulls duo Tim Cahill and Peguy Luyindula.

What did you make of the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft results – who do you think made the better selections?

MLS Expansion Draft – Unprotected XI

By Sam Lingwood

With the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft almost upon us, we have a look at a potential lineup made of some of the best possible players left unprotected by their clubs for the draft.

New York City FC and Orlando City SC will pick ten players each in Wednesday’s Expansion Draft and we’ve picked out 11 that could find themselves on the move.

In order for this squad to be put together, a 4-1-4-1 formation has been selected. They may have been left unprotected but these players could prove valuable at one of the expansion franchises in 2015 and beyond.

MLS Expansion Draft – Unprotected XI

MLS Expansion Draft – Unprotected XI

Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts – Portland Timbers

The 2013 Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year, you can’t look past Donovan Ricketts. He brings experience and a safe pair of hands you can rely on. Has been in MLS since 2009 and has one MLS Cup title to his name.

Right-back: Dan Gargan – LA Galaxy

Another lad who has bundles of experience at MLS level, Dan Gargan is an intriguing option. A consistently solid level of performances last term make him a standout choice if New York City or Orlando City are looking for a right-back.

Centre-backs: AJ Soares & Carlos Salcedo – New England Revolution & Real Salt Lake

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The centre-back pairing are formidable. AJ Soares had a high standard of performances last year, and is at a great age to put in even better displays at the back in the hope he can push on and win the MLS Cup in 2015 with whoever he ends up with, so long as he stays in MLS. Carlos Salcedo is a young talent who didn’t feature consistently last season. However, he’s a great prospect and with the right experience around him, he will thrive in the scenario presented.

Left-back: Heath Pearce – Montreal Impact

Heath Pearce is another experienced defender to shepherd either team through their inaugral season in Major League Soccer. He has a great CV to boast off, and at 30 he still has some good years left in the tank. A sound left-back who will get the job done if selected.

Defensive-midfield: Hendry Thomas – FC Dallas

Previous teams include Wigan Athletic when they were in the English Premier League. Hendry Thomas is a consistently high performer for his home nation Honduras and he represented them once again at the 2014 World Cup. Injury restricted him to just 10 appearances for FC Dallas in 2014 but he is worth the gamble.

Right-midfield: Diego Fagundez – New England Revolution

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Diego Fagundez is picked to play on the right wing for this lineup. The 19-year-old playmaker has plenty of pace, talent and technique. Will be around for years and could be terrorising defences with one of the expansion franchises next season.

Central-midfield: Ben Speas – Columbus Crew

Another young lad, Ben Speas put in some good performances when selected last term and the 23-year-old will be hoping for more game time next season as he looks to build and push on to greater things with whoever he plays for in 2015.

Central-midfield: Peguy Luyindula – New York Red Bulls

Peguy Luyindula may be 35-years-old but the French playmaker showed that he can still be a difference-maker during the MLS Playoffs this season. Five goals and one assist in 26 regular appearances in 2014 make Luyindula an interesting option. He then netted three goals in five playoff games for the Red Bulls before they were knocked out by New England.

Left-midfield: Bobby Convey – New York Red Bulls

Bobby Convey offers some more EPL experience after spending five years with Reading before returning to MLS in 2009. At 31, he still has some talent left in the tank to help see either New York City FC and Orlando City succeed in their debut season.

Forward: Patrick Mullins – New England Revolution

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Patrick Mullins put in a great performance off the bench in the MLS Cup Final on Sunday and the rookie was impressively consistent in his first season. Looking forward to bigger and better things from this lad next year.

This looks like a good team, playing a solid formation and they would probably do well as a squad in MLS. It will be great to see who is chosen in Wednesday’s draft and how they all get on next year.

How well would the Unprotected XI do if they were an MLS side – how many of them will be selected on Wednesday?

Trade crazy! All the MLS trades from a busy window on Monday

Major League Soccer clubs across the country have been busy acquiring players today. The half-day trade window gave MLS teams four hours to trade players for the first time this offseason. Clubs could also re-sign their own players.

11 players were on the move on Monday as 10 different clubs were involved with some form of trade in the final opportunity to reshuffle squad’s before Wednesday’s MLS Expansion Draft.

The Expansion Draft gets underway at 19:00 (UK time) on Wednesday and the offseason trade window will reopen after the draft ends.

Here are all today’s trades in what has been a busy day:

Michael Harrington: Portland Timbers – Colorado Rapids

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The Colorado Rapids acquired defender Michael Harrington from the Portland Timbers in exchange for allocation money. The 28-year-old made 25 appearances for the Timbers last season and should shore up a leaky Colorado defence that conceded more goals than anyone else in 2014.

Nat Borchers: Real Salt Lake – Portland Timbers

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The Timbers quickly replaced Harrington by bringing in Nat Borchers from Western Conference rivals Real Salt Lake for allocation money. The 33-year-old centre-back was with RSL since 2008 and started 32 games last season. Borchers was one of five players the Timbers signed on Monday.

Josh Williams: Columbus Crew – New York City FC

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New York City have bulked up their defence with the addition of Josh Williams from Columbus Crew in exchange for allocations funds. Williams, 26, made 14 appearances for the Crew this season.

Andrew Driver – Joe Willis/Samuel Inkoom: Houston Dynamo – DC United

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English winger Andrew Driver joined Eastern Conference winners DC United from Houston Dynamo in exchange for Joe Willis and Samuel Inkoom. The Dynamo have bolstered their defence by bringing in goalkeeper Willis and right-back Inkoom while DC have added another attacking option in Driver.

Amobi Okugo:  Philadelphia Union – Orlando City SC

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Orlando City brought in three players on Monday. Amobi Okugo was the first as the 23-year-old holding midfielder joined from Philadelphia Union in exchange for allocation money and a 2016 2nd Round SuperDraft pick. Okugo made 32 appearances for the Union in 2014, scoring and assisting two goals.

Aurelien Collin: Sporting Kansas City – Orlando City SC

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Orlando’s second pick-up was Aurelien Collin. The dominant centre-back will undoubtedly give the Lions a solid defensive leader. He joins Orlando in exchange for allocation money and future considerations. Collin, MLS Cup MVP from 2013, made 26 appearances for Sporting Kansas City in 2014, scoring twice.

Tally Hall: Houston Dynamo – Orlando City SC

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The third acquisition Orlando made was goalkeeper Tally Hall who joins from Houston in exchange for allocation money and an international roster spot. Hall and Collin will need to keep the Lions defence solid in their inaugural season in MLS next season.

C.J. Sapong: Sporting Kansas City – Philadelphia Union

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Philadelphia bolstered their attack with the addition of C.J. Sapong from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for the Union’s highest first-round pick in the upcoming SuperDraft. Sapong scored twice in 20 appearances for SKC in 2014.

Bernardo Anor: Columbus Crew – Sporting Kansas City

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After seeing Collin and Sapong leave, Sporting Kansas City brought in someone in the form of midfielder Bernardo Anor from Columbus Crew. Anor joined SKC in exchange for allocation money after scoring six goals with one assist in 27 games this year.

Omar Salgado: Vancouver Whitecaps – New York City FC

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New York City also made a move to improve their attacking options ahead of their debut season by bringing in Omar Salgado from the Vancouver Whitecaps in a swap for Future Considerations. The 21-year-old only played eight times for the Whitecaps in 2014.

Joe Nasco – Dimitry Imbongo/Geoffrey Castillion: Colorado Rapids – New England Revolution

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MLS Cup Final losers New England Revolution also made a move in the short trade window by bringing in Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Joe Nasco and a third round pick in the upcoming SuperDraft. In exchange the Revs sent forwards Dimitry Imbongo and Geoffrey Castillion as well as a second round SuperDraft pick.

Expansion franchises New York City and Orlando City also picked up international roster slots for the 2015 and 2016 seasons from DC United. Both clubs will now be looking ahead to Wednesday’s highly-anticipated Expansion Draft.

What did you make of Monday’s busy day of trading in MLS?