Union Claim No Requirements For Protecting International Players In Expansion Draft

Today Dave Zeitlin, Union writer for CSNPhilly.com, replied to our own Scott Kessler with an interesting piece of information about the upcoming 2011 MLS Expansion Draft:

@scotkess According to Hackworth, the union do not need to protect a certain number of international players. We asked specifically.

The published 2011 MLS Expansion Draft rules state:

Clubs are restricted in the number of international player(s) that they may make available. Clubs may make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus three, provided that if a Club has three or fewer international players it may make available not more than one.

Philadelphia has 4 international players.  According to the rule above only 1 of those players could be made available to the expansion draft.  Hackworth's implication in the tweet above contradicts this rule.

The Union would benefit by not having to abide by this international player restriction.  The goal of the expansion draft this year is to protect your best eleven and that may or may not include 3 internationals.

Scott laid out his preference for a protected eleven given draft rule earlier today:

International players (3): Roger Torres, Toni Stahl, Juan Diego Gonzalez
Rest of the protected (8): Sebastien Le Toux, Sheanon Williams, Michael Orozco-Fiscal, Danny Califf, Kyle Nakazawa, Fred, Shea Salinas, Justin Mapp

The only obvious international Philadelphia would probably want to protect is young Roger Torres.  Stahl, Gonzalez and Coudet are less certain.  Stahl didn't get any minutes after his opening start.  Gonzalez brought some stability to the back line when we needed it most.  Coudet was brilliant in our international friendlies and a great presence in the midfield before being sidelined with an injury.

Expansion drafts make things complicated.  In some ways making players available is a nice way to unload those who have lost their form.  Hopefully Hackworth is right and the young club is afforded the flexibility it needs.  My concern for our Union is that this expansion process makes things more difficult for season two.  Lets us go stronger into 2011 than we finished 2010. 

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