Expansion Draft Simulation: Making Picks for OCSC and NYCFC

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We at Last Word Soccer Club conducted an Expansion Draft simulation last night to make our best guesses as to how tomorrow’s draft may play out. Using the Official MLS Expansion Draft Rules, Laura McFayden (@LWOSlaura) and Matt Pollard (@LWOSMattPollard) had first pick as co-General Managers of Orlando City. They were followed by John Bava III (@LWOS_JB3) and Michael Norton (@MichaelNorton95), who represented NYCFC as co-General Managers. After both clubs had made their picks, the four co-General Managers and the Draft Master (@LWOSAlec) decided which player from each team that had lost a player in that round of the draft would be added to their club’s Protected List.

Tomorrow’s Expansion Draft will generate immense excitement in Major League Soccer circles, as New York City FC and Orlando City SC make selections from a pick of unprotected players from across the league. Whether you’re a fan of one of the incoming expansion clubs or a team that’s been here since the beginning, there will be palpable tension in the air as teams hope to minimize losses or increase salary cap space with draft bait. OCSC and NYCFC will be looking to fill gaps in their nascent rosters. Where their needs overlap there is the potential for quite a bit of competition between these sides; that competition could spill into these clubs’ inaugural MLS seasons (we can only hope).

Without further delay, these are our results:

  1. OCSC selects Eddie Johnson (DC). DC protects Davy Arnaud. NYCFC selects Corey Ashe (HOU). Houston protects Samuel Inkoom.
  2. OCSC selects Ned Grabavoy (RSL). RSL protects Chris Wingert. NYCFC selects Sanna Nyasi (CHI). CHI protects Bakary Soumare
  3. OCSC selects Dominic Oduro (TFC). TFC protects Mark Bloom. NYCFC selects Marvell Wynne (COL). COL protects Carlos Alvarez.
  4. OCSC selects Tim Cahill (RBNY). RBNY protects Peguy Luyindula. NYCFC selects Sebastian Fernandez (VAN). VAN protects Andy O’Brien.
  5. OCSC selects Dylan Remick (SEA). SEA protects Zacharias Scott. NYCFC selects Jairo Arrieta (CLB). CLB protects Aaroon Schoenfeld.
  6. OCSC selects Michael Azira (SEA). SEA off the board. NYCFC selects Jeff Attinela (RSL). RSL off the board.
  7. OCSC selects Kofi Opare (DC). DC off the board. NYCFC selects Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (SJ). SJ protects Jon Busch.
  8. OCSC selects Cordell Cato (SJ). SJ off the board. NYCFC selects Armando Lozano (RBNY). RBNY off the board.
  9. OCSC selects Dan Gargan (LA). LA protects Alan Gordon. NYCFC selects Patrick Mullins (NE). NE protects AJ Soares.
  10. OCSC selects Joe Nasco (NE). NE off the board. NYCFC selects Sal Zizzo (SKC).

Matt Pollard (OCSC): “Orlando City made a splash during the trade window on Monday, signing three lock defensive starters in goalie Tally Hall and center backs Aurelien Collin and Amobi Okugo.  They have the US U18 captain in Tyler Turner, who was their right back in USL and their 2014 Rookie of the year.  They have Molina, a two time USL Pro MVP and new DP Kaka. Their raw youth is in the midfield. They have one striker, and he’s 18. Their youth is good and they already have a decent foundation in the back, but they have some serious needs that need to be addressed, starting with the first overall pick. They need two starting strikers. They need wide midfielders and a holding midfielder. Preferably, those midfielders need to be veterans. With their first five picks, they should address those issues. Their final picks should be to fill out depth, specifically at center back, and a full back or two.”

Michael Norton (NYCFC): “Going into the Expansion Draft, New York City FC’s roster is paper-thin. The backline in particular is flimsier than the paper they use to write the Bible on. In acquiring Corey Ashe, Marvell Wynne, and Armando Lozano, the blue side of New York gets three starting-caliber defenders who still have some years ahead of them. Fernandez and Zizzo are both attack-minded midfielders similar to Frank Lampard (because a mix of staying in England, injury, and being 37 years old means he won’t be playing every minute of the season to say the least), while Pierazzi is a last-second pick who adds balance. Some may question the Jeff Attinella pick over guys like Zac MacMath and Andy Gruenebaum, but those same people probably didn’t see how brilliantly he performed when Nick Rimando wasn’t available for Real Salt Lake.”

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