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Expanding On The Expansion Protection List

Julius James has a green card? Who knew!
Julius James has a green card? Who knew!

In yesterday’s haste to be the first blogger to release the D.C. United protection list, I realize I didn’t do a whole lot of analysis, resorting instead to writing Boisisms during the seemingly endless time it took MLS to send out the list. The fact is though that the protection list and corresponding list of available players created a few new storylines for this offseason.

1. Sure, he has a high salary, and his 2010 form was far below expectations. But out of the three current starting goalkeepers left exposed across MLS, Troy Perkins has the best goals against average. He actually outperformed Chris Seitz and Pat Onstad this season. Perkins is 14 years younger than Onstad, and he’s got leadership qualities that Seitz may never possess. Other attractive goalkeeping options include Joe Cannon, Andy Gruenebaum, and Kyle Reynish, but it’s also entirely likely that only Vancouver will be in the market for a goalkeeper since Steve Cronin is already under contract with Portland.

2. I don’t know why it’s so hard for the league to make this type of information available, but we have finally found out that Julius James is NOT listed as an international player. The guy helped most by this? Junior Carreiro. The expansion draft rules require that teams protect at least three international players (if they have at least four on the roster). Branko Boskovic and Dejan Jakovic were easy choices. Carreiro was the third. If James was listed as an international, we may have seen Perkins or Devon McTavish earn the protection instead.

3. While we’re on the topic of internationals, it’s interesting to see the team value Junior higher than Pablo Hernandez. I understand that he makes a lot of money, but in the right situation, I feel like Hernandez is the type of player you could build around. I guess the Junior vs. Pablo debate is somewhat irrelevant though since neither is likely to depart. And actually, the team might leave Hernandez exposed in hopes that Vancouver or Portland will unleash us of his contract. Or might we read this as a sign that Hernandez isn’t really critical to United’s plans going forward?

4. All talk of Perkins and Hernandez aside, we discussed last week who the final man on the protection list might be. Turns out it was Stephen King over Devon McTavish. Both are role players. Neither should be intended as a starter next year. So why King over McTavish? It’s quite simple. Ageism. King is 24-years old, making him still eligible for the newly added Developmental roster slots that don’t count against the salary cap. Sorry Devon, it’s just a numbers game, bro.