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D.C. United escapes 2020 MLS Expansion Draft unscathed

Austin FC went elsewhere to pick their five new players

MLS: New England Revolution at D.C. United Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

D.C. United left some notable contributors unprotected today, but Austin FC looked elsewhere during the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft today. Despite having to make nine players available for MLS’s newest club, the Black-and-Red could breathe a sigh of relief.

The reality is that expansion drafts are inherently bad for existing clubs, and the way MLS implements them is a particular sticking point. Aside from the obvious issue with having one team totally control a transaction, the five teams that lost players to Austin today receive $50,000 in General Allocation Money from MLS, which is safely below the trade market value of any player selected.

United could count themselves fortunate, then, that Austin FC chose to select the following players:

That positions United to continue negotiations to bring some of their unprotected players back. From that group, Frederic Brillant and Yordy Reyna are both under contract for next season. Earl Edwards Jr., Felipe Martins, Gelmin Rivas, and Chris Seitz, meanwhile, are all players that United has expressed interest in bringing back, though in each case talks are ongoing. Steve Goff of the Washington Post has reported that a new deal for Seitz is nearly settled.

United has indicated that Mohammed Abu’s loan from Stromgodset will not be converted to a permanent move, and that they at this point are not planning to offer Oniel Fisher or Axel Sjöberg new deals.