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D.C. United announces protected players for MLS Expansion Draft

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Atlanta United and Minnesota United get their shot at MLS rosters tomorrow

Along with the rest of the league’s existing clubs, D.C. United announced their protected list for the upcoming MLS Expansion Draft. A pair of trades announced earlier today changed the equation for United, who went from being obliged to protect three internationals (due to draft rules) to having to protect one. Atlanta United and Minnesota United will get to select from the entire league’s unprotected players tomorrow at 2pm Eastern.

United’s protected list is as follows

  1. Luciano Acosta
  2. Steve Birnbaum
  3. Nick DeLeon
  4. Bill Hamid
  5. Taylor Kemp
  6. Patrick Mullins
  7. Lamar Neagle
  8. Patrick Nyarko
  9. Lloyd Sam
  10. Marcelo Sarvas
  11. Rob Vincent

In addition to that group, United’s homegrown players - Jalen Robinson, Collin Martin, and Chris Durkin - are automatically protected. Julian Buescher, as a Generation Adidas player, gets the same treatment.

With today’s moves, United was able to ensure two more projected regulars would not be departing. Most likely, that made room for Marcelo and Vincent. The rest of the list is not a surprise. Our own predictions, which came before Miguel Aguilar and Kennedy Igboananike were traded so they wouldn’t have to be protected, went nine for eleven.

The only starters left off the list are Bobby Boswell and Sean Franklin, and while both players are important, it’s not hard to see what United’s thought process was. Boswell turns 34 in March, while Franklin could end up pursuing free agency instead of staying with the Black-and-Red.

United’s full unprotected list is as follows:

Goalkeepers - Andrew Dykstra, Charlie Horton, Travis Worra
Defenders - Bobby Boswell, Sean Franklin, Chris Korb, Luke Mishu, Kofi Opare
Midfielders - Jared Jeffrey, Chris Rolfe
Forwards - Alhaji Kamara, Alvaro Saborio

Tomorrow’s expansion draft is a stripped-down version of the event. Atlanta and Minnesota will get five picks each, rather than ten. No team will lose more than one player, so if any of the above unprotected players is selected, the rest of United’s roster is off the board.

The league-wide list of protected and unprotected players can be found here.