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Designated Player Bryan Rochez Among 13 Players Unprotected by Orlando City in MLS Expansion Draft

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Lions reveal protected and unprotected lists for tomorrow’s MLS Expansion Draft.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Chicago Fire Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City didn’t offer up many surprises in its protected and unprotected lists for tomorrow’s MLS Expansion Draft, which will help Minnesota United FC and Atlanta United FC stock their teams with players ahead of the 2017 MLS season.

The two clubs will be allowed to select unprotected players from the pre-existing clubs in the league. Each of the 20 clubs was allowed to protect 11 players outside of their automatically protected Generation Adidas and Homegrown Players on their supplemental or reserve rosters, although international players and Designated Players have some minor additional rules with regard to protection. With that said, Orlando City announced that the club has protected the following players:

  • Joe Bendik
  • Brek Shea
  • Kevin Molino
  • Matias Perez Garcia
  • Cyle Larin
  • Carlos Rivas
  • Antonio Nocerino
  • Cristian Higuita
  • Rafael Ramos
  • Jose Aja
  • Kaká

The following players were also automatically protected due to their Generation Adidas or Homegrown status:

  • Mason Stajduhar (Homegrown)
  • Conor Donovan (Generation Adidas)
  • Tommy Redding (Homegrown)
  • Tyler Turner* (Homegrown)
  • Richie Laryea (Generation Adidas)

Players who do not fall under the Generation Adidas or Homegrown Player tag and are eligible to be selected in the Expansion Draft aby Minnesota or Atlanta tomorrow include:

  • Bryan Rochez
  • Hadji Berry
  • Seb Hines*
  • Luke Boden*
  • Kevin Alston*
  • Julio Baptista*
  • Pedro Ribeiro*
  • Servando Carrasco
  • David Mateos
  • Tony Rocha
  • Devron Garcia
  • Mikey Ambrose
  • Earl Edwards, Jr.

*Players whose options were not picked up for 2017.

Among those 13 players, Rochez stands out as the youngster signed with the club as a Designated Player in Dec. 2014 as as 19-year-old. Despite earning a call-up to the Honduras national team in 2014, Rochez has failed to make his presence felt in MLS with just three goals in 16 appearances, all coming in consecutive games in 2015. He spent the 2016 season on loan with Orlando City B in the USL and back in his native Honduras. Designated Players are eligible to be left unprotected, provided they do not have a no-trade clause in their contract.

David Mateos and Servando Carrasco are the most prominent players on the unprotected list in terms of games played for the club. Both featured prominently for Orlando City in 2016. Hadji Barry, Tony Rocha, Devron Garcia, and Mikey Ambrose provide young options for the two expansion sides.

In other news, Cyle Larin, Cristian Higuita, and Rafael Ramos have obtained U.S. green cards, which means they will no longer require international slots on the Lions’ roster.