The MLS Expansion Draft is just around the corner. By that I mean that by 3 p.m. ET today, we will know if one of the unprotected Orlando City players will be off to a new team. Before this all goes down, we decided to take a quick look at the most likely players to get picked up by either Atlanta or Minnesota.
1. Servando Carrasco
Carrasco would be an ideal depth player in the midfield for either Minnesota or Atlanta. Adrian Heath relied on him as a solid rotation player while managing the Lions and Atlanta GM Paul McDonough was in Orlando when he orchestrated the trade that brought Carrasco to Orlando for Amobi Okugo. Obviously, the fact that Alex Morgan, Carrasco’s significant other, is still with the Orlando Pride, is a big talking point if Carrasco does indeed get picked up, but it is equally possible that the Lions staff works out a deal beforehand that would prevent Carrasco from being taken at all. It’s happened before where teams would agree not to pick up a certain player from a team for some sort of compensation in return.
2. Hadji Barry
Barry and his blinding pace would be a welcome addition on either expansion team’s roster. Heath spent a few years going to UCF games and watching Barry play, as did McDonough. Barry split time between MLS and the USL, playing in 10 games with OCB and scoring four goals while notching two assists. At the MLS level, Barry appeared in eight games, starting four of them as a winger. He had a good run of play in the later part of July, but after Jason Kreis came in, he didn’t see much playing time. The fact that Barry can play up top or out wide could be a valuable option for depth purposes for either expansion team, especially later on in the season.
3. Bryan Róchez
Wishful thinking, this one. But seriously, the Honduran is still young with a lot of upside.
4. Luke Boden
Even though his contract option was not picked up, a lot of MLS media believe Bodz will be the Orlando player chosen in this draft. I’ve seen his name pop up in the SI Mock Expansion Draft going to Minnesota due to his connection with Adrian Heath, and FourFourTwo’s Paul Tenorio had him going to Atlanta as a depth fullback. It’s also possible that Boden is in contract talks to return to Orlando City, but there’s been no news on that front. Boden, who has to this point been with Orlando since its inception in 2011, has proven that he is a quality depth defender that can start occasional games. He’d be an ideal pickup for either team, especially with a low cost contract like his.
Earl Edwards Jr., Kevin Alston, Mikey Ambrose, Seb Hines, David Mateos, Devron Garcia, Tony Rocha, Júlio Baptista, and Pedro Ribeiro are the other possibilities that could be chosen in today’s draft. Do you think any of these players will be chosen, or will Orlando be spared? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll see if we’re right later today.