The MLS Expansion Draft is coming up on Dec. 12, 2017. All the current MLS teams are allowed to protect 11 players. Additionally, Generation Adidas players and off-budget Homegrown Players are automatically exempt from the selection process. It would be pretty easy to pick out the players that Orlando City will protect, but what about the players they should expose to the draft? We have five suggestions for the club.
Victor Giro (a.k.a. PC)
Our season in review for PC.
PC was signed in the off-season from the Tampa Bay Rowdies. He was expected to make a significant impact to the rebuilt Orlando City defense. Indeed, in his first couple of matches, it seemed that he might do just that. However, his performances fell off, and he even found himself spending time down with OCB. PC has had good outings with other clubs, and might fit better elsewhere. Given that Orlando City is likely to sign more defensive players, PC would be a good option to let go.
Our season in review for Higuita.
Cristian showed some growth last season. He cut down on the fouls (and perhaps his temper), and he played himself into the No. 6 position at the bottom of the diamond. That being said, we can expect Jason Kreis to look to build his diamond with players that fit his scheme. Higuita might have the opportunity, but he probably isn’t the first choice if Orlando City can pick up a natural No. 6. Thanks to the maturity Higuita showed at the end of the season, he might be a good pick-up for another club.
Our season in review for Ramos.
Poor Ramos. Injuries and more defenders kept him off the field, and then when he did come back, he was sent off on a red card. He did get more time with OCB, but just like PC, it may be that Orlando picks up more help on the back line. At only 22 years old, Ramos is young enough that another squad might take a chance on him.
Our season in review for Rocha.
Tony didn’t have much time with the senior squad, but he played well with OCB. Rocha sustained a hamstring injury during the last preseason game and had to work back to playing form during his time with OCB. Before the injury he was playing well, and looked to be a contributor either at fullback or in the midfield. It’s that versatility that may entice another team to take him.
Our season in review for Rivas.
He has the speed. He has a cannon of a leg. What he doesn’t seem to have is a targeting system for said cannon. Rivas currently carries a Designated Player tag, and even if it was pulled, he’d be quite expensive. Very expensive for a player that was an off-the-bench striker by the end of the season. Expect Orlando City to want to let Rivas and his price tag go before next season.
There you have it. Five players that could be unprotected during the Expansion Draft. Do you agree with our picks? Is there another player you’d rather see unprotected? Let us know in the comments.