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Expansion Draft Wish List: Orlando City

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Who will Jason Kreis protect?

MLS: SuperDraft Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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The popular saying goes, games aren’t played on paper. Orlando City should be thankful that that’s true, because on paper, their roster is downright awful. It was a chore even coming up with 11 players worth them keeping on for next season. It’s a miracle they stayed in the playoff race for as long as they did.

New manager Jason Kreis and the front office staff will have some interesting decisions to make on players this winter. Here’s our guesstimation at what their protected list could look like:

Projected Protected Players

  1. Jose Aja
  2. Joe Bendik
  3. Servando Carrasco
  4. Cristian Higuita
  5. Seb Hines
  6. Kaka
  7. Cyle Larin
  8. David Mateos
  9. Kevin Molino
  10. Matias Perez Garcia
  11. Brek Shea

Exempt Players

  1. Conor Donovan
  2. Harrison Heath
  3. Richie Laryea
  4. Tommy Redding
  5. Mason Stajduhar
  6. Tyler Turner

Available Players

  1. Kevin Alston
  2. Mikey Ambrose
  3. Julio Baptista
  4. Hadji Barry
  5. Luke Boden
  6. Earl Edwards, Jr.
  7. Devron Garcia
  8. Antonio Nocerino
  9. Rafael Ramos
  10. Pedro Ribeiro
  11. Carlos Rivas
  12. Tony Rocha
  13. Bryan Rochez

Potential Targets for Atlanta United: Carlos Rivas, Kevin Alston

Jason: Honestly, if Orlando could protect less than 11 players, I think they might. This roster will look dramatically different in 2017 as Jason Kreis sinks his teeth into it. There really aren’t that many attractive options in the Expansion Draft here.

Depending on the options available, Kevin Alston might not be a pick that grabs headlines but could be useful. Outside backs with speed appear to be a good fit in Tata Martino’s system and Alston can fit that description. Carlos Rivas has not been impressive during his stay in Orlando and would be a risky reclamation project for his salary.

A different reclamation project could be Bryan Rochez. He is another of Orlando’s signings that just hasn’t worked out. He is still only 21-years-old. Let’s see how his loan back to his native Honduras goes.

Rob: Carlos Rivas is an intriguing candidate. He has all the physical tools and is just 22 years old. However, in his two seasons with Orlando it just hasn’t clicked for him. The situation came to a head this season when he was finally dropped from the lineup on several occasions. Rivas could be seen visually frustrated at being substituted at times. It seems a change of scenery could be beneficial for both parties as it would give Rivas a fresh start and open up a DP spot for Orlando.

Kevin Alston is another in the line of average MLS defenders who could be a help to any team but not a difference maker. He seems to have regressed a bit since his New England Revolution days. I’m not sure he’d be worth consideration at this point.

Rivas could be a decent addition if other attacking options fall through.