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Expansion Draft Wish List: Philadelphia Union

Could Atlanta United steal some Brotherly Love?

MLS: SuperDraft Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Some experts did not have Philadelphia making the playoffs this year. Barring a complete collapse on Sunday, they will get into the postseason for only the second time in the club’s history. 2011 was a long time ago, and the Union fanbase has been thirsty for another shot at MLS Cup.

Earnie Stewart has sparked a change in Chester for the club. It truly started at the 2016 SuperDraft where he pulled in three starters in the top six picks that could be with the club for years to come.

Stewart will likely continue to improve the roster this offseason, but his first challenge will be the Expansion Draft and deciding on eleven players to protect from Atlanta and Minnesota.

Projected Protected List

  1. Roland Alberg
  2. Fabinho
  3. Alejandro Bedoya
  4. Warren Creavalle
  5. Charlie Davies
  6. Maurice Edu
  7. Richie Marquez
  8. Chris Pontius
  9. Keegan Rosenberry
  10. CJ Sapong
  11. Ken Tribbett

Exempt List

  1. Andre Blake
  2. Fabian Herbers
  3. Derrick Jones
  4. Auston Trusty
  5. Josh Yaro

Available Players

  1. Eric Ayuk
  2. Tranquillo Barnetta
  3. Brian Carroll
  4. Anderson
  5. Ilsinho
  6. Leo Fernandes
  7. Raymon Gaddis
  8. Matt Jones
  9. Kevin Kratz
  10. John McCarthy
  11. Cole Missimo
  12. Walter Restrepo
  13. Taylor Washington

Potential Targets for Atlanta United: Eric Ayuk, Leo Fernandes, Raymon Gaddis

Jason: While Philadelphia will have some tough choices for a few of their picks, there won’t be much left over for Atlanta United to choose from that are a good fit. Eric Ayuk is the most intriguing prospect on the list. The Union will have some tough choices on their final few protected spots, and Ayuk could lose out over some players who have contributed more. He is only 19-years-old and has shown promise on the right wing in his young career. Ayuk still has developing to do, but could be a strong option for depth in Atlanta’s squad.

Leo Fernandes is a left sided midfielder who has never quite fit in with the Union. His best year was in 2015 on loan to the New York Cosmos where he was named the NASL Young Player of the Year. He scored ten goals and had five assists during that campaign, but has not been able to replicate that yet in MLS. A change of scenery could spark the 24-year-old.

Raymon Gaddis has played over 100 games for the Union in his career, but seems to have fallen out of favor in 2016. He has played both right and left back in Philadelphia and that flexibility could be useful for United.

Rob: Even with the addition of Alejandro Bedoya to their roster, the Union’s overall squad doesn’t exactly stand out among the crowd. Sure they have some solid role players and a few good one who may fly under the radar, but for the most part it’s a slew of names unfamiliar to the average fan.

Despite that, they are in the driver’s seat to take the final playoff spot in the East.

Ray Gaddis would be the one guy I’d target from the Union if I were Eales, Boca, or McDonough. He’s a proven MLS talent with great versatility along the back line. For whatever reason he’s fallen out of favor in Philly, but there’s no reason he couldn’t find his old form that had some calling for him to get a national team look.

At just 26, he’s in the middle of his prime and desperately needs a change of scenery to get back on track.

Erik Ayuk is a very interesting case. By all accounts he has a very high ceiling with immense talent, but just can’t breakthrough. His story doesn’t seem all to dissimilar to Atlanta’s Jeffrey Otoo. I’m just not sure there’s a need for another long-term project, especially with only five picks available.

Frankly I don’t know much about Leo Fernandes. I won’t waste your time pretending I do. So, what Jason said...