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Expansion Draft Wish List: Seattle Sounders

Who will be left available from the Sounders?

MLS: SuperDraft Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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The Seattle Sounders were left for dead at midseason. They fired their long time coach, Sigi Schmid and appeared to be destined for a very disappointing season.

The arrival of Nicolas Lodeiro and the emergence of Jordan Morris helped the team rebound from a terrible first half and overcome the loss of Clint Dempsey who was sidelined for the rest of the season with an irregular heartbeat.

The Sounders have one of the deepest rosters in all of MLS and will surely lose a player in next month’s expansion draft. The question is who will it be and which team will grab them? Here’s who we see them protecting:

Projected Protected List

  1. Osvaldo Alonso
  2. Clint Dempsey
  3. Brad Evans
  4. Stefan Frei
  5. Erik Friberg
  6. Andreas Ivanschitz
  7. Joevin Jones
  8. Nicolas Lodeiro
  9. Chad Marshall
  10. Cristian Roldan
  11. Roman Torres

Exempt List

  1. Darwin Jones
  2. Aaron Kovar
  3. Damion Lowe
  4. Victor Mansaray
  5. Jordan Morris

Available Players

  1. Tony Alfaro
  2. Oalex Anderson
  3. Michael Farfan
  4. Alvaro Fernandez
  5. Oniel Fisher
  6. Herculez Gomez
  7. Charlie Lyon
  8. Tyrone Mears
  9. Tyler Miller
  10. Jimmy Ockford
  11. Dylan Remick
  12. Zach Scott
  13. Nathan Sturgis
  14. Nelson Valdez

Potential Targets for Atlanta United: Alvaro Fernandez, Nelson Valdez

Jason: Seattle has quite a few tough decisions to make ahead of the Expansion Draft and will definitely lose a player in the draft. They just have too many quality players to protect.

I think Tata Martino will strongly consider Alvaro Fernandez. He’ll have to decide how much Fernandez has left in the tank at 31-years-old. Fernandez was not too impressive in his first few appearances with the Sounders since re-signing with them on July 28. One important consideration regarding Fernandez, he has a green card and counts as a domestic players for MLS roster purposes.

Nelson Valdez has been a big disappointment in Seattle for the majority of his stay, but has turned it on recently. He is a Designated Player and his salary is too large to buy down with allocation money. That makes him less likely to be chosen by Atlanta.

Seattle has some other players that must be considered as well. Dylan Remick is a fast left back that has been in the Sounders’ rotation but not as a regular starter. He is only 25 and his salary is low, which could make him very appealing as a potential starter on the backline. Oniel Fisher is another left back option. Oalex Anderson’s speed on the wing could be intriguing, the 20-year-old St. Vincent and the Grenadines international is still developing and could turn into a special player.

Rob: Alvaro Fernandez and Nelson Valdez are both veterans in MLS and could help Atlanta in some form or another. However, Valdez seems to similar too Kenwyne Jones’ situation and would be redundant. Fernandez could make sense due to the Argentinian connection with Tata Martino.

If I were Atlanta, I’d focus in on the two young players Oalex Anderson and Oniel Fisher. I feel both could be starters on lesser MLS teams and could be great investments for the long-term for Atlanta United.

Fisher is particularly interesting as a fullback option. While he doesn’t have much experience, he does have the technical quality and physical attributes you look for in an outside back.

With Morris and Dempsey in Seattle and players like Darwin Jones to compete with, Anderson probably won’t be a key player for Seattle anytime soon. He could do well with consistent playing time. As a late-game super-sub he could help Atlanta right away and possibly turn into a starter down the road.