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Expansion Draft Wish List: Sporting Kansas City

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Who’s on the chopping block for SKC?

MLS: SuperDraft Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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It was another bitter exit for Sporting Kansas City in the MLS Cup playoffs this season. After narrowly finishing above the red line, a blown offside call against Seattle sent them on a quick holiday.

Peter Vermes and the SKC front office will have a lot of decisions to make this offseason. One major one could come with USMNT center back Matt Besler who seemed to fall out of favor with Vermes as the year went on. There could be some major changes for them soon. Who will they make available in the Expansion Draft? Here’s our best guess:

Projected Protected List

  1. Saad Abdul-Salaam
  2. Matt Besler
  3. Nuno Coelho
  4. Dom Dwyer
  5. Roger Espinoza
  6. Benny Feilhaber
  7. Jimmy Medranda
  8. Soni Mustivar
  9. Ike Opara
  10. Jacob Peterson
  11. Graham Zusi

Exempt List

  1. Jon Kempin
  2. Erik Palmer-Brown
  3. Daniel Salloi

Available Players

  1. Ever Alvarado
  2. Bernardo Añor
  3. Emmanuel Appiah
  4. Brad Davis
  5. Kevin Ellis
  6. Conor Hallisey
  7. Benji Joya
  8. Alec Kann
  9. Justin Mapp
  10. Tim Melia
  11. Chance Myers
  12. Paulo Nagamura
  13. Lawrence Olum
  14. Cameron Porter
  15. Diego Rubio
  16. Seth Sinovic

Potential Targets for Atlanta United: Tim Melia, Seth Sinovic

Jason: Tim Melia could very well be the best goalkeeper available if Sporting risks him in the Expansion Draft. KC is one of the tougher teams to predict on their protected list as they’ll have some tough decisions to make this December.

Unless you’re placing a premium on experience (Rimando, as Grant Wahl posted), Melia could be the right mix for Atlanta. He has been in the league since 2010, but has only been a consistent starter in the last two years. It’s not a definite that KC would leave him unprotected, but he’d be a very appealing choice if he’s available.

Seth Sinovic is another option for Atlanta to consider. He was a late bloomer, walking on at Creighton before becoming the team’s captain. He has over 150 games of experience in the league, most of those coming with Sporting. Injuries, including a 2015 concussion, have forced him out of the lineup often in the past two seasons.

I like Cameron Porter as a possibility as well. I think he could be a good fit for Tata Martino’s high energy style. Paulo Nagamura is another veteran who could be useful with a young roster.

Rob: Poor Sporting are another one of those teams that would likely keep less than 11 players if they could.

They are in desperate need of a roster makeover. Atlanta United could do a lot worse than Tim Melia as their starting goalkeeper. He’s another in the modest line of above-average MLS keepers who could help any team. In my honest opinion, he’s a much better option than overpaying for an over-the-hill Nick Rimando or bringing in someone like Brad Guzan. Go cheap with the goalkeeper and spread that cheddar across the field players.

Sinovic is a reliable defender and still relatively young (29). He could be a nice addition, but not someone who I’d prioritize. If he’s there in the final rounds then he’s worth consideration depending on who’s still available.

Another longshot nominee would be Cameron Porter. Is he a one-hit wonder? After setting American soccer on fire for a few weeks in the CONCACAF Champions League two years ago with Montreal, he’s been completely irrelevant. He showed once upon a time that he’s got immense talent. Is he worth taking a gamble on? Possibly...