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Expansion Draft Wish List: Columbus Crew

Who could be available for Atlanta United to pick?

MLS: SuperDraft Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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The 2016 MLS Expansion Draft is officially on and scheduled for December 13 according to the league. However, instead of 10 picks, each team will only pick five players a piece, making each pick very valuable. To continue on with our Wish List series, the Columbus Crew is the next team up.

Gregg Berhalter’s team, a year out of losing in MLS Cup, have been nothing short of a disappointment. They currently sit at the very bottom of the Eastern conference and have been truly woeful. They’ll certainly be looking to shake up their roster for next season in some way or another. While our projected list of available players is as logical as we could make it, don’t be surprised to see a big name on there when it’s officially released after MLS Cup.

Here’s who we see them protecting:

Projected Protected List

  1. Ethan Finlay
  2. Federico Higuain
  3. Nicolai Naess
  4. Justin Meram
  5. Ola Kamara
  6. Zack Steffen
  7. Harrison Afful
  8. Tony Tchani
  9. Gaston Sauro
  10. Mohammed Saied
  11. Wil Trapp

Available Players

  1. Steve Clark
  2. Brad Stuver
  3. Corey Ashe
  4. Waylon Francis
  5. Hector Jimenez
  6. Michael Parkhurst
  7. Tyson Wahl
  8. Dilly Duka
  9. Marshall Hollingsworth
  10. Cedrick Mabwati
  11. Cristian Martinez
  12. Rodrigo Savaria
  13. Conor Casey
  14. Adam Jahn

Potential Targets for Atlanta United: Steve Clark, Michael Parkhurst, Cedrick Mabwati

Jason: Michael Parkhurst would be my top selection from Columbus. He is 32-years-old and out of contract at the end of the season. He told the Columbus Dispatch that he would like to stay in Columbus, but he has not agreed to terms for a new contract yet. More negotiations will take place after the season. If he doesn’t sign a new deal, he would likely be available in the Expansion Draft. He could provide that veteran leadership on the backline that most expansion teams lack. While there has been a slight slip in quality this year, a change of scenery and new challenge could be a spark.

Cedrick is an interesting possibility from the Crew. He has primarily been used as in a substitute role, While he has looked lively at times off the bench, I’m not sure if that translates in a starting role.

Steve Clark has been a very good goalkeeper for the Crew over the last three years, but Steffen’s signing appears to indicate that his time could be up in Columbus. With the amount of goalkeepers expected to be available this offseason, I think there are better options to consider.

Two possible players for depth at outside back are Corey Ashe and Waylon Francis. I would have been higher on them in a ten round Expansion Draft.

Rob: Honestly, none of the available players from the Crew scream out at me. Steve Clark is another serviceable goalkeeper who is an option if others fall through. His likely inclusion on the list just proves that both Atlanta and Minnesota will have their pick of MLS veteran goalkeepers to fill their No. 1 spot with. Boy it would’ve been nice to have beaten them out for Zack Steffen, but it wasn’t meant to be. He’ll be their goalkeeper of the (near) future and Clark will be someone else’s gain.

Parkhurst was one of the best defenders in MLS in his day. Today, he’s league average at best. He’s another decent player that will undoubtedly be overshadowed by better options in this draft. With only five players being selected by Atlanta, it’s hard to envision the former U.S. international being picked ahead of the other candidates that will be out there.

Cedric Mabwati and Dilly Duka are two other slightly possible candidates. Both players would interest me in a 10-player draft, but at five they just aren’t impactful enough to consider at this point. Duka could be an interesting option to pursue by some other means.