Like we talked about with FC Dallas, the Los Angeles Galaxy have a plethora of talent. However in this case, it is a veteran laden roster that might not have as many expansion draft options as some others. There will likely be quite a few experienced players available from this squad in the Expansion Draft, but not many who would have a lot of time left to give to an expansion club.
LA has produced quite a few players from their academy and USL club that have hit a wall in their development, and they could use the new opportunity for playing time that Atlanta or Minnesota could provide.
As much as we hope that Jose Villarreal might be available, it appears that he would still be exempt as a Homegrown Player. If for some reason that changes, delete everything we say below and take him with no questions asked.
Projected Protected List
- Emmanuel Boateng
- Ashley Cole
- AJ DeLaGarza
- Giovani dos Santos
- Baggio Husidic
- Robbie Keane
- Sebastian Lletget
- Robbie Rogers
- Daniel Steres
- Jelle Van Damme
- Gyasi Zardes
- Bradford Jamieson IV
- Jack McBean
- Raul Mendiola
- Oscar Sorto
- Jose Villarreal
- Clement Diop
- Landon Donovan
- Rafael Garcia
- Steven Gerrard
- Alan Gordon
- Dan Kennedy
- Jeff Larentowicz
- Ariel Lassiter
- Mike Magee
- Dave Romney
- Brian Rowe
Potential Targets for Atlanta United: Ariel Lassiter, Dave Romney, Brian Rowe
Jason: With so many veterans on the Galaxy roster, it could be slim pickings for Atlanta United unless they are looking strictly for a veteran presence out of someone here. Out of the younger guys, Dave Romney is my top choice. He’s been transitioning from playing left back to being a consistent center back and has had flashes of strong play over his two seasons with LA. He went through a growth spurt in high school and is the epitome of a late bloomer. His potential is high and he could learn from a manager like Martino.
Ariel Lassiter is another young player who needs time to develop. He was a star with Los Dos in the USL in 2015 and signed a first team contract this year. With all of the weapons the Galaxy have, Lassiter’s playing time was always going to be limited. That could become Atlanta’s advantage. His pedigree doesn’t hurt either, his father is former U.S. international and MLS legend Roy Lassiter.
Brian Rowe is another starting goalkeeper who will likely be available in the Expansion Draft. He’s never seemed to be valued by the Galaxy even though his performances have been solid. At goalkeeper, Atlanta United will have plenty of options and it will likely come down to the salary figures and characteristics of the individuals.
Of course, Bocanegra could always convince Landon Donovan to keep playing and to come to Atlanta...
Rob: For such a talented and high-priced team, the potential available players list leaves a lot to be desired. For me, Ariel Lassiter is the most intriguing name possibly available.
He’s a young and talented forward with pedigree in MLS. He’s currently stuck behind the glut of attacking players that LA possess. Player evaluators have always rated him highly. With nine goals in 19 matches this season he’s proven he can find the back of the net.
Lassiter just turned 22 years old so he could be a good project to have on your bench in the inaugural season. If he pans out and develops the way you hope he does, then it’s a potential impact addition to your roster. If he fizzles out, there’s no harm done.
Romney is another young player that has MLS experience with 14 combined appearances for the club over the last two seasons. He hasn’t exactly been first-choice for Bruce Arena, but he’s been a nice role player in a pinch when Robbie Rogers went down with an injury. Having a versatile and young defender on your roster is never a bad thing. Keep an eye out for him if he’s available.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Brian Rowe is a decent goalkeeper but there will be (hopefully) far better options available for both teams in the Expansion Draft.
tl;dr — Totally draft Landon Donovan...