Welcome to From The Upper Deck, my blog about RSL and soccer in general. I have a lot of passion for the beautiful game. I am just a fan that likes to sit in the upper deck and take it all in.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2015 Expansion Protection List- Preseason 2014

By Charles Barnard

Last week I wrote about my idea for creating an expansion draft protection list that could be revisited a couple of times over the course of this upcoming year. The idea behind it was that it would be fun to see who fans would protect today and to see how that list might change between now and next year's expansion draft. A survey was created and I asked for readers to tell who they would protect if they could protect 11 players.

Today I am going to reveal the results of the survey along with my own list of who I protected. But first I wanted to let you know a little bit about my own philosophy when it comes to expansion drafts. For the protection list, you shouldn't protect your best 11 players. What is more important is that you protect players that you think the expansion team might select. A lot of the time this does correspond with your best 11, but not always.

Below are the top 11 players that were included on the most ballots. Next to the player is the percentage of ballots they were included on. I do find it interesting that there were only 3 players that made everybody's protection lists.

- Kyle Beckerman (100%)
- Tony Beltran (100%)
- Chris Schuler (100%)
- Nick Rimando (95%)
- Luis Gil (95%)
- Sebastian Velasquez (91%)
- Olmes Garcia (87%)
- Javier Morales (79%)
- Alvaro Saborio (70%)
- Carlos Salcedo (66%)
- Joao Plata (50%)

Those falling just short of being protected were Sandoval (38%), Findley (33%), and Borchers (33%)

I have to be honest in saying that I was surprised by the results above. I thought more votes would go to players that are seen more in the starting lineup (i.e. Borchers, Wingert, Grabavoy).

My protected list is almost exactly the same as the protected list above. The only difference was that I protected Sandoval and did not protect Morales. Morales is amazing. In my mind he was RSL's MVP last season and should have been in consideration for league MVP. The only reason I didn't protect him was his age. At the start of the 2015 season, Morales will be 35 years old. I can't see an expansion team using a pick on a midfield player that old.

That did leave me protecting four forwards which does seem like a lot, but at this time I am not sure who I would rather protect.

I am very curious to see if any of the other younger players on our roster can play well enough to work their way onto my protection list. I will probably revisit this a couple times through the course of the season and then have a final look after the season concludes.

I do want to give special thanks to Arthur Felter for his help setting up the survey on the site.


  1. that was my exact list. Morales is getting old, but his veteran presence alone is a huge boost to the team. Plus having him as a sub when velasquez or gil can become starters would be great.

  2. Your Morales logic is probably the same as when RSL didn't protect Kries. That didn't work out so well, as I recall. I would almost protect him just for future coaching considerations, i.e. I'd like to see him stay in the organization after retirement.

    1. This^. Same thing happened with Brian Ching @ Houston. It isn't worth the pain of trying to get him back into the organization or forcing him to retire if he hasn't already.