[MLS EXPANSION DRAFT] Starting with the first overall pick, the expansion Portland Timbers didn't surprise anyone by taking FC Dallas midfielder Dax McCarty (whom they immediately traded to D.C. United -- along with allocation money -- for Rodney Wallace) but a few eyebrows when up later when they selected two members of the U.S. 2010 World Cup team who are out of contract and headed to play in a foreign country, striker Robbie Findley and defender Jonathan Bornstein. Portland filled nearly every slot of field players until they started dealing. Here’s a rundown on what the Timbers did with their 10 selections:
Expansion draft picks:
Post-expansion draft picks:
New international player slots:
1 from Los Angeles (for allocation money)
New allocation money:
undisclosed amount from Colorado
New draft picks:
2nd round pick from Real Salt Lake
4th round pick from D.C. United (for allocation money)
1. Dax McCarty (FC Dallas traded to D.C. United). The Timbers snapped up one of the surprise expansion-draft inclusions by taking McCarty, a busy workhorse with a decent touch whose value as trade bait was quickly realized as he was shipped to D.C. United -- along with much-desired allocation money -- for the Costa Rican-born Wallace, who had an excellent rookie season but was sidelined with a fractured fibula for the second half of the 2010 season. Wallace can play left back or on the left side in midfield, where the Timbers drafted other options (see below).
2. Eric Brunner (Columbus). A 6-foot-4 University of Maryland/Ohio State product who played 39 games for the Crew during the past two seasons. At age 24, he’s not among the league’s elite defenders, but there’s room and time to improve.
3. Adam Moffat (Columbus). Second-fiddle but capable holding mid for Columbus, which also traded away his partner, Brian Carroll. Scotsman is a role player at best but can be a very capable one, and can anchor the spine of the team along with Brunner.
4. Anthony Wallace (Colorado traded back to Colorado). Has yet to prove he can handle the job in MLS but hasn’t conclusively shown he’s not good enough, either. Picked by Dallas in the 2007 SuperDraft, he played only 15 games before going to the Rapids in a trade last summer and taking over the left-back spot during the title run. They gave Portland allocation money to get him back.
5. David Horst (Real Salt Lake). One of the top-rated defenders in the 2008 SuperDraft rarely saw the field due to injuries and the starting central pair of Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave. He played a key role on loan to the Puerto Islanders, who qualified for the group stage of the Concacaf Champions League and won the D-2 title. He’s only 25, yet played just three regular-season games in three seasons, so who knows?
6. Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake). A gamble, as he must agree to MLS contract terms if he doesn’t find a foreign club or fizzles out overseas, both of which are certainly possible. Under expansion draft rules, Portland keeps his MLS rights indefinitely, so he is not subject to the allocation process if he does come back.
7. Peter Lowry (Chicago). A very heady and solid central mid, who drove the attack in college at Santa Clara and emerged only rarely from a crowded Fire midfield to show his stuff, which is pretty good.
8. Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA). See Findley, with the caveat that he can play multiple positions, has a lot of national-team experience, and is also an exceptionally good guy in the locker room. He’s also got a set deal in Mexico (Tigres), at least for now.
9. Jordan Graye (D.C. United). Right back started in all 20 of his appearances as a rookie and had enough bright moments to impress some people. A bit puzzling D.C. was willing to lose him.
10. Arturo Alvarez (San Jose traded to Real Salt Lake). The Timbers traded him to RSL for a second-round pick (No. 22 overall) in January’s MLS SuperDraft. Maddeningly inconsistent yet speedy winger who plays both sides has yet to attain the status of reliable starter. The native of Houston scored 24 goals and 15 assists in eight seasons for the Quakes and Dallas. He now represents El Salvador internationally.