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Who should Columbus Crew SC protect in the Expansion Draft?

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The Black & Gold will make some tough decisions made pretty soon and we’re asking you to do the same.

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Columbus Crew SC Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

With no postseason to think about, it means offseason discussion has already begun. The first major decision for Columbus Crew SC is the list of protected players for the Expansion Draft.

This draft will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 at 2 p.m. EST. The MLS SB Nation team has asked us to submit a list of protected players, but we’re curious of the fans thoughts.

While Gregg Berhalter contemplates his list, you should do the same. Who would you protect? Let us know who and any justification you feel is necessary in the comment section below.

Here are the rules for this year’s Expansion Draft.

  • MLS Clubs may protect 11 players between their Senior, Supplemental and Reserve Roster. If the Player’s contract expires at the end of 2016, he will still be considered part of the Club’s Senior Roster.
  • If a Club protects a player, it is not obligated to exercise the player’s option. It may renegotiate a new budget number for the player as in previous years, subject to the CBA.
  • Option Decline Free Agents and Out of Contracts Free Agents are part of the Expansion Draft and are not automatically protected.
  • If a Free Agent is selected in the Expansion Draft, the Expansion Club that selected the Player will gain his previous Club’s ability to renegotiate a new contract consistent with the CBA prior to the beginning of Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft.
  • If an Out of Contract Free Agent is selected in the Expansion Draft and subsequently signs with his previous Club via Free Agency, he will be subject to the compensation limitation for Out of Contract Players signing with a new Club, as provided in the CBA.
  • If a player retires, he will not be a part of the Expansion Draft, but his Club will lose its right of first refusal to him should he ultimately decide to play.
  • Players on a Club’s Supplemental/Reserve Roster, other than Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2016 MLS Season or Homegrown Player’s on a Club’s Supplemental/Reserve Roster, will be part of the Expansion Draft.
  • Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2016 MLS Season and Homegrown players on a Club’s Supplemental/Reserve Roster at the end of the 2016 MLS Season are automatically protected (Clubs do not have to use a protected slot on them).
  • If Atlanta/Minnesota selects a Supplemental/Reserve Roster Player, it must offer him a Senior Roster position and he must remain on the Senior Roster as of Roster Compliance Date.
  • Clubs are restricted in the number of international player(s) that they may make available. Clubs may make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus three, provided that if a Club has three or fewer international players it may not make more than one such player available.
  • For purposes of this expansion process, any non-domestic U.S. Player would count as an International.
  • If a Player has a no-trade clause in his contract, his MLS Club must protect him and he will count as one of the 11 Players who may be protected.
  • Designated Players are NOT automatically protected (i.e., Clubs must choose whether to protect such players and if such player is not protected, he will be available for selection in the Expansion Draft).
  • Maximum Player Loss: Once one (1) player has been claimed from a Club’s non-protected roster, that Club is eliminated from the Expansion Draft and may not lose any further players.
  • Right to Negotiate: Atlanta and Minnesota will have the right to renegotiate a drafted player’s salary (either up or down) without having to place such player on waivers or giving his previous Club a right of first refusal.
  • Priority
  • Minnesota will have priority over players on its NASL roster and one additional player in USL/NASL not on its roster, subject to another Club’s right of first refusal.
  • Atlanta will have priority over players it has signed to MLS Contracts and one additional player in USL/NASL subject to another MLS Club’s right of first refusal.
  • International Player Protection Requirements
  • Clubs may make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus 3, provided that if a Club has 3 or less international players it may not make more than one 1 player available.

Number of International Minimum Must Protect May Make Available Not More Than

10 3 7

9 3 6

8 3 5

7 3 4

6 3 3

5 3 2

4 3 1

3 2 1

2 1 1

1 0 1

  • Rounds
  • There will be five (5) rounds.
  • Selection Clock
  • Atlanta and Minnesota are permitted three (3) minutes to make each selection.
  • Timeouts
  • There will be NO timeouts during the Expansion Draft.
  • Failure to Make Selection in Designated Time
  • Expansion Clubs that fail to make their selection in time must wait until their next pick to make a selection.
  • Trades
  • No trades are permitted during the Expansion Draft.