Officially available at noon tomorrow, leaked first on the Insider, here is the list of protected players for Wednesday's expansion draft:
Perkins, Boswell, Namoff, McTavish, Burch, Fred, Simms, Gomez, Olsen, Moreno, Emilio
Hard to say there's really any surprises there. That's essentially our starting lineup for game 1 next year, barring no huge changes. This is really a fantastic sign that Gomez and Moreno will each be back next year, or at least that the front office expect them both to be back right now.
But missing from the list are Greg Vanney, Brian Carroll, and Rod Dyachenko. Two guys with a lot of experience that would absolutely start for the Earthquakes right away, and either one of them could even potentially be your captain if you wanted. And one guy who has a lot of upside, and had maybe the best game of his career in the playoffs against Chicago.
I definitely hope not to lose Dyachenko. If San Jose was smart, then they would have been scouting all the Reserve division players this year, and if so, then they would know that Rod is the leader of our offense in Reserve games. Although he's probably not quite ready to start regularly for us next year, he will be a huge asset coming off the bench as Moreno, Gomez, and Olsen won't be able to play the full 90 much longer.
BC has been a true team player for a lot of years here in DC, and it would be a shame to lose him. Unfortunately, with the possible addition of Veron, he becomes a little bit more expendable. And Vanney played consistently well for us this year, but in the end I agree that it's probably smartest to protect him over Boswell.
But with all that said... San Jose Management, if you read this, I REALLY hope that you DON'T take Guy-Roland Kpene. PLEASE! He's a brilliant player, certainly not just all flashy with little finishing ability. He'll probably have 15 goals next year. LEAVE KPENE ALONE!