The MLS Expansion Draft for Orlando City SC and New York City FC is set to take place on Wednesday. Ahead of that, the list of protected and available players was released today. Here's what the New York Red Bulls decided to do:
|Available Players||Protected Players||Homegrown Players exempt from selection|
|Tim Cahill||Eric Alexander||Santiago Castano|
|Bobby Convey||Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo||Connor Lade|
|Richard Eckersley||Ian Christianson||Matt Miazga|
|Thierry Henry||Chris Duvall|
|Kosuke Kimura||Dax McCarty|
|Armando Lozano||Ryan Meara|
|Peguy Luyindula||Roy Miller|
|Damien Perrinelle||Jamison Olave|
|Ibrahim Sekagya||Luis Robles|
|Saer Sene||Lloyd Sam|
|Ruben Bover||Bradley Wright-Phillips|
There are some surprising decisions in this list. Tim Cahill, who was signed to a Designated Player contract in 2012, is left available, although this can be justified by his poor form this season. Ryan Meara, while a known asset, is a little bit of a shock. With the Red Bulls protecting Robles, it seems strange to protect a second GK, but Meara has too much value to let go. Luyindula is also a shock in that he is being left available. We here at Once a Metro left him available in the SB Nation mock draft because we were unsure of Henry's status. With Henry now leaving, it's surprising that the Red Bulls would want to let go of a play maker, especially after making Wright-Phillips a DP. Ian Christianson is the only other question mark given that he has all of 9 minutes with two years with the Red Bulls. The coaching staff must be really high on him to protect him in this draft.
The question now is who will the Red Bulls pull off of the available list if a player is selected. Luyindula would have to be the first choice, but with the youth movement seeming to be a priority, that's not a given.Maybe it'll be Bustamante or Obekop. We'll have to wait until Wednesday to see how it all shakes out. How do you feel about the Red Bulls' expansion draft strategy? Let us know in the comments.