The New York Red Bulls have lost Chris Duvall - the team's starting right back for much of the last three seasons - to the MLS Expansion Draft.
Duvall was widely tipped to be selected, once the full lists of available players were published. He offered a tempting combination of experience (three seasons with regular starts in MLS), relative youth (he's 25), affordability (he was earning around $63,000 in 2016, we're told), and versatility (he's a right back who has deputized at center back).
It was assumed all of those attributes plus the fact he is from Duluth, GA, would make him almost impossible for Atlanta United to resist. But Atlanta picked another full-back with its opening selection of the Expansion Draft, and if Duvall was on ATL's cards - we may never know: Minnesota snapped the RBNY player up with its first selection.
Both Atlanta and Minnesota were allowed to pick up to five players from those made available from each of the other 20 rosters in MLS. No team could lose more than one player to the process, so RBNY's losses were limited to Duvall.
He is a not insubstantial subtraction from the roster: when fit, he was Jesse's Marsch's preferred starting right back. But it is fair to assume Ali Curtis knew what he was risking when Duvall's name was put on the list of players available to the Expansion Uniteds. As such, the must be a plan to fill the spot vacated by Duvall.
Within the current squad, the team still has Sal Zizzo (not a fan favorite but briefly the starter at right back under Marsch), Connor Lade (who had made a claim to the right back start before his 2016 was cut short by injury), and Tyler Adams (who had a few starts at right back last season for NYRB II and has played the position during his time in the Academy). And there is still a lot of off-season to get through.
The Expansion Uniteds, of course, are not required to keep their picks. No sooner had Duvall been selected, then he was promptly flipped out to Montreal in exchange for Johan Venegas.
Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) December 13, 2016
The full list of players selected in the 2016 Expansion Draft:
|Round||Atlanta United||Minnesota United|
|1||Donny Toia (Montreal Impact)||Chris Duvall (RBNY)|
|2||Zach Lloyd (FC Dallas)||Collen Warner (Houston Dynamo)|
|3||Clint Irwin (Toronto FC)||Mohammed Saeid (Columbus Crew)|
|4||Mikey Ambrose (Orlando City)||Jeff Attinella (Real Salt Lake)|
|5||Alec Kann (Sporting KC)||Femi Hollinger-Janzen (NE Revolution)|
Watch the entire Expansion Draft here: