The Philadelphia Union is just hours away from having its first set of players and Philly fans will soon have names to put on the jerseys they are ordering in bunches.
We ran our SBI Mock Expansion Draft on Tuesday, but several readers have asked which ten players I would take if I were running Philadelphia's expansion draft. Here would be my selections:
Kevin Hartman, Anthony Wallace, Eddie Robinson, Shavar Thomas, Robbie Russell, Bobby Convey, Amado Guevara, Pat Phelan, Sanna Nyassi, Alejandro Moreno
I know there are folks who don't rate Bobby Convey as a worthy pick, especially based on his terrible year in San Jose, but I just happen to think he could revitalize his career by returning home to Philadelphia. There aren't many left wing options in the expansion pool and I think the upside of Convey's selection would make his pick worth it.
Here are some other things to note as we draw closer to the announcement of Philadelphia's selections:
Unless Philadelphia has a goalkeeper it plans to sign form overseas I'm not sure how the Union pass on someone as experienced and reliable as Kevin Hartman. It also wouldn't shock me if Philly grabbed Pat Onstad in order to hold him ransom from Houston. That said, I can't see Nowak passing on Dynamo defender Eddie Robinson.
For my money, Eddie Robinson, Amado Guevara and Anthony Wallace are the no-brainer picks in the bunch. Wallace is a very exciting left back prospect who could blossom into a standout while Robinson could be the perfect anchor for Philly's defense. Guevara has serious trade value so even if Peter Nowak doesn't like him for his own team, he could easily flip him for more draft picks or players (Chivas, Houston and Colorado are three places I could see him going).
Frankie Hejduk is a tough call. If salary wasn't something to consider then he'd be a great pick because he's a top-notch locker room leader and a fan favorite, but his form late in the year leaves you wondering how much is left in the tank, and with his high salary, Philly might be better off looking at less expensive alternatives. I go with MLS Cup hero Robbie Russell, who is strong, fast and can play either fullback position and even central defense if called upon.
Just how much will hometown ties play into Peter Nowak's selections? I don't think he'll be taking ten Philly natives, but I do think he will take a few players with local ties. This is what makes Convey, Stephen King and Chris Albright strong possibilities.
Speaking of ties, you always expect coaches to go after players they have coached before, so we have to at least consider that Nowak will want to re-unite with someone from D.C. United's list of available player. Leading the list of potential picks from D.C. is defender Devon McTavish.
Lastly, don't get too caught up in contract figures when the expansion list comes out. Philly can negotiate new deals with the players they select and something tells me players like Convey and Albright will be ready to take paycuts for the chance to play for their hometown team.
Check back into SBI this afternoon for the latest on Philadelphia's expansion draft.
What do you think of my expansion draft picks? Still not sold on Convey? Do you think Guevara will stay in Philly, or will he be traded?
Share your thoughts below.