Yes, the FIFA World Cup starts in a week and a half, but the Major League Soccer offseason doesn’t stop for anyone.
Ahead of the 2023 season and expansion side Saint Louis City SC (that’s what they’re going with? A double non-nickname soccer word salad faux-pas? I hope I issued a proper blasphemy at some point to them) joining the league it means another annual expansion draft and protected roster list from all eligible teams.
The 2022 Saint Louis expansion draft will take place tomorrow at 7pm EDT on MLSSoccer.com and the St. Louis club YouTube page.
Five teams that had players selected by Charlotte FC are exempt from the expansion draft, meaning Austin FC, Atlanta United, D.C. United, LAFC, and NYCFC will not have a protected list. New England was not eligible for the 2020 offseason expansion draft with Austin FC after losing Jalil Anibaba the year before to Nashville SC but did not have a player taken in the Charlotte draft.
Here are the #NERevs protected and unprotected list for the expansion draft. HGs (not listed) auto-protected— Revolution Recap (@RevolutionRecap) November 10, 2022
-Team must be confident in a Nacho return
-Jozy must be protected due to no-trade clause
-Jon Bell a potential pick for STL? pic.twitter.com/3RRBeHMPwn
Some ground rules on the protected list and draft rules, in case everyone forgot: MLS teams must protect players with no-trade clauses so that means Jozy must be one of the 12 protected players. Generation Adidas and Homegrown players are automatically protected and don’t count towards the 12 slots. Once St. Louis picks a player from a team, that team’s protected list is withdrawn, only one player can be taken maximum from an eligible team.
Obviously, Gustavo Bou is a bit of a surprise but with St. Louis already having their roster stocked with several DP’s and internationals, it’s hard to tell if this is either a well calculated gamble or a sign of something else in the works with Bou this offseason.
The rest of this list is honestly pretty standard. Protecting Nacho Gil makes sense if the Revs are looking to resign him and the rest of the list are the mainstays of the starting lineup the last few years.
As far as the unprotected players, Ema Boateng would be the biggest blow as he is well liked and a frequent contributor off the bench. Losing Jon Bell would certainly put the Revs in the market for a center back if they weren’t already looking. Christian Makoun and Ismael Tajouri-Shardi would represent a greater loss on the assets used to bring them to the team though the Revs have yet to make a decision on ITS’ contract option due to his injury.
Any surprises to the Revs protected list? Give your thoughts in the comments below.