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Chicago Fire MLS Expansion Draft Protected List: Low Risk, Low Reward

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The Chicago Fire have released their list of players who will be protected in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft:

  1. Mike Banner
  2. Calen Carr
  3. Wilman Conde
  4. Baggio Husidic
  5. Steven Kinney
  6. Patrick Nyarko
  7. Marco Pappa
  8. Logan Pause
  9. Bratislav Ristic
  10. Gonzalo Segares
  11. Kwame Watson-Siriboe

When we asked you the fans to come up with 11 players to protect in 'The Protectinator', the results came back as:

  1. Wilman Conde
  2. Steven Kinney
  3. Peter Lowry
  4. Freddie Ljungberg
  5. Patrick Nyarko
  6. Marco Pappa
  7. Logan Pause
  8. Bratislav Ristic
  9. Gonzalo Segares
  10. John Thorrington
  11. Kwame Watson-Siriboe

Now the one wrinkle in our poll was that we decided that Baggio Husidic was not going to graduate from his Generation Adidas status and that turned out to be incorrect.  I would have voted for him to be left unprotected but right around No. 12 or No. 13.  I'm not surprised the team protected him in the end.

Let's look at more comparisons after the break.

The list of players The Protectinator and the Chicago Fire agreed on:

  1. Wilman Conde
  2. Steven Kinney
  3. Patrick Nyarko
  4. Marco Pappa
  5. Logan Pause
  6. Bratislav Ristic
  7. Gonzalo Segares
  8. Kwame Watson-Siriboe

If there is anyone who would not protect those eight, I'd like to hear your rationale.  I would consider those players to be core players who can contribute next year. 

Here is the list of players the fans wanted to see protected but the Fire did not protect:

  1. Peter Lowry
  2. Freddie Ljungberg
  3. John Thorrington

John Thorrington - clearly the Fire thought he was too much of an injury risk and I +1 that assessment.  I'd like to see him in Fire red next year and I'll be remiss to see him in Timbers green or Whitecaps blue but if they want to take the gamble, I wish them good luck. 

Freddie Ljungberg - he is the other side of the risk coin, could the Fire afford pay him and more importantly bring him back? I really see the potential for Portland selecting Freddie Ljungberg just to piss off Seattle.  I could see Freddie signing up with Portland to go after Seattle.  The only question is if Portland thinks it's worth picking him only to miss out on convincing him to sign with them.  I could see Vancouver doing it all for the same reasons.  A roster with Ljungberg and DeMerit to start their MLS story would be quite a coup for them.  The more I think about it, the more I think it's going to happen. 

Peter Lowry - I can see not protecting him... but not protecting him over Banner and Carr?  That is questionable and let's get into that.

The list of players the Fire protected who the fans did not protect:

  1. Mike Banner
  2. Calen Carr
  3. Baggio Husidic

Baggio Husidic - Let's get him out of the way.  He wasn't included in the poll and I imagine he would have fit in the range of 10-13 if he would have been included.  He shows a special talent for being in the right position at the right time and there is value in that.  I wouldn't have minded him being protected or unprotected honestly.

Mike Banner - 100% Carlos de los Cobos pick right here.  He played Mike Banner at times when Corben Bone could have got a shot.  Banner had about the same amount of playing time as Lowry but Lowry almost always looked better.  What is more baffling about this decision is that Banner was left unprotected in 2007, 2008, and 2009.  Now that Banner is 26 years old he is suddenly a player to protect?  For the record, Peter Lowry is 25 years old.

Calen Carr - Unlike Mike Banner, Calen Carr has been protected in a MLS Expansion Draft before... but that was in 2007.  He was left unprotected in 2006, 2008, and 2009.  However, if he didn't get protected, the Fire wouldn't have a single forward in the protected category and he did play fairly well in the time he was healthy.

The list of players the Fire and the fans chose not to protect:

  1. Andrew Dykstra
  2. Nery Castillo
  3. Collins John
  4. Dasan Robinson
  5. Deris Umanzor

Andrew Dykstra - There's no reason to protect a backup goalie even if I think he has the talent to start in the MLS.  I wouldn't be surprised if a team selected him.

Nery Castillo - If you want the project, have at it.

Collins John - If you don't want the price of the project above, why not try the 'lite version' at the a fraction of the cost?

Dasan Robinson - If you want a defender with injury risks, he's your guy.

Deris Umanzor - If you want a player who shouldn't be playing in the MLS, you've come to the right place.

Overall thoughts are this is a very low risk low reward list.  Freddie Ljungberg and John Thorrington were not protected because of cost and health concerns.  I think that is a mistake.  I would rather have a chance at Freddie Ljungberg and possibly lost out on Mike Banner or Calen Carr.  John Thorrington can be one of the best players on the field and while it is a good calculated risk to leave him unprotected him, I really feel that we can get a Mike Banner on the free agent market.  I don't like Carlos de los Cobos playing favorites here. 

One thing to consider before getting too bent on that low risk factor is that Calen Carr and Mike Banner could be protected because Sean Johnson and Corben Bone are protected by Generation Adidas status.  Let's not forget who was the main man behind drafting Sean Johnson at No. 51 in last year's SuperDraft: Frank Klopas.  If anyone wants to dump on Klopas, bring it on.  I'm not happy 100% thrilled with this list but I don't blame Frank Klopas.