Quakes Announce Expansion Draft Lists
Perez Garcia, Matias
Thompson, Tommy (Exempt)
The Quakes and the rest of the MLS announced their protected/unprotected list Monday afternoon, following the four hour trade window where the Quakes remained quiet. Most of the moves made were relatively predictable, but there are certainly a few questions about where the unprotected players may end up following Wednesday’s Expansion Draft.
Notable Players Left Unprotected
Jon Busch was left unprotected, which was expected by most. The 38 year old goalkeeper would be entering his 14th season in the MLS, and it seems that the Quakes are ready to move on to recent Generation Adidas graduate David Bingham. However, Busch will likely go unpicked in the expansion draft. Orlando City SC acquired Houston GK Tally Hall in Monday’s four hour trade window, and NYCFC already has Josh Saunders. Additionally, Donovan Ricketts will also be available in the draft – meaning that if either team still needs a goalie, they will likely pick up Ricketts. Nonetheless, it seems that Busch is not going to be wearing the Quakes uniform next year.
There was some speculation that Portuguese attacker Yannick Djalo may be moving away from MLS, and to another club in Eastern Europe. Djalo’s season was unfortunately ruined by injuries, but he did look good for the Quakes when he was healthy. It seems that Djalo will not be returning to the Quakes next season, with the rise of USMNT U-20 star Tommy Thompson and the signing of designated player Matias Perez Garcia – both of whom play the similar positions.
MLS veteran Jason Hernandez and newcomer Jean Baptiste Pierazzi were left unprotected as well. The two had sub-par seasons, have high paying contracts, and thus will likely go unpicked in the draft. Hernandez has been with the team since the Quakes’ first season back in San Jose, but it may be time for him to part with the team, unless he is willing to restructure his contract. Pierazzi came to the team last year, and had a disappointing season. Apart from his stunning goal of the year candidate, Pierazzi did not register a single goal or assist. The Quakes really struggled to create opportunities in the midfield, and Pierazzi is partially at fault here.
Clarification: JBP did not do a very good job of providing the passes and making the plays that he was expected to make to advance the ball from the defensive third into the midfield. Pierazzi is not the only one to blame here, but the expansion clubs will likely not want to take the risk of bringing a high salary player who hasn’t proved himself in the league. Which is why I feel as though JBP wasn’t a terrible person to leave off the protected list.
Cordell Cato was also left unprotected, which is likely another part of the Earthquakes desire to restructure the midfield and attacking third. I don’t see a place for Cato in the Quakes starting 11 in the next few years, and he hasn’t shown much promise coming off of the bench either. Although he had a lot of bright spots in his game last year, it may be best for the Quakes and Cato to move on. There is still a decent chance that Cato goes unpicked, seeing as there is a lot of depth in this years expansion draft.
The only move I disagree with completely is the protection of Shaun Francis. I don’t see a future for him on the Quakes back line. Perhaps he would be useful coming off of the bench, but that protection could’ve been easily used on a player like Adam Jahn, Cordell Cato, or Pablo Pintos.
Overall, the Quakes are in pretty good shape heading into the draft. There is a decent chance that the Quakes only lose one player in the draft – even no players. The disastrous 2014 season definitely will certainly hurt the value of the Quakes players. It seems clear that Dominic Kinnear is looking to restructure the midfield – which was horrendous last year. I foresee the Earthquakes making a lot of roster announcements in the coming few weeks. After the tremendously unsuccessful 2014 campaign, that should be expected.