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Fire Mon Nov 24 2008

Fire Players Up For Grabs

If you thought the Fire were done losing things this year, think again. On Wednesday, next season's expansion team, Seattle Sounders FC, will be able to pick one player from each existing MLS team, with each team allowed to protect 11 of its players. In the past the Fire have had to stomach loss of Nate Jaqua and Ivan Guerrero from expansion drafts. They're too deep not to lose somebody good this year.

Here's the list of guys the Fire chose to protect:

Goalkeeper: Jon Busch
Defenders: Wilman Conde, Bakary Soumare, Dasan Robinson, and Gonzalo Segares
Midfielders: Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Justin Mapp, Logan Pause, and John Thorrington
Forwards: Chris Rolfe, Brian McBride

No real surprises there. Swap out the younger Dasan Robinson for Brandon Prideaux and you have thestarting lineup in the playoffs. Striker Patrick Nyarko is automatically protected as part of the Generation Adidas program. However, Seattle can pick someone from this list:

Goalkeepers: Tyler Kettering, Nick Noble
Defenders: C.J. Brown, Lider Marmol, Brandon Prideaux, Austin Washington, Daniel Woolard
Midfielders: Mike Banner, Kai Kasiguran, Stephen King, Peter Lowry, Marco Pappa
Forwards: Calen Carr, Tomasz Frankowski, Andy Herron

Obviously, the name jumping out at everyone is Marco Pappa. Losing him would be a disaster. He's on loan from his Guatemalan team and his family ties to the Chicago area might make him less likely to sign a full-time deal with MLS to play anywhere but Chicago. Hopefully that will preclude Seattle from picking him. Other than Pappa, the most likely candidates to go would be Mike Banner, Calen Carr, C.J. Brown and Brandon Prideaux.

I had hoped that they wouldn't need to protect Blanco since he's a Designated Player and Seattle already has used there DP on Freddi Ljungberg. However, Blanco most likely has a "no trade" clause in his contract, so the Fire had to protect him. In other Blanco news, because he apparently got enough rest in the second half of the Eastern Conference Final, he's spending the offseason playing for Mexican Club Santos Laguna on loan. While everyone is still insisting he'll be back next year, it's up to Blanco and I wouldn't be shocked if he made the move to Mexico permanent. Not basing that on anymore than a gut feeling.

To end on a positive note, Bakary Soumare, Jon Busch and Blanco made the MLS Best XI. And Fire open tryouts start on Monday.

 
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dj lane / December 2, 2008 5:44 PM

Steve, no offense, but you need a copy editor. For instance, "any more" is two words, not one, in the context you use it above. Please refer to this sentence: "I don't buy books anymore because I don't need any more books." Also, "stomach loss"? Don't you at least read your column before sending it in? Why perpetuate the myth of the dumb jock? You can do better.

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