Fernando Clavijo
FC Dallas/Carter Baum

Taking a Look Ahead at the 2016 MLS Expansion Draft with Fernando Clavijo

The final of a four-part chat with FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo about offseason roster building, Homegrowns, expansion draft and more. Check out Part IPart II and Part III

FRISCO - As Fernando Clavijo continues his offseason work building for 2017, there’s a looming obstacle in the very near future that could see a talented player taken away – the Expansion Draft.

On Tuesday afternoon, less than 72 hours after an MLS Cup champion is crowned, the two newest MLS sides will each get to select five players from current MLS rosters to help form their new clubs. Every MLS team has the ability to protect eleven players on their rosters, as well as all Homegrowns on the Supplemental or Reserve rosters and Generation adidas signings who have not “graduated” from the program. Everyone else is available for selection form either Minnesota United FC or Atlanta United FC.

“Somebody will benefit for sure from the work that FC Dallas has done in the last couple of years because we will [likely] lose a good, talented player,” Clavijo said this week ahead of the draft. “I always say to players and agents, the good thing about playing for a winning team is everyone wants to have a piece of that.”

Where FCD may suffer the most is from the fact that Homegrowns Kellyn Acosta and Victor Ulloa are, by MLS standards, considered part of the Senior Roster – and therefore will have to occupy two of the eleven protected spots to be exempt from selection despite being Homegrown players.

Other Homegrowns Coy Craft, Jesus Ferreira, Jesse Gonzalez, Aaron Guillen, Moises Hernandez, Paxton Pomykal and Bryan Reynolds are all exempt from selection in the Expansion Draft.

“You cannot protect everyone, that's a fact - only eleven. And I think it becomes even more of an issue when we need to protect, which was not the case before - our Homegrown players Kellyn Acosta and Victor Ulloa are considered 'graduated' from Homegrown, which they should never be,” Clavijo said. “This is a new rule, so we need to protect some of those players which was not an issue before. You need to protect a minimum of three international players, and that tells you right there if you look around - there's going to be some good players left [unprotected].”

All-Time Expansion Draft Picks from FCD
Year Player Overall Team
2014 George John 14th NYCFC
2010 Dax McCarty 1st Portland
2010 Atiba Harris 4th Vancouver
2007 Clarence Goodson 2nd San Jose
2004 Matt Behnche 14th Real Salt Lake
1997 Joey Martinez 8th Miami Fusion
1997 Wade Webber 22nd Miami Fusion

Dallas is no stranger to losing talented players in the Expansion Draft either. In 2010, just days after the club fell short in their first MLS Cup Final appearance, Dax McCarty and Atiba Harris went No. 1 and No. 4 overall in that year’s Expansion Draft, respectively.

One bright side this go-round for FCD, however, is that the 2016 Expansion Draft is just five rounds, and 10 picks total. And each current MLS club can only lose up to one player total. In years past, the draft was 10 rounds and up to two players total could be selected from each club.

The 2016 MLS Expansion Draft takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. CT and we’ll have all the coverage on FCDallas.com. 

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