In case you missed it, SB Nation’s mock MLS Expansion Draft was posted today.
We’re pretty sure Toronto FC are going to lose someone to this process, such is the depth of their squad, and sure enough El Pluribus Loonum has Minnesota taking Steven Beitashour with their second selection.
Which would be annoying, but was probably always the most likely scenario from our list when Will Johnson’s pending free agency and Tosaint Ricketts’ nationality are considered.
One idea I’m increasingly coming around to is exposing goalkeeper Clint Irwin instead in the hope that Atlanta have their starter in Sean Johnson and Minnesota prefer Zac MacMath, assuming Colorado leave him unprotected as a result of the signing of Tim Howard.
That’s not without its own risks, though, given Irwin’s salary is so reasonable that he could be snagged as a reliable, veteran insurance option regardless of the Johnson/MacMath situations. Sure, Toronto would then have Alex Bono to step in, but it’s still a loss of depth and any sign of struggle from Bono and you could have a problem.
And if neither team takes Irwin, they’re probably taking someone else - most likely Tosaint Ricketts. If it’s a straight choice between those two, I’m sacrificing Beitashour and his slightly inflated $244,000 salary, as solid as he has been this season.
Whatever happens, there’s probably going to be some pain. The best-case outcome might be Atlanta taking a low-risk gamble on Georgia-native Mark Bloom, or someone liking Tsubasa Endoh’s potential. They’re both players you’d like to keep around, but at least their loss would not immediately impact Greg Vanney’s best XI.