With the 2010 MLS Cup now one day behind us, preparation for the 2011 season begins without delay.
The 2010 MLS Expansion Draft will take place this Wednesday as the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps will enter the league for the first time in the new year. Each franchise will get to select 10 players from current MLS teams.
Today, each MLS team released a list of 11 players who will remain protected from the expansion draft. DC United's unprotected list is as follows:
Branko Boskovic, Marc Burch, Dejan Jakovic, Julius James, Chris Pontius, Clyde Simms, Rodney Wallace, Jed Zayner, Junior Carreiro, Stephen King
Bill Hamid, Andy Najar, and Conor Shanosky are also considered protective players due to their status as "Homegrown players" who were signed by the club through its Academy program.
According to SB Nation's D.C. United blog Black And Red United, the list of unprotected players contained a few surprises for D.C. Two starters, goalkeeper Troy Perkins and forward Pablo Hernandez, are each available to be selected.
Perkins was the 2007 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year before he departed to Norwegian club Valerenga in 2008. Perkins was acquired by United via trade before the 2010 season when he elected to return to MLS. The team gave up attacking midfielder Fred and a first round draft pick in exchange for Perkins, yet he proved to be a massive disappointment early in 2010, losing his starting job to Hamid. When Hamid suffered a season-ending injury late in the season, Perkins came back strong, but evidently not strong enough to earn a spot on United's protection list.
Hernandez is the second highest paid player on United's roster, but the Argentine failed to score a single goal in 14 appearances with D.C. in 2010. Not great numbers for a starting forward.
Danny Allsopp, Brandon Barklage, Adam Cristman, Devon McTavish, Kurt Morsink, Juan Manuel Pena, Carlos Varela, Jordan Graye, and Barry Rice were all also left unprotected by United.
The full list of unprotected players league-wide can be found here via SB Nation Soccer.