Sporting Kansas City today unveiled the list of 11 players they are protecting from selection in this year's Expansion Draft. On Wednesday, the Montreal Impact will choose players from the other 18 MLS teams in preparation for their first MLS campaign in 2012. The draft will be 10 rounds and no team may lose more than one player.
Mexican forward and Designated Player Omar Bravo is the biggest name left off of he list. Bravo tied for the team lead in scoring with nine goals. He also took the captain's armband the most often while Davy Arnaud was recovering from injury.
Other players left exposed to selection by Montreal include: defenders Seth Sinovic and Michael Harrington; midfielders Birahim Diop, Jeferson and Craig Rocastle; forward Soony Saad; and goalkeeper Eric Kronberg.
The following is a list of the players excluded from being taken in the draft. Homegrown Players Jon Kempin and Kevin Ellis are also automatically protected.
- Davy Arnaud—The club's all-time leader in regular season appearances, Arnaud has been the team's captain for the past two seasons.
- Matt Besler—An All-Star selection as a defender this past season, Besler led the team in minutes played.
- Teal Bunbury—Part of Sporting's potent attack, Bunbury scored nine goals this season (plus two in the playoffs). He was also called into two USMNT camps by manager Jurgen Klinsmann.
- Julio Cesar—The 33-year-old Brazilian midfielder contributed two goals and two assists in 25 starts in 2011.
- Aurelien Collin—The French defender ranked fifth in MLS' Castrol Index rating system and scored three goals in 21 matches in 2011.
- Roger Espinoza—Led his Honduran teammates to the semifinal of the 2011 Gold Cup while becoming a key part of Sporting's midfield.
- Kei Kamara—The club's regular season points leader with nine goals and four assists. Plays internationally for Sierra Leone.
- Chance Myers—A fourth-year player from UCLA, Myers recorded career highs in minutes, appearances and starts in 2011.
- Jimmy Nielsen—The 34-year-old Dane was voted team MVP by his teammates, coaches and the media. Nielsen posted seven shutouts in 2011.
- CJ Sapong—Named MLS Rookie of the Year, Sapong scored five goals and five assists during the regular season and was the only Sporting KC player to appear in every MLS game for the club.
- Graham Zusi—The Maryland Terrapin product supplemented his team-leading five assists with a couple of highlight reel strikes from distance.