MLS draft list likely stacked with goalies

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 17 2004 12:00 a.m. MST

When the MLS expansion draft unprotected list is unveiled this morning, fans can expect as many as eight goalkeepers to be among the 70-plus players available for Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA to pick in this Friday's expansion draft.

"The list will likely be loaded with goalkeepers, which is no surprise to me," said Eric Wynalda, an ESPN soccer analyst and former U.S. National Team player.

Wynalda expects Chicago's Henry Ring, Dallas' Scott Garlick, New England's Adin Brown, San Jose's John Conway and New England's Matt Reis to be among the goalies available in Friday's draft.

Whether or not Real Salt Lake coach John Ellinger decides to make a goalie one of his top priorities remains to be seen.

"Garlick is a guy who's won championships, and he brings the veteran leadership that Real Salt Lake might be looking for," said Wynalda.

Chivas has the first pick in Friday's draft, which will be broadcast on ESPNews at 2 p.m. Real Salt Lake's draft headquarters will be the Skybox Sports Grille in The Gateway, and the event is open to the public.

In speculating about players who will be left unprotected, Wynalda sees a great opportunity for Salt Lake to piece together a winning team.

"There will be some great soccer players on the list," said Wynalda. "Some of them really haven't had the opportunity with their (current) teams."

While former national team players like Jeff Agoos, Brian Maisonneuve, Joe-Max Moore and Carlos Llamosa will likely be unprotected, it's doubtful either expansion team will select them based on their high salary and the fact they're in the twilight of their career.

At the same time, Ellinger can't afford to just gamble on a bunch of young guys, because expansion doesn't necessarily translate into losing in the MLS.

"That first-year thing really isn't something that should scare Real Salt Lake," said Wynalda, who was playing in the league when Chicago won the title as an expansion team in 1998.

ENDLINES: Real Salt Lake will introduce its first player at an announcement at 3:45 today. The player was acquired via a trade.


E-mail: jedward@desnews.com

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