Real Salt Lake overhauled its roster throughout the 2007 season, and it will likely be tweaked again today as San Jose begins building its franchise in the MLS expansion draft.
Fifteen players were left unprotected by RSL on Tuesday, highlighted by three-year RSL players Andy Williams, Chris Brown and Jamie Watson. Other players exposed to the expansion draft are: Kyle Brown, Steven Curfman, Kenny Cutler, Willis Forko, Duke Hashimoto, Christian Jimenez, Jean-Martial Kipre, Dustin Kirby, Ritchie Kotschau, Chris Lancos, Kyle Reynish and Jack Stewart.
At most RSL can lose one player from this list, but it might not lose any. There are currently 13 MLS teams, and San Jose gets to select one unprotected player from 10 of those teams.
In last year's expansion, Toronto nabbed Jason Kreis from RSL, which then quickly surrendered a partial allocation worth approximately $100,000 in salary cap space to reacquire him. It was a well-publicized mistake, something owner Dave Checketts has on multiple occasions claimed responsibility for.
Fourteen Real players don't have to worry about today's draft 11 via selection by the club and three additional players who are automatically protected because they are part of MLS's Generation adidas program.
The 11 protected players are: Nick Rimando, Matias Mantilla, Chris Wingert, Kyle Beckerman, Atiba Harris, Javier Morales, Nate Sturgis, Carey Talley, Alecko Eskandarian, Fabian Espindola and Robbie Findley. The adidas players protected are Chris Seitz, Nikolas Besagno and Yura Movsisyan.
Watson and Jimenez were previously a part of the adidas program, but they graduated from it at the end of the 2007 season.San Jose will begin play in the 2008, raising the number of teams in MLS to 14.