CARSON, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Head Coach Bruce Arena of the Los Angeles Galaxy speaks during a press conference after the 2011 MLS Cup at The Home Depot Center on November 20, 2011 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated the Dynamo 1-0 to win the MLS Cup. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Things were a bit tense at the Home Depot Center this morning, for the players not protected by Bruce Arena going into the expansion draft. The hope was that no one would be selected, and somehow that ended up being the case. This despite Chad Barrett, Chris Birchall, Michael Stephens, and Paolo Cardozo (all starters at some point this season) not being protected.
So what did happen? Montreal selected Brian Ching, calling everyone's bluff. Ching had threatened to retire if Montreal selected him, so now we'll see if he was bluffing.
Chivas USA were huge players in this expansion draft. They left Zarek Valentin, last year's fourth overall SuperDraft pick, unprotected and Montreal snatched him up. Later, Montreal selected James Riley from Sounders FC and then traded him to Chivas USA for Justin Braun and Gerson Mayen.
Continuing down the list you've got Justin Mapp, Bobby Burling, Jeb Brovsky, Collen Warner, Josh Gardner, Sanna Nyassi, and Seth Sinovic. Ching was the only forward chosen by Montreal, but obviously they ended up with Justin Braun.
Now, because there isn't anything to report on re: this draft Galaxy-wise, I'm gonna editorialize a bit on our Home Depot Center tenants. They pay rent, I'll give them a bit of attention. What the heck were they thinking? A proven young forward, a player who came up through your system, and a young player out of the great program at Akron and all you get in return is a player that has been left unprotected twice in the span on five years?
At the beginning of the year they say they want to focus entirely on homegrown and academy talent, then they trade away an academy player? Just about every move Chivas makes shows how disparate the two Home Depot Center franchises are.
Now that the expansion draft is over, the next steps for this core is to find out what David Beckham, Juninho, and Sean Franklin want to do. Beckham and Franklin have expiring contracts with the Galaxy, while Juninho's contract with Sao Paolo expires in six months. More on Juninho's situation tomorrow, with quotes from today's final practice before the Asia Pacific Tour.