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Austin FC select Joe Corona in expansion draft

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LA Galaxy lose a player for 2021.

MLS: LA Galaxy at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Austin FC conducted their MLS Expansion Draft Tuesday, and of the five players selected, one came from the LA Galaxy, in midfielder Joe Corona.

The midfielder was signed near the start of the 2019 season and was a regular in both seasons he played in LA. The U.S. international, now 30, had his contract option declined by the Galaxy in the offseason for 2021, but the club said they were in negotiations with him for a return.

While it’s possible the Galaxy could trade back for Corona, that seems pretty unlikely — if they really wanted to keep him, they would have picked up his contract option and/or protected him from selection.

In some ways, this pick from Austin helps the Galaxy: Not only do they have to barter over a new price point for Corona and balance between continuity and making changes to their roster, but they will get $50,000 in allocation money for losing a player and they will be exempt from participating in the next expansion draft, meaning they won’t have to make a protected list or anything.

So that appears to end Corona’s stint with the Galaxy, and again, it wasn’t assured he’d be returning anyway. But now the Galaxy have some cap space and a slot in midfield to fill, we’ll see what they do with it ahead of next season.

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