Saturday, November 21, 2009

11/21/09: Who Would You Pick?

By Crewfanatico

Who Would You Pick?

One solid Crew player will be headed out of Columbus.

Since the season is now over, many people have many questions about next year. Certainly, and rightly so, the spotlight is under Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Nobody wants to see him leave- especially to another MLS club. But there are other issues that have to be addressed, starting with the MLS expansion draft- which is this week. So which players should Warzycha, Bliss, and McCullers protect? Should they protect the veterans, youth, or a mixture of both? Right now, the best option for the future of this club is to try and think of not only next year, but the years ahead. Here is my list of "protected" and "non-protected" players for the expansion draft.

1. Hesmer
2. Zayner
3. Marshall
4. Brunner
5. Iro
6. O'Rourke
7. Carroll
8. Ekpo
9. Rogers
10. Gaven
11. Lenhart

1. Gruenebaum
2. Schoeni
3. Hejduk
4. Padula
5. Oughton
6. Burns
7. Grendi
8. Elenio
9. Moffat
10. Garey
11. Moreno
12. Renteria

Okay, I know, some of you may be scratching your heads right now, wondering why on earth Schelotto isn't on any of my lists. This is because I have no idea where I should put him. With the contract he was just offered, it doesn't look like he will sign with us again. Is he worth the risk of protecting, and then having somebody like Gaven picked by Philly? Also, what if Schelotto is protected and then he doesn't sign with us again. There is the risk of losing two players that are important to the team, just because we protected one of them in Schelotto. So you can decide with the Schelotto issue for yourself.

As you can see, on defense, Hejduk and Padula are not protected. The reason is because they are not getting any younger, and losing one of them would hurt the Crew less than if we were to lose Brunner, Zayner, or even Iro. Hejduk and Padula, lets face it, how many more years do they have? The three younger defenders, on the other hand, have room to grow, mature, and develop their game. They are the future of the Crew's defense. Also, you have to think as if you were Peter Nowak and the rest of the Union; are they most likely to pick one of the younger defenders, with room to grow and develop, or one of the aging veterans?

The midfielders were the obvious players to protect. The trio of Gaven, Ekpo, and Rogers is very important for the club. They are 3 very good wingers that provide a lot of skill and speed. Carroll is vital for the club because he is arguably the best defensive midfielder in the league. And O'Rourke, well he can play a variety of positions; defensive midfield, fullback, or centerback. The one midfielder that is important to the club and may be at risk is Adam Moffat. But what is the chance of him being picked? He had an amazing start to the 2008 season, but then he got injured. In 2009, he had a few injuries and when he was healthy he did not exactly win the trust of Warzycha.

I only picked one forward, and it was Lenhart. Lenhart, in my opinion, is by far the best forward on the team (again, this is excluding Schelotto). Moreno, as I used to be a huge fan of, was really disappointing this year. Garey, despite scoring goals, he has not had consistent playing time in the past couple of years. And Renteria, he has not really shown much since coming to Columbus. True, he did score the vital goal in the Champions league, but other than that he did not play consistent enough. Especially against Real Salt Lake, in the first leg. Each time he touched the ball, it seemed like either he was gong to trip over it or he did not know what to do with it. And if Nowak saw that game, I'm sure he won't be looking in picking Renteria in the draft.

So I had a lot of defenders, and a lot of youth on my list of protected players; since the Crew need to focus on the future of the club as well. We will see what Warzycha and Company will do in a few days. They surely don't want to lose somebody as important as what happened last year with Brad Evans. So who would you pick as your 11? What would you do with Schelotto? There are many questions that are going to be asked during the offseason, and this could help answer some of them or help produce more of them.


  1. Interesting list. I'll be posting my list and similiar thoughts tomorrow. I agree with most of your picks except for maybe Brunner and Iro.

    I would protect Padula because it is almost impossible to find a good left back in this league and Padula for his age was on the field more than anyone this year. Also, Padula is a couple of years younger than Hejduk and GBS, so he should still have something in the tank.

    I wouldn't protect Iro because I'm not convinced Iro has that bright of a future in MLS. I rather get a few more years out of Hejduk or Padula.

    We have no replacement for Padula, so Padula is going to be protected no matter what. If Hejduk is protected is more of a question? Of course he is the heart and soul, and we all love him. But, he was iffy in the playoffs and I do believe Zayner could be a solid replacement.

    I wouldn't protect Brunner either. I think O'Rourke should be back to central defense where he plays better. O'Rourke wasn't considered a solid Crew player until he moved from DM to CD. I think Warzycha has too much faith in Brunner. Sure, Brunner might be better in the future but he makes too many mistakes.

    I would like to see a full season of Renteria because I believe he might be the best striker we have right now. So, I would swap Renteria and Padula for Iro and Brunner. That gives us a backline of:
    Zayner----Marshall----O'Rourke----Padula in 2010 I could live with that. I also would be fine with protecting Hejduk. But, even if he is unprotected, I don't think the Philadelphia Union will pick him up because of his age.

  2. I agree with the list but I would leave Iro unprotected and protect Renteria.

  3. Oh and I thought Zayner was automatically protected because hes a generation adidas player. If so, then put Padula on the list and Zayner can't be picked.

  4. FYI: Zayner is no longer a gerneation adidas player. You can find the roster on under the story about Warzycha leading the team in Africa.

    My protected list: Hesmer, Marshall, O'Rourke, Carroll, Lenhart, Hejduk, Zayner, Renteria, Gaven, Padula, Ekpo

    Obviously, if we get Schelotto, he'll fit in there and I think you leave out Renteria if that's the case. That does leave some big names open, but in my opinion, we're going to lose someone we don't want to lose. Might as well give Philly options and just make sure we keep that solid core (which is why I protect Frankie no matter what).

  5. Thanks Zirrard. I wish Zayner was still a GA though. We need to keep him no matter what.

  6. Brunner screwed us in the playoffs.. Tall and lanky is not a good combo for a defender. I say get Brunner out of here as soon as humanly possible.

  7. I say you're whacked in the head if you don't think he did a good job... you'd rather have Iro in there?