Mathematically, Real Salt Lake may not lose a player in Wednesday's 2011 Expansion Draft. The Montreal Impact will make 10 player choices from 18 MLS teams.
However, RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey said he is certain of losing a player, and it may be one of three major contributors to Real's success during the past three years. Andy Williams, Ned Grabavoy and Robbie Russell were all left unprotected and one of them might be wearing a Montreal jersey in the 2012 MLS season.
"It's never fun to say who is protected and who is not," RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey. "When you have to say that to guys who have made a major contribution to the club over many years.
"It's about protecting the best group."
The Impact will announce their 10 player selections during a press conference from their Montreal offices. The event will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com and MontrealImpact.com.
Each current MLS club can protect 11 players from their 2011 roster, including Generation adidas players such as RSL's Luis Gil. MLS Clubs may lose no more than one player from their 2011 roster during the Expansion Draft.
That it is a contract year for Williams, Grabavoy and Russell also went into who was or was not protected.
"We look at salary, contract, experience, quality of depth," Lagerwey said. "It's never one thing.
"[Creating the list is] psychological more than anything, making peace with someone you will have to do without."
RSL's list of available players also include Chris Agorsor, Jean Alexandre, Arturo Alvarez, Yordany Alvarez, Paulo Jr. Araujo, Cody Arnoux, Nelson Gonzalez, Raushan McKenzie, Timothy Melia, Kyle Reynish, Blake Wagner and Collen Warner.
RSL protected the majority of its starters, as well as Chris Schuler, who emerged as an MLS prospect in 2011.
Also protected were Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Tony Beltran, Will Johnson, Javier Morales, Chris Wingert, Alvaro Saborio and Fabian Espindola.