Real Salt Lake midfielder Collen Warner picked in Expansion Draft
Real Salt Lake lost youth and athleticism when midfielder Collen Warner was among the 10 players selected in the MLS Expansion Draft on Wednesday, including Houston and U.S. National Team forward Brian Ching.
According to RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey, more changes may be in the works in the form of trades.
"We're still talking about a number of things," said Lagerwey, disappointed in losing his 2010 first round draft pick.
"We're very grateful next year we won't be going through this," Lagerwey said
The Montreal Impact chose a mixture of youth and experience as they took the first steps toward fielding a team for the 2012 MLS season.
Montreal had 10 picks in the draft from the existing 18 MLS teams. RSL defender Ned Grabavoy was projected in an MLS mock draft to be the second or third player taken.
But Montreal chose the 23-year-old Warner, a second-year player RSL received in a trade from the L.A. Galaxy for Clint Mathis during the 2010 SuperDraft. Warner played in 37 games in two seasons for RSL, starting 19.
Although he started 15 games in 2011, Warner didn't make a postseason appearance in Real's recent run to the Western Conference Championship. One of the players filling in for injured Javier Morales, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Warner contributed five assists.
The emergence of 17-year-old Luis Gil allowed RSL to leave Warner unprotected.
"Everybody on the club had an opportunity this year," Lagerwey said. "[Gil] took advantage of his chance."
Other draft picks were Jeb Brovksy, 23, midfielder, Vancouver; Bobby Burling, 27, defender, San Jose; Josh Gardner, 29, forward, Columbus; Justin Mapp, 27, midfielder, Philadelphia; Sanna Nyassi, 22, midfield, Colorado; James Riley, 29, defender, Seattle; Seth Sinovic, 24, defender, Sporting Kansas City; Zarek Valentin, 20, defender, Chivas USA.
RSL managed to retain its core group, including Grabavoy, Andy Williams and Robbie Russell, all left unprotected for Wednesday's draft. They may not return to the team anyway, as all are up for new contracts.
Lagerwey also hopes to re-sign forward Fabian Espindola, whose contract expired this season.