RSL avoids any losses in MLS Expansion Draft

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune RSL Technical Director Craig Waibel speaks with the media regarding the announcement of player Juan Manuel Martinez, nicknamed 'El Burrito,' who was officially introduced as the newest player at RSL after a standout career at one of the best clubs in South America, Boca Juniors.

No Real Salt Lake players were selected Tuesday in the MLS Expansion Draft.

LAFC had five picks in the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft to help build its roster for its inaugural season. Yura Movsisyan was the most high-profile player RSL left unprotected for the draft, but he also came with the highest price tag. According to figures released by the MLS Players Union, Movsisyan, RSL’s highest-paid player, was guaranteed $1,973,750 this year.

LAFC instead picked up mostly young talent and trade assets. Within an hour and a half of the conclusion of the expansion draft, LAFC had already traded its No. 4 and 5 picks, Jukka Raitala and Raheem Edwards, for Montreal Impact defender Laurent Ciman.

It marks the first time an RSL player has not been picked in the past five Expansion Drafts.

Expansion drafts have traditionally not been kind to RSL. It lost goalkeeper Jeff Antinella to Minnesota United last season. Ned Grabavoy and Chris Wingert both went to NYCFC when Orlando City SC and New York City FC were allowed to take a maximum of two players from a team. The Montreal Impact selected Collen Warner in 2011, and the Portland Timbers took David Horst and Robbie Findley the year before.

Only the Columbus Crew had it worse, with players taken in six consecutive expansion drafts, including this one.

Up next are the waiver draft Wednesday and Stage 1 of the re-entry draft Friday. Action in the re-entry and waiver drafts have waned in recent years. No players were selected in the 2016 MLS Waiver Draft. The same year saw an uptake in re-entry draftees, compared to the four total selected in 2015, but still only seven players were selected over both stages.

On TuesdayMLS announced that RSL’s Reagan Dunk, Omar Holness, JustinSchmidt, Chris Schuler and Ricardo Velazco are eligible for the waiverdraft.

LAFC 2017 EXPANSION DRAFT PICKS <br>1. Tyler Miller, GK, Seattle Sounders FC <br>2. Latif Blessing, F, Sporting Kansas City <br>3. Marco Ureña, F, San Jose Earthquakes <br>4. Jukka Raitala, D, Columbus Crew SC <br>5. Raheem Edwards, F, Toronto FC