It’s Expansion Draft Day and for the first time, Flyover Footy and City SC Report are combining in order to rank potential picks. Each podcast member has different criteria and layout style for their picks, which you can read as you peruse the lists. At the bottom is a consensus 10. We hope you enjoy our rankings and perhaps it even helps you project City’s picks or develop some favorites yourself. One last fun hint: this won’t be the last time these two podcasts work together. Ideas are flying and some interesting moves could be in our future.
Matt Baker – Flyover Footy & City SC Report
I really think we’ll only end up with keeping two or three players out of this and recouping and gaining the GAM that we spent this week on int’l slots and trades. I’m going to guess we come out of this draft with $500k in GAM on 2 players that we flip during the draft. My list of who we’ll keep really looks at who would fit well in our system, who can fill a gap that we currently have, and who is age appropriate, meaning really around 30 or younger. So no Dax and no Bedoya. I originally looked at Shin, Duncan and Makoun but after putting that out in the wild on twitter, Charlotte fans/reporters had some harsh reviews about Shinyashiki and Makoun and the notion that Duncan was only on loan to NYRB last year & is signed through 2025 in Europe obviously changed it. With that criteria, here’s my top 10, sort of in order + or – a couple slots, but really only including who I think we would look to draft and keep (aka Patryk Klimala is not on this list):
1. Alex Muyl – RW/LW/CF from Nashville SC
2. Nick DePuy – CB from LA Galaxy
3. Junior Moreno – DM from FC Cincinnati
4. Andre Shinyashiki – LW/ST from Charlotte
5. Kyle Duncan – RB from New York Red Bulls
6. Christian Makoun.- CB/DM from New England Revolution
7. Tim Parker – CB from New York Red Bulls
8. Tommy Thompson – RB from San Jose Earthquakes
9. Zac McGraw – CB from Portland Timbers
10. Nicholas Gioacchini – CF/RW from Orlando City SC
Steve Rusnack – City SC Report
When the Unprotected list was released today, I stopped everything I was doing to comb over said list. Like the soccer nerd I tend to be, I have been waiting for this list for what seems like ages! It was after that first read over that I started messaging with the guys from Flyover Footy, the City SC Report, and SLCP. Names, their salaries and ages were thrown everywhere, it was quite chaotic. But fun!
After reading through the list (now quite a few times), having those discussions with friends, and participating in various social posts and comments, I have finally reached my conclusion of the Top 10 players I would consider if “in charge” of CITY’s Expansion Draft.
In no particular order, here we go:
*Derrick Etienne- Attacking Midfielder/Winger- 25 y/o (turns 26 on November 25)- Columbus Crew- ’22 Stats- 9 Goals 6 Assists 33 Games- Surprised that Columbus left him unprotected- Could be an element to our attack that we need
*Andre Shinyashiki- Forward- 25 y/o- Charlotte FC- ’22 Stats- 7 Goals 1 Assist 29 Games- After his 4th year in MLS he has proven that he’s not the most prolific scorer, but after his best season he may be coming into his own- At $175k per season, this could end up being seen as a bargain signing as he continues to grow
*Tim Parker- Defender- 29 y/o (turns 30 in February)- Houston Dynamo- 28 Games- After 8 seasons in MLS, Tim has always been a reliable Defender at CB- Tim is another former NYRB guy who was there during Coach Carnell’s time, which could make him a target right off the bat
* Stanislav Ivanov- Midfielder/ Right Winger- 23 y/o- Chicago Fire- 1 Goal 0 Assists 15 Games- After 2 seasons with the Chicago Fire, Stan doesn’t have much to show stat wise, but according to Fire fans he is a player with a lot of potential but just wasn’t a good fit for this 12th place finishing Fire.
*Jack Lynn- Forward- 22 y/o (turns 23 in January)- Orlando City- 0 Goals 0 Assists 3 Games- However!….Orlando City B (MLS Next Pro)- 15 Goals 4 Assists 18 Games- Jack is a St Louis native who is a SLSG alum and trained with Saint Louis FC- Just as new CITY signing Aziel Jackson was named in the MLS Next Pro Best XI, it’s important to note that Jack Lynn was as well- Jack definitely has the capability to grow into a quality Forward, even if he would begin the season behind Klauss.
* Jackson Ragen- Defender- 24 y/o- Seattle Sounders- 23 Games- Jackson is a 6’6″ Central Defender coming off his first season with the Sounders- According to sounderatheart.com
Jackson is “a Seattle native who drew high praise from the coaching and technical staff during his first MLS season.”- Signing Jackson could give CITY another good option at CB- That is if he’s available….yesterday, CITY traded $100k to the Sounders in exchange for an International Spot, and it’s quite possible that with the trade CITY agreed to not pick any of the Sounders players. And if that’s so, then Will Bruin would be off the table as well.
*Alex Muyl- Winger/Wing Back- 27 y/o- Nashville SC- 2 Goals 2 Assists 29 Games- Another Carnell NYRB guy who could fit in nicely on either side of the pitch-
* Junior Moreno-Midfielder/Defensive Midfielder- 29 y/o- FC Cincinnati- 2 Goals 1 Assist 27 Games- A seasoned vet who also is a starter for the Venezuelan NT- CITY is still in need of depth at the Central/Defending Midfield position and Moreno could fill that void
*Guzman Corujo- Central Defender- 26 y/o- Charlotte FC- 1 Goal 25 Games- Corujo was the heart of Charlotte’s backline- CLT fans aren’t happy that he’s unprotected, but assume that he may still be hampered by an ACL injury- if true, this could be a gamble for CITY
*Dylan Nealis- Right Back/Central Defender- 24 y/o- NYRB- 3 Assists 28 Games- Though not a Carnell NYRB guy, Dylan would give CITY an option for a RB that is noted for pushing forward to help in the attack, and at the same time get back to shut down the opposition
Santiago Beltran – Flyover Footy & Lider Sports
Jordy Alcivar, Charlotte FC: Checks all the boxes. Defensive midfielder, young DP which is important for budget purposes. 3 years left on his contract.
Dylan Nealis, New York Red Bulls: Right back which is one of the positions the team needs to fill. Comes from NYRB and knows the system. Started 20 games for them last year. Affordable salary at $175K.
Alejandro Bedoya, Philadelphia Union: City will pick him and shop him around. If a good offer doesn’t come, keep him and continue developing Max Schneider to take his spot in 2024.
Nicholas Gioacchini, Orlando City SC: Lots of potential and will provide depth at the #9 position. Will take an under 22 player spot. Contract until 2024 and STL could make money from a potential sale if he performs while with City.
Cristian Dájome, Vancouver Whitecaps: Left Winger with a lot of experience. If picked, he will most likely be traded to another team and STL will get more xAM which will be useful when trade window opens.
Kendall McIntosh, San Jose Earthquakes: Will be a reliable backup GK while City SC continues preparing a STL made GK to take the reins in 2025/2026. Could insert other goalies available here to serve that backup role.
Tim Parker, Houston Dynamo: Experienced CB familiar with the NYRB system. Will provide the necessary depth for the position specially if City plays with 3 CBs.
Sebastián Blanco, Portland Timbers: Another pick and trade player. There should be other teams interested in getting him.
Facundo Quignon, FC Dallas: Another experienced CM that could fit the role while Schneider continues developing.
Rubio Rubin, Real Salt Lake: For #9 depth. Besides MLS experience, has USL experience and Liga MX experience.
Michael Haffner – City SC Report
Alex Muyl – (Veteran player that still probably has 5 years left in. Strong work ethic that fits our style of play.)
Andre Shinyashiki (Super talented also great fit. Is at the right age for our team where we can get more years out of him and young enough to bring a hunger to the front line.)
Victor Wanyama (He comes with tons of experience, previously playing for Totttenham and Celtics overseas, as well as MLS experience. He hails from Kenya and would be a strong holding midfielder.)
Aime Mabika… but maybe… Nick DePuy (Both are TALL strong defenders with experience that STL could use in the back line. My gut leans slightly towards Aime though.)
Joao Moutinho (One of those players that’s too good not to pick up when you see his name.)
Joe Chambers – City SC Report
1. Alejandro Bedoya CM (PHI)- veteran leader for season one, and you can’t go wrong with a guy who played for Rangers (even if it wasn’t for long)
2. Andre Shinyashiki FWD (CLT)
3. Patryk Klimala FWD (NYRB) – pick him and sell him to someone in Europe
4. Jackson Ragen CB (Sea)
5. Zac McGraw CB (Por)
6. Ben Sweat LB (SKC)
7. Tyler Miller GK (MIN) – pick him and sell him on
8. Will Bruin FWD (SEA) – Bring him home
9. Alex Muyl RW (NSH)
10. Gustavo Bou CM (NE)
Phillip Grooms – Flyover Footy
- Patryk Klimala FWD NYRB
- Tommy Thompson RB SJ
- Andre Shinyashiki FWD CLT
- Alex Muyl RM NSH
- Jonathan Gonzalez CDM MNU
- Bryan Anunga CDM NSH
- Nicholas Gioacchini FWD OC
- Jack Lynn FWD OC
- Tomas Gomez GK RSL
- Zac McGraw CB SEA
Shortly, I’m going to give reasons for my picks. This has been tons of fun and there are much better choices than I expected. First, Klimala, who is my outlier. While many of these players could be drafted just to sell, Klimala is the best one for this purpose. As Tom Bogert said in his article, Lutz has European connections that could buy Klimala. The price doesn’t have to be great. Nothing but gravy for STL in the situation. That said, I’m happy to keep him. He’s 24 and knows how to press. Again, like Bogert I’d like to see STL take one big swing. The rest of my picks are based on 1. Need, 2. Quality, 3. Not old, 4. Cost, 5. I leaned heavily on domestics, 6. STL favs! I also picked my favorites–not who I think Lutz will go with. Look to Twitter for deeper cuts.
I, Phill, arrived at this very unscientifically, but it’s a good way to see where we all agreed. I won’t explain it, but I did use math. I stopped at 8 because the rest only got one vote.
- Andre Shinyashiki FWD CLT
- Alex Muyl RM NSH
- Alejandro Bedoya CM PHI
- Zac McGraw CB POR
- Tim Parker CB HOU
- Jackson Ragen CB SEA
- Nicholas Gioacchini FWD OC
- Dylan Nealis CB NYRB
Flyover Footy has been covering St. Louis soccer for 6 years. Subscribe to this feed to hear podcast episodes about Saint Louis FC, St. Louis City SC, college soccer, academy programs, and amateur/semi-pro soccer in the area. Be sure to follow the show on twitter @FlyoverFooty.
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Flyover Footy – The Expansion Draft w/ Tom Bogert
So much for my happy ending…
Flyover Footy – MLS 201