FC Dallas escape Expansion Draft unscathed this time

Schellas Hyndman

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FC Dallas lost two key players in the 2010 Expansion Draft. This offseason, however, they escaped with their roster fully intact.

As the newest member of MLS, the Montreal Impact looked elsewhere for their 10 selections.

“With the quality of players that we had out there, I was surprised and relieved that no one was selected,” said manager Schellas Hyndman to MLSsoccer.com following the draft. “We were just basically saying, the chances are greater than not that we would lose someone.”

Of the 10 players on the unprotected list, seven were new to the team in 2011. Rookie Bobby Warshaw, Brazilian forward Maicon Santos, and midseason signing Daniel Cruz were all fresh faces in danger of being selected. But the team felt most fortunate in retaining 35-year-old captain Daniel Hernandez, who the team was hesitant to leave unprotected.

“Probably the most difficult decision was Daniel Hernandez, who was a captain and has done so much for FC Dallas and the community,” said Hyndman. “We thought he would definitely be someone that Montreal or another team would be interested in.”

Hyndman also expressed his relief that the Impact did not take a flyer on rookie Bobby Warshaw, who appeared sparingly for the team this past season but continues to improve.

“We felt that Bobby, who plays a very difficult position at holding midfielder, could be gone because of his salary and so forth,” said Hyndman. “And we have spent a lot of time on his development.”

Hyndman admits that the team was anxious following a disastrous Expansion Draft in 2010. Midfielder Dax McCarty and forward Atiba Harris were selected by the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC last offseason, leaving FCD without depth at key positions during a long 2011 campaign. Many criticized the club after McCarty, a key player and former first round pick of the team, was left unprotected.

“You can only protect so many players, but the other guys are very important for team chemistry and continuity and understanding their roles and job descriptions,” said Hyndman. “It hurt our depth this year. We lost Dax and Atiba, who are very good players. Last year we just had so many players that other people wanted with two teams coming in at one time.”