TORONTO – Toronto FC have left midfielder Julian de Guzman unprotected in the Expansion Draft for the second year in a row.
The Designated Player made seven figures this past season, and it is anticipated that the Montreal Impact won’t be looking to take on a salary number like that.
It’s a big price in this league for a defensive midfielder, although the Canadian international played well as the season progressed and he recovered from off-season knee surgery.
Toronto did protect their other two DPs, midfielder Torsten Frings and striker Danny Koevermans.
They also protected two goalkeepers – Stefan Frei and Milos Kocic – who would both have appeal for an expansion team.
Frei was the regular for most of the season, but Kocic showed that he can handle the top job as well when he took over after Frei was injured in August. Kocic also played all of TFC’s games in the CONCACAF Champions League as they earned their way to the quarterfinals, which are set for March against the LA Galaxy.
Among those unprotected are defenders Adrian Cann and Dicoy Williams, who missed most of 2011 with knee injuries and are not expected to be ready to open next season.
Forwards Nick Soolsma, Javier Martina and Peri Marosevic were also among the unprotected.
Defender Richard Eckersley and forward Joao Plata, who both played 2011 on loan deals, were protected, which suggests Toronto are optimistic they will be able to work out deals to keep them on for next season at least.
Central defenders Andy Iro and Ty Harden were protected. With Cann and Williams injured, central defense was a trouble spot in 2011.
Also protected were midfielders Terry Dunfield and Eric Avila, and versatile attacker Ryan Johnson. All three were acquired in a mid-season overhaul, and Johnson was particularly influential in the late-season improvement.
Head coach and technical director Aron Winter said he did not want to comment on the team’s protected list.