Big changes at the back…
Today was expansion draft day. Montreal got to pick 10 players from the rest of the clubs around the league. First pick was Brian Ching (former USL sounder), who said he’d retire rather than play for Montreal. We’ll see where that goes.
We lost James Riles in the draft proper, then a few minutes later Tyson Wahl was sold to Montreal (MLS calls it “allocation money“, but it’s the same thing). Riley was then traded to Chivas for Justin Braun and Gerson Mayen.
Braun is the big pick up there for Montreal, a very good looking forward on the fringe of the US national team.
OK, Riley was unprotected, that was just a numbers game as the Sounders could not protect everyone. Wahl on the other hand was a trade that happened after the team knew about Riley leaving, and indicates they have plans underway for those positions.
On the bright side hey cleared over $150K in cap space, but they lost both outside backs. With a new keeper and both outside backs potentially being new (Evans as right back maybe?) it’s going to be a very different looking defense next year. I think that might be good as there were time’s it was an issue this year.
I’m sorry to see Riley go, he’s been a big part of the clubs success since being picked by Seattle in the expansion draft prior to the 2009 season. It’s not just his runs down the right that will be missed, off the field he contributed through his support of Renton Boys & Girls Club.
- Riley Selected by Montreal. Wahl Traded There. (gosounders.com)
- 2011 MLS Expansion Draft: Impact Selects 10 Including Brian Ching (wvhooligan.com)
- Montreal take Riley, ship him to Chivas for Braun, Mayen (mlssoccer.com)
- Impact ignore retirement threat, make Ching first pick in expansion draft (soccerbyives.net)