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Protect Me? Protect Me Not?

Whitecaps reveal protected player list ahead of Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft.

MLS: MLS Expansion-Press Conference Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of tomorrow’s expansion draft where FC Cincinnati will have the opportunity to select up to five players from the eligible pool, the Vancouver Whitecaps revealed their list of protected players. Taking into account those qualifying as MLS Homegrown players and new additions, the Vancouver Whitecaps have 19 players on their protected list.

In addition to the 11 protected players, the ‘Caps also have eight players who are exempt from the Expansion Draft due to their Homegrown status or in the case of recently-acquired Andy Rose, his contract not beginning until 2019.

While most of the names on the unprotected list are unsurprising following the moves the ‘Caps made on Option Deadline day at the end of November, a few notable unprotected entries did make the list including Marcel de Jong and Kei Kamara.

The club confirmed that Kei Kamara will not be returning for the 2019 season. Kamara was denied the option to sign a Designated Player contract through free agency, and as such has opted into Friday’s MLS Re-Entry Draft. He is also eligible to be selected in the Expansion Draft.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, head coach Marc Dos Santos thanked Kei for his time at the club, saying “We evaluated what we want in this position for next season, while also keeping in mind the medium and long term. We are looking for characteristics that are very specific as a whole. We wish Kei all the best.”

The newest club to MLS, FC Cincinnati, can select up to five players from the eligible pool. Once one player has been claimed from a club’s non-protected roster, that club is eliminated from the Expansion Draft and may not lose any further players. The five teams who had players selected by the Los Angeles Football Club during the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft are exempt from the 2018 Expansion Draft: Columbus Crew SC, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City, and Toronto FC.

FC Cincinnati’s Expansion Draft selections will be announced live on Tuesday at 11 a.m. PT during a selection show on

Whitecaps FC Protected Players:

1. Anthony Blondell (FW)
2. Brett Levis (LB)
3. Victor ‘PC’ Giro (LB)
4. Doneil Henry (CB)
5. Erik Hurtado (FW)
6. Zac MacMath (GK)
7. Felipe Martins (CM)
8. Jake Nerwinski (RB)
9. Yordy Reyna (AM)
10. Cristian Techera (W)*
11. Kendall Waston (CB)
*Whitecaps FC maintain Techera’s MLS rights after extending a Bona Fide Offer

Automatically Protected Players:

1. Theo Bair (FW) – Homegrown, 2019 signing
2. Michael Baldisimo (CM) – Homegrown
3. Simon Colyn (AM) – Homegrown
4. Maxime Crépeau (GK) – Homegrown
5. Sean Melvin (GK) – Homegrown
6. David Norman Jr. (CM) – Homegrown
7. Andy Rose (CM) – 2019 signing
8. Russell Teibert (CM) – Homegrown

Unprotected Players:

1. Jose Aja (CB)1
2. Myer Bevan (FW)1
3. Marcel de Jong (LB)
4. Roberto Dominguez (CB)1
5. Marvin Emnes (W)1
6. Sean Franklin (RB)2
7. Aly Ghazal (CM)1
8. Efraín Juárez (CM)
9. Kei Kamara (FW)2
10. Stefan Marinovic (GK)1
11. Aaron Maund (CB)1
12. Jordon Mutch (CM)1
13. Brian Rowe (GK)2
14. Brek Shea (W)1
1 2019 option was not exercised
2 Out of contract