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Five players who could be worth picking in the expansion draft

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Dax McCarty

Here are some of the interesting possibilities out there for Vancouver and Portland in Wednesday’s expansion draft. Here are five names that really jumped out on the lists of unprotected players released Monday.

After losing the MLS Cup final Sunday, FCD coach Schellas Hyndman admitted it would be very difficult to pick himself up and have to put together a list of players to protect for the expansion draft just hours later. As expected, Jeff Cunningham, No. 2 in all-time MLS scoring, is on the list. But the real interesting possibility is Dax McCarty. He played with the U.S. team at the 2007 U-20 World Cup held in Canada. And, he’s a solid young player who showed well in all 120 minutes of Sunday’s MLS Cup final.
2010 salary: US$165,000

He’s still an unrefined talent, but he offers amazing pace down the wing. Nyassi can simply run at defenders with the ball at his feet and wear down some backs. Has shown some flashes of brilliance. Worth a flyer.
2010 salary: US$40,000

The Reds need to clear some cap space, and Barrett is going to make more than US$300,000 in 2011. Now, that’s a massive investment. But Barrett did make major strides in 2010, turning his hard work into goals rather than the missed opportunities in the past. Finished second in TFC scoring and netted some massive game winners in MLS, CONCACAF Champions League and Nutrilite Canadian Championship games. Pricetag might scare off buyers.

Alvarez can still be a very valuable player in MLS. His two assists in San Jose’s 3-1 win over New York in the second leg of their opening-round playoff series is proof of that. He has vision, great passing ability. Not a bad price.
2010 salary: US$192,675

Thought that Warner showed some real potential, even though he played sparingly in his first MLS season. Not a surprise, considering the crowd of talented playmakers in RSL’s midfield. He’s a first-round draft pick from 2010, and spent time brushing shoulders with English coaches at Liverpool’s academy, where he did some training. A young player with Warner’s potential could be perfect for a nurturing youth system like Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi has in Vancouver.
2010 salary: US$43,750

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