SANDY — With Toronto FC claiming the MLS Cup championship over Seattle Sounders FC in the snow-laden final, Major League Soccer closed the door on the 2017 season.
Looking ahead to next year, the league will welcome expansion club Los Angeles FC, and head coach Bob Bradley’s side will select five players from around the league via an expansion draft Tuesday.
In anticipation of the draft, Real Salt Lake released 11 players that will be eligible for selection Sunday evening. No club may lose more than one player and only five total players will be selected in the draft.
Veterans Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman lead the 11 protected players on RSL’s roster, joining defenders Justen Glad, David Horst and Marcelo Silva; midfielders Luke Mulholland, Albert Rusnak and Bofo Saucedo; and forwards Joao Plata, Jefferson Savarino and Luis Silva.
In addition, RSL homegrown players Danilo Acosta, Jordan Allen, Jose Hernandez, Brooks Lennon and Ricardo Velazco are ineligible for selection.
LAFC may select from the following players to fill out its roster:
RSL unprotect players for expansion draft
Real Salt Lake has had eight players selected in eight expansion drafts since joining the league in 2005. The selections include former team manager Jason Kreis, who was acquired by Toronto FC in the 2006 expansion draft but re-acquired by RSL shortly afterwards in exchange for allocation money.
Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella was the last player to leave Salt Lake via expansion draft, going to Minnesota United (en route to Portland) in the 2016 draft.