With two new teams joining the league, the MLS Eexpansion Draft will take place on Tuesday, November 19th. Will Toronto FC lose a player? We here at The Waterboy Report break it down for you.

With the season in the rearview mirror and the MLS Expansion Draft on the horizon, two new teams will be joining the MLS. Inter Miami and Nashville SC will be joining the MLS for the 2020 season. Both teams have already made a few signings and the next big step will be them taking part in the expansion draft. If you are a little confused as to the rules of the expansion draft we have you covered.

Rules

Each team will be able to pick up to 5 players from around the league. This means that 10 total players will be chosen. Each team is allowed to protect 12 players that cannot be chosen. Also, all homegrown players under 25 as well as all Generation Adidas players are exempt from the draft. Teams that had players chosen during that last expansion draft (last year for FC Cincinnati) are exempt from this year’s draft. This means that Miami and Nashville will be unable to select players from those 5 teams.

Now I know you are here to get that juicy Toronto FC content. I won’t be going into more of the draft and how it affects the MLS as a whole. If you would like a list of all of the unprotected players you can view that here

Ok now let’s get to how it affects TFC.

Toronto FC has released which players are eligible to be taken in the expansion draft and there are quite a few surprises. Let’s highlight my top 3 surprise inclusions and then give my prediction on if one of them will be chosen.

Tsubasa Endoh

Tsubasa Endoh being unprotected is very surprising considering his form to end the year. He earned Vanney’s trust and was being used over new TAM signing Erickson Gallardo throughout the end of the season and playoffs. He is on a very friendly contract and has proven he can contribute to the team. There has been a concern about his off the field antics (tinder) but it isn’t large enough of an issue to prevent him from playing. Also, at 26 years old, he is still just entering his prime. He could contribute to either Miami or Nashville right away and be a piece they build on.

Justin Morrow

Justin Morrow has been with Toronto FC since 2014. In that time he has been one of the big reasons Toronto FC changed from a bottom feeder into one of the top teams in the leagues. His play on the backline for TFC and his ability to attack the wing has been crucial to their success. Except for this past year, he was regularly spoken of as one of the leagues premier fullbacks. Coming off just an “ok” year could be why TFC didn’t feel the need to protect him. Toronto could even think that his big contract will scare off the new teams from picking him. Or, Toronto could try playing Laryea and Auro as the starting fullbacks next year and use Morrow’s money elsewhere.

I think this is a huge mistake as Morrow has been one of the most consistent players for us and I believe he still has a lot more to offer. Plus he can score goals like this. The effort he puts into his performances is second to none.

Nicolas Benezet

Nicola “Nico” Benezet came over to Toronto in the summer transfer window, and after a slow start, showed why TFC brought him in. With a goal in Atlanta during the playoffs, he has shown his skill and that he can be a great player in the MLS. So why didn’t TFC protect him? Well, he is only on loan with an option to buy. Meaning if a team does select him he would only play for them if they trigger the buy clause on the loan, which could be very expensive for a new team. At first, I was surprised he was not protected but now I see that Toronto must be very confident that a new team won’t select him. Toronto better be right because I could get used to seeing goals like this at BMO next season.

Prediction

Looking through the list of unprotected players, I can’t see either team passing on Justin Morrow. Which team will take him though? I am predicting Justin Morrow goes to Nashville SC. I think that Miami and Toronto have a behind closed doors deal for Miami not to take any TFC players in the draft thanks to the Jay Chapman deal. This is why, I am predicting, come Tuesday’s draft Justin Morrow will be a member of Nashville SC.

Don’t forget to check out the latest episode The Soccer Report Podcast. TO has another legendary Vanney rant and they boys predict what happens at the expansion draft.