Steve Carrillo

LA Galaxy Gamble with Ciani and Lassiter Unprotected in Expansion Draft

The LA Galaxy have announced their unprotected list ahead of tomorrow’s expansion draft. And with only 13 players currently on the roster, there weren’t very many surprises.

Michael Ciani, Bradley Diallo, Clement Diop, Rafael Garcia, Jermaine Jones, Jon Kempin, Ariel Lassiter, Jack McInerney, Brian Rowe, and Pele van Anholt have all be left unprotected.

While Romain Alessandrini, Emmanuel Boateng, Ashley Cole, Giovani Dos Santos, Jonathan Dos Santos, Baggio Husidic, Sebastian Lleget, João Pedro, Dave Romney, Daniel Steres, and Gyasi Zardes are the 11 players that make up the Galaxy’s protected class.

Both Bradford Jamieson IV and Hugo Arellano get automatic protection due to their Homegrown status.

LAFC, in their first official draft in the league, will get to select five players from a list of over 300 available players from every team across the league. No team can have more than a single player selected from their team which means the Galaxy, at most, would lose one player off of their roster.

But for all the names listed on the unprotected list, only two names remain on the Galaxy’s active roster – Ciani and Lassiter.

With Ciani, the Galaxy are banking on the fact that his 2017 pay was listed at $620,000. It’s likely to be the same in 2018 making him a player who will command Targeted Allocation Money (TAM). It’s unlikely LAFC would waste an International Spot and TAM to place Ciani on their backline. Especially after they just signed former FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman to a contract.

Lassiter, a player who only saw 258 minutes in 2017 and takes up a reserve roster spot, has a different reason for going unprotected by the front office staff. By rule, if LAFC would select the 23-year old striker, they would need to offer him a senior roster spot. Making his salary count against the cap and forcing the fledgling club away from taking a risk on him in almost every way.

The rest of the players have already had their options declined by the Galaxy, and as of now, are not expected to come back to the team in 2018.

Cole and Husidic, who are both on expiring contracts, were protected in the expectation that both will be rejoining the club next year. A general feeling that doesn’t seem to have changed since the end of the season.

The only wild card remaining in this whole process is if LAFC, as has been hinted at earlier this week, are acquiring players to trade with other teams. Could there be some hidden value in players that are more below the radar?

The expansion draft takes place on December 12, at 11 AM PT.