The MLS Expansion Draft was today and I doubt many were surprised to see that Seattle Sounders Sanna Nyassi and Nathan Sturgis were both selected by Vancouver. Nyassi was Vancouver’s first choice, Sturgis was their third. (If you’re wondering what I’m talking about check my post on the MLS nuts and bolts from Monday). The Sounders released their protected list on Monday and Sanna Nyassi, Patrick Ianni, and Nathan Sturgis were noticeably absent, as was Blaise Nkufo. Strangely present was Nate Jaqua.
Nkufo’s wife is apparently from Vancouver and they currently live there, which led to some entertaining speculation that the Sounders had done some sort of backroom deal with the Whitecaps to facilitate his relocation from the Netherlands to North America, and he’d be playing with Vancouver next season. This was either the paranoid ramblings of some folks who question Lee Harvey Oswald’s role in the Kennedy assassination or the Whitecaps went for the kneecaps and pulled a last minute switch, taking two young, talented, and relatively inexpensive players instead.
To me, the Nkufo conspiracy theories smacked of wishful thinking. It was pretty obvious that Nyassi would be the first of the Sounders unprotected players to be picked. The only question was how early in the process and by whom. In the end it was very early. I figured we would lose a second player too, either Ianni or Sturgis. The Sounders protected Ianni after Nyassi was selected, and it ended up being Sturgis. Sometimes it’s no fun being right.
UPDATE: Vancouver traded Nyassi to the Colorado Rapids in less than an hour, and Sturgis was traded to Toronto FC the following day.