On Tuesday, December 11th, new MLS side FC Cincinnati will get to select 5 unprotected players from other MLS teams. Rémi Garde and the Impact will have to come to an important decision on which 11 players to protect. I will tell you who I think they should protect.
- 11 players can be protected
- Homegrown and Generation Adidas don't need to be protected
- The remaining players are exposed and can be selected by Cincinnati
These are the players who I would protect:
1. Ignacio Piatti (Int’l + DP)
2. Alejandro Silva (Int’l)
3. Jeisson Vargas (Int’l)
4. Saphir Taïder (Int’l + DP)
5. Samuel Piette
6. Daniel Lovitz
7. Rod Fanni (Int’l)
8. Jukka Raitala (Int’l)
9. Rudy Camacho (Int’l)
10. Bacary Sagna (Int’l)
11. Evan Bush
1. Ignacio Piatti. How much really is there to explain. He is by far our most talented player and finished the season with 16 goals and 11 assists.
2. Alejandro Silva. He was a solid winger throughout the season and got better and adapted as the season went on. Finished last season with 5 goals and 8 assists. Not bad for a first season in MLS.
3. Jeisson Vargas. One of the more debatable choices on this list. The 21-year-old showed some moments of brilliance but also moments of laziness. He scored 4 goals including a wonderful free kick. If he shows some passion and fighting spirit then he could definitely be an incredible game-changing player. I believe he is too valuable to leave exposed and can definitely be one for the future in the Chilean national team.
4. Saphir Taïder. He was one of the Impact's most important players in their attacking plays. He was never scared to take a shot, especially from distance. In the end, the Algerian International scored 7 and assisted 7 in MLS.
5. Samuel Piette. He is one of the best players on the team. The Canadian N’Golo Kanté made 77 interceptions and had an 88% passing accuracy in MLS last season. He was clearly an integral part of this Montréal team throughout the entire season.
6. Daniel Lovitz. No doubt in my mind that the Impact’s defensive player of the year in 2017 has to stay. He proved to continuously be an important part of the team and finished the season as the club’s 4th top assist provider with 5 assists this season.
7. Rod Fanni. The former Olympique Marseille defender proved to be one of Rémi Garde’s best signings. I believe that he was the Impact’s best defender this season but too bad he is already 37 years old. He's still one to keep in my opinion.
8. Jukka Raitala. The Finland International was converted to center back by Rémi Garde and after a shaky start, he proved to be a quality defender. I believe he was as good as Camacho this season despite a really considerably lower salary but just a reminder that we got him in exchange for notre général Laurent Ciman (Makes me sad).
9. Rudy Camacho. The French defender was a decent signing and showed considerable fighting spirit for the Impact. The only downside is his large salary which is more Evan Bush and Samuel Piette combined. I still think he is too good to be exposed.
10. Bacary Sagna. A quality and experienced deadline day signing, he gave solidity to the defence. Even at 35 years old, he is too good to expose and is a clear starter in this Montréal squad.
11. Evan Bush. What a season. The American goalkeeper had one of the seasons of his career and finished the season with the most saves in MLS. He saved the Impact on multiple occasions throughout the season. Joël Bats has created one of the best goalkeepers in the league. He's a clear keeper.
Players who would then be exposed:
- Quincy Amarikwa
- Matteo Mancosu (Int’l)
- Ken Krolicki
- Michael Azira
- Chris Duvall
- Michale Petrasso
- Zakaria Diallo (Int’l)
- Kyle Fisher
- Clement Diop
- Quincy Amarikwa. The American striker played every game since he joined the Impact and was clearly the starting striker at the end of the season. Despite the big game time, he was unable to make a large impact as he only scored once and didn't even assist. The Impact are set to sign Maxi Urruti who will almost certainly be the starting striker.
- Zakaria Diallo. I have mixed feelings about the French defender. He made 0 appearances this season because of a horrible injury in preseason that left him sidelined for the majority of the season. When he returned from injury, the defence was at a point where it was only getting better and saw no need for him thrown into the starting squad. He is a quality defender but unfortunately, this injury has ruined his Montréal career before it started which is why he has to be left exposed.
- Michael Azira. He was an excellent cheap signing by the Impact to add to the midfield. Similarly to Amarikwa, he was almost instantly given a starting role in the squad. When he played, he was quite good and definitely showed his worth. I would be very disappointed if he were to go but he isn't good enough to make the protected list in my opinion.
- Clement Diop. In the two Canadian championship games that he played, he proved that he wasn't that bad of a goalkeeper. Despite his quality, he is not a player that we really need as we still have James Pantemis and Jason Beaulieu as other backup goalkeepers.
The others I do not believe need much of an explanation.