Someone will say goodbye
The unprotected players list has been delivered (HT: Mike H.), and Bobby Boswell won the final immunity challenge as he is protected, leaving Vanney unprotected. Christian Gomez is also protected. Does that mean that United thinks Gomez is staying around another year? Not necessarily. Recall that in the 2005 expansion draft, Ryan Nelsen was left unprotected in the first round, but protected in later rounds despite it being a foregone conclusion that he was heading over the England.
Now, the conventional wisdom has decided that Brian Carroll or Greg Vanney are the most likely to be selected, but there are a few other players that we should at least give some consideration to the idea that they might not make it back. First among them is Rod Dyachenko. Rod was selected by FC Toronto last year, and we traded a first round pick to get him back (in a trade that fleeced United, especially when we learned that Dyanchenko would have problems getting across the border.) Now he's unprotected again, and I would hate to see history repeat itself. Rod is helped by the fact that Brian Carroll and Greg Vanney are both more likely to go, but if Frank Yallop wanted to move in a different direction I could see Dyanchenko fitting his plans. I can also see Yallop wanting a Jamil Walker type player for a few years, which means that while everyone sees Kpene unprotected, I can imagine him selecting Nicholas Addlery simply on the basis of knowing what to do with him. Of course, the talent shown to date makes the Carroll/Vanney choices more likely, but such a choice wouldn't stun me.
Of the unprotected list of players we've seen in the Starting XI, I would be stunned if Stephen DeRoux or Domenic Mediate were taken. Both have had good moments this year, but neither is assured of even making the team next season. There's a similar story with Justin Moose, who I seem to believe in more than most people, but a speedy player on the wing might be attractive to Yallop, since there's not a whole lot of that in the rest of the field that I would want to take a chance on.
Conventional wisdom is likely to hold. Carroll is most likely, followed by Vanney. But I would think that the rest of the list would be Dyachenko, Moose, Kpene, and Addlery, in order.