Timbers roster: Dax on, Dax off; Whitecaps: You're with me, Leathers

Timbers for an hour
I was Timbers for an hour
It wasn't long
And now I'm gone
I was Timbers for an hour

Ideally, teams would only be able to protect eight or nine players in expansion drafts. That would let these new teams compete on an equal footing a lot more quickly. Having eleven players protected year after year means a quickly diminishing amount of players available who will be able to contribute.

I'm not one of those people who bemoans the American talent pool, and even if I were, the best cure for the talent pool is to have more living wage soccer jobs. But by Opening Day 2012, the league will have nearly doubled in size from the end of 2004 – and presumably the league won't stop at 19, either.

I thought San Jose badly hurt their franchise when they took Clarence Goodson in, without checking to see whether he had renewed his passport. I thought that Toronto FC was doomed when its entire expansion draft was off the team by midseason.

This year, that's actually the strategies that Portland and Vancouver are using. Read what John Spencer had to say. The Timbers know two of their guys had no intention of reporting, and they had no intention of keeping their number one overall pick.

And I'm not saying Spencer and the 'Bers are wrong. The players in this allocation draft just aren't good enough to build teams around. It's worse this year, when two teams are fighting over the rest of the league's part-timers.

The five players Spencer was so excited about, of course, were Eric Brunner and Adam Moffat, two part-timers for the Crew, and David Horst, who would have loved to have seen even part-time action for Salt Lake. Anthony Wallace was returned to sender. Findley was pick six, which according to my math means that at least three out of the first six Portland picks aren't going to show up.

And they still think they did better than Vancouver. Yipes.

At least the Whitecaps got Joe Cannon, which makes sense. A new team, put together from scratch, needs a very, very steady presence in the back, and you can't do better than Cannon. And with so much in flux, it's nice to know that there's one position Vancouver can know is filled from day one – sorry, Coach, what's that?

Oh, for the love of – then why did you pick him at all if Nolly is so…eh, you know what, they're professionals. They have a plan.

Still, I'd have hated to be the poor long-suffering pro soccer journalist who scribbled a bunch of projected biographies and lineups for how Sanna Nyassi, Alan Gordon, and Alejandro Moreno would fight for playing time, only to have to spitcan the whole scenario hours later.

On a micro level, "What's the deal with McCarty?" is a pretty intriguing question – I don't know why Dallas gave him away, and I don't know why DC paid for him hours later. Buzz Carrick has the inside word that McCarty was expendable in Frisco, but seeing as how there were at least a dozen other teams who would have jumped for him, you have to think that FC Dallas made a very Jeffries-era move. When you lose a Battle of the Gingers in MLS, the consequences are fearsome.

It's no coincidence that allocation money and international spots ended up being the preferred picks. The Impact better plan for not a hell of a lot being available a year from now, too. In fact, probably a lot of the same names can look forward to going through this all again next year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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