Carroll, 29, joined four other midfielders - Kyle Nakazawa, Justin Mapp, Roger Torres and surprise Toni Stahl - on Nowak's protected list. In addition to its three exempt Generation adidas players - Danny Mwanga, Jack McInerney and under-20 U.S. international Amobi Okugo (and a developmental/homegrown player) - the Union protected an MLS-mandated 11 players from newcomers Portland (which will select first) and Vancouver. In the 10-round draft, both clubs will select one player from a total of 10 teams. In turn, six clubs will be exempt from player loss.
"We believe we protected our core group for the next few years," Nowak said in a conference call yesterday. "It's never easy, and some guys may not be happy, but we can only protect who we can protect. It's not an easy process, but that's how it is."
Not surprising, Union goalkeepers Brad Knighton and Chris Seitz were left unprotected. Seitz, 26, finished with a league-worst 1.80 goals against average, while Knighton, 25, fared moderately better, posting a 1.10 GAA and two shutouts.
While some might view Stahl - who played only one game for the club this season - as a surprising name on the protected roster, others think Knighton's inclusion on the unprotected list is a more of a shock, after he went 3-3-1 with those two shutouts in eight league games late in the season.
"It's not fair to any of our guys to leave [Seitz and Knighton] protected," Nowak said. "Look, we never know what will happen and in all cases, we work hard to make sure these guys will be a part of Philadelphia Union, but it's just what had to happen."
Stahl, Juan Gonzalez and Torres were on the protected list as the three international players the Union can keep. Sheanon Williams, the defender called up midseason from the Harrisburg Islanders, also made the cut.
Yesterday, Williams posted about the news on his Twitter feed: "lists are out glad to be staying in philly guess this means I need a phillys hat . . . hope none of our players get swooped."
Odds and endlines
In an effort to take his players "out of their comfort zone," Peter Nowak
hinted that the Union is considering holding its preseason training out of the country, possibly in Europe and South America. Nowak said being away from home might help his young team do better on the road than the seven points (two wins, one tie) grabbed away from Lincoln Financial Field and PPL Park . . . In addition to the unveiling of YSC Sports, its reconstructed youth development facility in Wayne, the Union will announce modifications to its YSC Juniors program, designed to fast-track the development of homegrown players . . . Amobi Okugo,
19, has rejoined the U.S. under-20 team in Kennesaw, Ga., to compete in Torneo de las Americas (Nov. 21-29). The U.S. team plays Colombia (Friday) and Mexico (Sunday) in the three-team round robin tournament . . . Union online editor Judah Levine
received one of 14 MLS club and executive honors yesterday when he received the MLS local digital editor award. *