New MLS clubs Vancouver, Portland grab talent
Major League Soccer's newest clubs, the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps, began stocking their rosters on Wednesday in an expansion draft ahead of their 2011 debuts.
The Timbers made USA midfielder Dax McCarthy of FC Dallas the first overall selection of the draft, which saw 16 existing clubs each protect 11 players but leave all others exposed to selection by Vancouver or Portland.
Portland later traded McCarthy to DC United, last in the MLS this season, for Costa Rican midfielder-defender Rodney Wallace, who played in college alongside Jeremy Hall obtained in a trade with New York.
"Rodney is a young, yet proven MLS player who again gives us great versatility with his ability to play several positions," Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson said.
The Whitecaps, who follow Toronto FC as the second Canadian club in MLS, made Gambian midfielder Sanna Nyassi of the Seattle Sounders their first pick and took Dallas forward Atiba Harris from St. Kitts and Nevis second.
Portland drafted two USA national team players, Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein and Real Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley, but both have said they plan to play overseas next year rather than in MLS.