Sporting Kansas City defender Jonathan Leathers was selected by the Vancouver Whitecaps with the 18th overall pick in the ninth round of the 2010 Expansion Draft on Wednesday.
Leathers, drafted by Kansas City 25th overall in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft out of Furman, played in 36 games, including playoffs, in three years for Kansas City. In 2010, the Athens, Georgia native played in eight matches, making three starts, and recorded his first career MLS point on an assist in the final game of the season.
“We thank Jonathan for his time in Kansas City and wish him the best of luck moving forward,” Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes said. “We’re sorry to see him go. He’s been a great pro since he’s been here and he has a great future ahead of him.”
Leathers was a former member of the United States Under-23 National Team, and made two starts for Peter Nowak at the 2008 Toulon Tournament in France.
The 2010 Major League Soccer expansion draft was held Wednesday to supplement the rosters of incoming 2011 expansion teams Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Portland Timbers. The draft teleconference was broadcast live at 1 p.m. CT on MLSsoccer.com as the two teams alternated selections for 10 rounds, beginning with Portland’s pick of Dax McCarty from Dallas.
Sporting Kansas City was allowed to protect 11 players, unveiled on Monday, while Generation Adidas and Home Grown Players were automatically exempt from the expansion draft. With Leathers’ selection, Sporting Kansas City was allowed to protect an additional player and removed goalkeeper Eric Kronberg from the unprotected list.
Based on the MLS expansion draft rules, clubs were assured of losing no more than two players from their 2010 roster during the draft, and Leathers was the only player selected from Sporting. For a full list of Wednesday's draft, visit MLSsoccer.com.
Major League Soccer has held expansion drafts dating back to 1997 with the introduction of the Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion. Wednesday’s draft marked the 5th consecutive year an MLS expansion draft was held, with the 2010 edition becoming the 7th in the 15-year history of MLS and the third draft to include two teams.
A 2011 Expansion Draft will be held in a year’s time to accommodate the arrival of Montreal to Major League Soccer in 2012.