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New MLS teams in Portland, Vancouver stock rosters

Whitecaps use two early selections for Sounders pair, then trade one

The Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps started dealing after taking the first step toward building their inaugural rosters in Major League Soccer’s expansion draft on Wednesday.

Both teams pulled off several trades, including Portland’s deal with D.C. United that sent top expansion draft pick Dax McCarty east in exchange for defender/midfielder Rodney Wallace.

The 16 existing teams were allowed to protect 11 players from their rosters. Portland and Vancouver, which begin play next season, chose among the remaining players.

The Whitecaps used two of their first three selections to take players from the Seattle Sounders, midfielder Sanna Nyassi of Gambia and defender/midfielder Nathan Sturgis. Vancouver then dealt Nyassi to the Colorado Rapids for an international player spot.

The Timbers attracted attention for taking two members of the U.S. national team, forward Robbie Findley and defender Jonathan Bornstein. But both players have said they don’t intend to play in MLS next season, instead opting to go to foreign clubs.

Findley, who was left unprotected by Real Salt Lake, is a local favorite because he played for the Oregon State Beavers.

Each team selected 10 players. Major League Soccer on Monday announced the list of players who were available, giving the Timbers and Whitecaps 48 hours to devise a strategy.

With the first overall selection, the Timbers took McCarty of FC Dallas, whom many were surprised was unprotected. McCarty was considered one of the best players in the draft.

But later in the day the Timbers dealt McCarty and allocation money to D.C. United for Wallace and a fourth-round draft pick in January.

After acquiring Anthony Wallace of the Rapids in the expansion draft, the Timbers dealt him back to Colorado for allocation money, which can be traded among teams.