Sounders original Fredy Montero and keeper Stefan Cleveland are among the nine players the club left unprotected for Friday’s expansion draft.

MLS is onboarding St. Louis City SC to be the league’s 29th team beginning with the 2023 season. The draft begins at 4 p.m. PT and will be streamed on YouTube and

City can select up to five players overall and only one per any individual club. Those that have players picked in the draft will receive $50,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) unless the team is eligible for Compensatory Allocation under a provision in the new CBA regarding offers to free agents.

Joining Montero and Cleveland as eligible Sounders players are defender Jackson Ragen, midfielder Kelyn Rowe, left back Jimmy Medranda, center back AB Cissoko, forward Sam Adeniran, keeper Andrew Thomas and forward Will Bruin.

While the Sounders didn’t reach the MLS postseason for the first time in 14 years, the majority of Seattle’s list of players had a spotlight moment during their time with the team and would be attractive pickups for St. Louis. But the Sounders already notified Bruin, a 12-year league veteran, they weren’t going to contract him to return next season and released Medranda to seek more playing time or more lucrative contract elsewhere.

Montero, the club’s all-time leading scorer, was in negotiations, according to Garth Lagerwey, the Sounders general manager and president of soccer.


Cleveland, 28, Ragen, 24, and Cissoko, 22, are promising young players to have defensively. The latter made only 10 appearances this season, totaling 406 minutes, while Cleveland started seven matches in place of veteran keeper Stefan Frei and had a 77.8% save percentage.

The Sounders were 1-4-2 with Cleveland in goal.

Ragen was establishing himself as a quality center back who could push for a starting role. When defender Yeimar Gomez Andrade suffered a high-ankle sprain in March, Ragen started five matches, including against Liga MX’s Club Leon and New York City FC during the historic CONCACAF Champions League run.

Seattle was 2-0-3 with Ragen starting in the backline. The Seattle native finished the season starting 14 of his 23 MLS matches and logging 1,383 minutes. He had 13 interceptions and won 58.2% of his duels during league play.

Rowe is a serviceable veteran who was essential this season as the Sounders encountered injuries and international call-ups.

Adeniran is on loan to USL Championship side San Antonio FC. He’s pocketed 11 goals and two assists in helping San Antonio win the Western Conference title. They’ll host the final Sunday against Louisville City FC.

The Sounders have eight Homegrown players who are ineligible for the expansion draft. The protected players were Yeimar, Frei, forward Jordan Morris, midfielder Cristian Roldan, defender Nouhou, center back Xavier Arreaga, fullback Alex Roldan, midfielder Albert Rusnak, striker Raul Ruidiaz, midfielder Joao Paulo, winger Leo Chu and midfielder Nico Lodeiro.

Seattle did make one deal with St. Louis. It acquired $100,000 in GAM from City for a 2023 international roster spot. The Sounders announced the deal Thursday and now have seven international slots, with three occupied by Chu (Brazil), Yeimar (Colombia) and Cissoko (France).