MLR Expansion Draft: San Diego Legion
MLR Expansion Draft: San Diego Legion
The San Diego Legion went 5-0, which had them in first place in the MLR standings. Despite their team vying for the league title, the shortened season removed that from consideration.
Editor's Note: Our list of unprotected players is our list alone—not an official team list of unprotected players but our speculation based on what we know.
The Legion has not acknowledged all player's status with some playing in the preseason and others having likely Associate teams status, i.e. USA Sevens Residency players. How that may impact the expansion draft is unclear.
The team has 37 players with eleven 30-39 (Tai Tuisamoa 39, Ma'aNonu38 (May), Joe Pietersen 36 (May), Lou Stanfill 35 (May), Jasa Veremalua 32 (May), Dean Muir 31, Nate Augspurger, Tai Enosa, Josh Furno, Tevita Tameilau 30). Twelve others are 20-25 (Deveraux Ferris 25, Maceo Brown, Aaron Mitchell, Save Totovosau, Marcus Tupuola 24, Siaosi Mahoni, Faka'osi Pifeleti 23, Malon Al-Jiboori, Tira Patterson, Josh Thiel 22, Devin Short 21, Faitala Talpusi 20). The remaining fourteen players are 25-29.
Loosehead prop starting time was split between Faka’osi Pifeleti, Ireland's Jamie Dever, and Nathan Sylvia. Paul Mullen started at tighthead with Aaron Mitchell the reserve. Rounding out the front row was South African Dean Muir at hooker with Peter Malcolm gaining a spot start with the other matches as a reserve.
The locks were a strength of the team with Italy's Josh Furno starting all matches at #5. Ben Mitchell, who was born in England and is looking to become U.S. eligible, and Siaosi Mahoni split starting time at #4 and Lou Stanfill was a replacement in three matches. Both Tai Tuisamoa and Sione Tu’ihalamaka did not make any regular-season appearances.
In the back row, Fiji's Jasa Veremalua started all matches at the blindside, while Psalm Wooching did the same on the openside. Devin Short was a reserve for all matches, while Malon Al-Jiboori and Chris Turori each played a match as a replacement. Derrick Broussard did not see regular-season action. Tevita Tameilau started the season at No.8, playing in three matches with Keni Nasoqeqe starting the other two, and one as a reserve.
EIRA PLAYER SPOTLIGHT - DEVIN SHORT
Nate Augspurger started three matches at scrumhalf, with Devereaux Ferris playing in all matches, starting twice. Australian Luke Burton started all matches at flyhalfwith Tai Enosa and Canadian Josh Thiel being a reserve for a match.
Former All Black Ma’a Nonu turned back time at #12 and paired with South African JP Du Plessisat #13. Ryan Matyas made three appearances, starting once. Scotland's William Wardlaw did not play during the regular season.
In the back three, South African Joe Pietersen started at fullback twice, with Dylan Audsley splitting his five starts twice at fullback, once at #12 and twice at #11. Fijian Tira Patterson played in four matches and had three starts at #11, while Fijian Save Totovosau started all matches at #14. USA Sevens players Maceo Brown, Marcus Tupuola, and Faitala Talpusi did not play during the regular season. Mike Te’o also played the opening match at fullback but later signed a contract with the London Scottish.
The Legion will need to look at bringing in a few more younger players, especially at the center and in the future, at fullback.
It was not clear if Sione Tu'ihalamaka, Tai Tuisamoa, and William Wardlaw had more than Associate contracts along with USA Sevens Residency players Malon Al-Jiboori, Maceo Brown, Marcus Tupuola and FaitalaTalapusi.
The seven unprotected players are Tu'ihalamaka, Tuisamoa, Wardlaw, ChirsTurori, Derrick Broussard, Tai Enosawho played with Belmont Shore in Long Beach, with Marcus Tupuola'sstatus on an Associate contract unclear if he would be available to draft.
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