The confetti from the parade in Toronto has barely settled, but the rest of the league has their sights set on 2018. D.C. United made a couple of moves yesterday, but there is a slew of events this week and in the coming weeks that will all build the team towards the first year at Audi Field.
Expansion Draft: December 12, 2:00 PM ET: This afternoon’s main event, where D.C. United will find out if any of their unprotected players are taken. All signs point to no, and the rumors that LAFC will use the players selected as trade pieces means that United is far more likely to trade with LAFC for a player selected than having a player selected.
Free Agency Begins: December 12, 3:00 PM ET: Immediately after the expansion draft, MLS Free Agency begins. Players have to meet two benchmarks to be eligible: at least 28 years old and with 8 years of playing in MLS. Sean Franklin and Patrick Nyarko are United’s contributions to the free agency pool, and the rest of which can be found on MLS’s website.
2017 MLS Waiver Draft: December 13, 3:30 PM ET: This draft is for players waived who do not meet the eligibility requirements for the Re-Entry Draft. This draft typically has a maximum of one or two players selected, and often none.
2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft – Stage 1: December 15, 3:00 PM ET: This week ends with the first stage of the Re-Entry Draft, in which selected players will have either their 2018 option picked up or will get a small raise over their 2017 salary if out of contract. There is typically less action in this stage than the second stage, and since free agency began both stages have seen a down-tick in action. United has not picked anyone since the 2013 draft, in which they took Sean Franklin and Bobby Boswell in the first stage, and Fabian Espindola and Nana Attakora in the second stage. United has the second pick, behind the LA Galaxy
2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft – Stage 2: December 21, 2:00 PM ET: After stage 1, unselected players can continue to negotiate with their current clubs, to see if they can come to an agreement. Those who can’t go into the second stage of the Re-Entry Draft, in which selected players and their new teams negotiate brand new contracts. Unselected players become free agents.
That takes us all the way through December, after which it is a downhill run to the MLS SuperDraft, which we will be covering in depth. And this doesn’t include discovery signings, designated player signings, targeted allocation money signings, and more. We will cover the rest of that in the coming days as well.
Get ready for a busy offseason.