Our friends at Top Drawer Soccer are reporting that University of Maryland sophomore forward Christiano Francois will be leaving school to sign with Major League Soccer. Since he is not a member of Generation Adidas who signed too late to make it into the SuperDraft, Francois will be made available through the waiver draft rather than a weighted lottery. According to the article, one source believes that he will be drafted by D.C. United, who hold the first pick in the waiver draft right now. Francois did not play at all in 2013 due to academics, but in 2012, when he was a freshman, he scored five goals while adding four assists while playing in all 24 games for the Terps.
Should United select Francois, it would move them to the bottom of the waiver draft list. This is the same process by which United acquired Jared Jeffrey last year; however, Jeffrey was supposed to go through a weighted lottery, only becoming available through waivers after no one wanted to participate in said lottery. Here, quoted from the MLS roster rules, are the types of players eligible for the waiver draft:
(i) A player waived by an MLS team in the current season;(ii) A player who completed his college eligibility within the past season, who was not made available in the SuperDraft or Supplemental Draft;(iii) A player who has remaining college eligibility (and was not made available in the SuperDraft or Supplemental Draft), but the League at its discretion and after taking into account exceptional circumstances determines the player may be offered an MLS contract;(iv) A player who has played in MLS previously where his last MLS team does not wish to exercise their right of first refusal, except in the case of returning U.S. National Team players as stated above.(v) A player who was drafted in the SuperDraft or supplemental draft, and who after a trial with the club is not offered a contract by the first Monday of June.
There is chatter on Twitter from some Philadelphia Union fans, who claim that Francois should be their player, eligible on a Homegrown player deal. From what I can find, it looks like Francois only played five games for the Union's Development Academy, and MLS must have decided that that was not enough to get him covered by a Homegrown claim (much in the same way that Real Salt Lake tried to put a Homegrown claim on Nick DeLeon).
I know that many of you here are Maryland fans, so what do you know about this player? How would he fit in with D.C. United?
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