Beginning Monday morning, you could see some player personnel movement for Philadelphia Union. Teams must provide their expansion draft protected lists to Major League Soccer’s league office by 2 p.m. on Monday in advance of Wednesday’s draft.
But there’s more than that going on related to player movement. Here’s what to watch for in the coming days and when to watch for it.
Monday, Nov. 22
- 9 a.m – 1 p.m.: A brief trade window opens. Teams can trade freely during this time.
- 2 p.m.: Teams submit their lists of protected players to the MLS league office in advance of Wednesday’s expansion draft.
- 5 p.m.: MLS releases official list of all players available to be chosen by Portland and Vancouver in the draft. It should be posted on MLSSoccer.com, and we’ll get a list for the Union up here as soon as we see it.
That means you could see some wheeling and dealing Monday as teams clear rosters in order to protect players. You could see some trades with Vancouver and Portland to give incentives for them not to choose players that other MLS teams feel they can’t otherwise protect. You could see teams try to move players to free up some international player slots. Or you could see deals for allocation money or spots in the allocation order, which can be valuable. That’s how Vancouver was able to get first crack at defender Jay DeMerit, who signed with them yesterday. The club had first pick in the allocation order for returning U.S. internationals.
Later in the day, we’ll see the lists of players made available for the expansion draft, which means we’ll know what players could be leaving the Union. Just because a player is listed, it doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily get picked.
(Quick note: Fred will not count as an international player due to having secured a green card, a Philadelphia Union spokeswoman has confirmed. This is in contrast with how he was listed during the season. That has implications on the Union’s protected list. You can read about that in our updated expansion draft preview.)
Tuesday, Nov. 23
We sit around and argue over who should have been protected that wasn’t. Fans get apoplectic over one guy made available that no one thinks should have been. (Jacobson? Salinas? Nakazawa? Someone else?) Philadelphia Union quietly works the phone lines to ensure someone exposed doesn’t get taken. Vancouver and Portland finalize their picks. Not a damn bit of it becomes public except fans’ reactions. (We fully expect to have a post here specifically designed to give a venue for readers to freak out or praise the list!)
Wednesday, Nov. 24
- 2 p.m.: Expansion draft takes place. MLS releases the names of players chosen.
- 2:30 p.m.: MLS issues a list of players waived by teams and eligible for a subsequent waiver draft.
- 3:30 p.m.: Waiver draft takes place.
The Union will lose one or two players during the draft. No team can lose more than two.
The waiver draft is a draft of MLS players waived by other teams, and those players are freed up right before it happens. Usually, there’s not a lot of player movement in this draft, but considering the increase of roster size from 24 to 30 next year with the return of the reserve league, anything’s possible.
Thursday, Nov. 25
Eat turkey and stuff.
There’s more to come after that — notably the Nov. 30 mark for offering contract options to players whose contracts have expired — but that should break down the chaos of the next few days. We’ll get to the re-entry draft — the new MLS version of free agency — later.