With the 2015 MLS expansion draft out of the way, it’s back to business as usual for the MLS offseason. Next up is the re-entry draft, a way for players whose contract options have not been exercised by their current clubs to re-enter the league. With the proceedings set to begin Friday, here’s everything you need to know about how the re-entry draft works.
The re-entry draft takes place every season after MLS Cup. Draft order is based on the reverse order of how teams finished the previous season. The Red Bulls will select 15th in this year’s draft. The two new clubs, New York City FC and Orlando City Soccer Club, will pick 19th and 20th, respectively.
The first stage of the draft will take place on Friday, December 12 at 2 p.m. Players who meet requirements for age and league experience will be available in the first stage of the draft.
Those available for the 2015 re-entry draft are:
- Players who are at least 23 years old and have a minimum of three years’ experience in MLS whose options were not exercised by their clubs (available at option salary for 2015).
- Players who are at least 25 years old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them at their previous salary (available for at least their 2014 salary).
- Players who are at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them (available for at least 105% of their 2014 salary).
Two players who spent 2014 with the Red Bulls, Bobby Convey and Kosuke Kimura, are eligible for selection in the re-entry draft, based on the above requirements. The pair did not have their options picked up by New York for the 2015 season.
Players who are not selected in the first stage will be available again in the second stage of the re-entry draft, which will take place on Thursday, December 18. Teams who select a player in stage two will have to renegotiate the player’s contract.
Players who meet the above requirements but are not selected in the re-entry draft will become “free agents,” available to any club on a first come, first serve basis.