2017 MLS Expansion Draft details announced

As the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) continue to build a roster for their inaugural campaign in 2018, Major League Soccer announced that the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft will take place on Tuesday, December 12 at 2 p.m. ET. In addition, MLS released the full offseason calendar, outlining the important events and dates for teams beginning to make roster preparations for the 2018 MLS season.

This marks the 11th MLS Expansion Draft in the league’s history and serves as the first significant league-wide event for LAFC to add additional players around Mexican star forward Carlos Vela.

While Generation Adidas players and off-budget Homegrown Players are exempt from selection, current MLS clubs may protect 11 players prior to the Expansion Draft. LAFC may select five players from the eligible player pool. Importantly, only a single player can be drafted from any one club.

After all 22 current MLS clubs submit their protected player list, the complete list of players eligible for selection in the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft will be released on Dec. 10 by 5:30 p.m. ET.

The MLS Expansion Draft is just the starting point for offseason roster activity in preparation for 2018. The additional offseason drafts and important player acquisition dates are detailed below.

2017 Offseason Calendar
November 27

1:00 PM ET

Monday

Option Exercise Deadline

Clubs no longer competing in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs must notify the League Office in writing of (1) players whose options they are exercising and/or (2) players who are receiving bona fide offers, announced by the teams.

All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.

December 1

1:00 PM ET

Friday

Option Exercise Deadline for Non-MLS Cup Participants

Non-MLS Cup participants must notify the League Office in writing of (1) players whose options they are exercising and/or (2) players who are receiving bona fide offers, announced by the clubs.

All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.

December 10

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET

Sunday

Half-Day Trade Window

Following a three-month roster freeze, MLS clubs may begin making adjustments to their rosters. This is a four-hour window in which clubs may sign and trade players.

All roster moves will be publicized by the individual clubs.

December 10

Noon ET

Sunday

Option Exercise Deadline for MLS Cup Participants

Clubs that compete in MLS Cup must notify the League Office in writing of (1) players whose options they are exercising and/or (2) players who are receiving bona fide offers.

All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.

December 10

1:00 PM ET

Sunday

Blackout Period begins

Blackout Period begins whereby clubs may no longer sign and/or trade their own draft-eligible players until the conclusion of the Expansion Draft.

December 12

2:00 PM ET

Tuesday

Expansion Draft

While Generation adidas and off-budget Homegrown Players are automatically exempt, current MLS clubs may protect up to 11 players from selection in the Expansion Draft. LAFC may select up to five players from the eligible MLS player pool. Only a single player can be drafted from any one club.

MLS Expansion Draft Rules

The list of players eligible for selection in Expansion Draft will be released by MLS Communications at 6 p.m. ET on Dec. 10.

December 12

3:00 PM ET

Tuesday

Free Agency Begins

Out-of-contract players and those who had their contract option declined who were at least 28 years old during the 2017 season and have at least eight years of MLS service are eligible for Free Agency.

MLS Free Agency

MLS Communications will make the complete list of Free Agents available on Dec. 10.

December 13

3:30 PM ET

Wednesday

2017 MLS Waiver Draft

Consisting of players who have been waived by clubs and do not meet minimum years of service requirement for Re-Entry Draft or Free Agency; the draft is conducted in reverse order of 2017 season finish, taking into account postseason performance, with expansion LAFC picking 23rd.

MLS Waiver Draft Rules

The list of players eligible for selection in Waiver Draft will be released by MLS Communications at 6 p.m. ET on Dec. 12.

December 15

3:00 PM ET

Friday

2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft – Stage 1

The Re-Entry Draft (both stages) is conducted in reverse order of 2017 season finish, taking into account postseason performance, with expansion club LAFC selecting last.

The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Draft – Stage 1 will be released by MLS Communications at 7 p.m. ET on Dec. 14.

Eligible players include:

  • Option Decline Players: Players not eligible for Free Agency who will be at least 23 years old in 2017 with a minimum of three years of MLS experience
  • Out of Contract Players: Players not eligible for Free Agency who have not received a Bona Fide Offer and who are at least 25-years-old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience. or are at least 30-years-old with a minimum of 8 years of MLS experience

MLS Re-Entry Draft Rules

December 21

2:00 PM ET

Thursday

2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft – Stage 2

Stage 2 includes MLS players who were not selected in the Stage 1 draft, but not necessarily all Stage 1 players as they can re-sign with their previous club between stages; teams selecting in this stage have the right to negotiate with the player for a new contract; the format of the draft is conducted in the same manner as Stage 1.

MLS Re-Entry Draft Rules

The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Draft – Stage 2 will be released by MLS Communications at 7:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 20.

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