The murky world of Major League Soccer contracts was made a little clearer this afternoon, when the Philadelphia Union announced in a press release that they had exercised the options on nine players, with two players still in negotiations and two more set to leave the club.
The press release revealed that there were currently 20 players under contract for 2017, since the Union “picked up the options of goalkeepers Andre Blake and John McCarthy; defenders Fabinho, Raymon Gaddis, Keegan Rosenberry and Ken Tribbett; and midfielders Eric Ayuk, Brian Carroll and Chris Pontius.”
It also re-affirmed that options were declined on goalkeeper Matt Jones and defender Anderson Conceicao, who were on loan, and Taylor Washington, Cole Missimo, and Walter Restrepo. These players will be available for the MLS Waiver Draft on December 15.
It also said the club was still in negotiations with Leo Fernandes and Charlie Davies and that Tranquillo Barnetta and Kevin Kratz are set to leave the Union when the rosters officially un-freeze on December 11. The other players still on the roster (with contracts expiring in 2017 or beyond) are Roland Alberg, Alejandro Bedoya, Warren Creavalle, Maurice Edu, Fabian Herbers, Ilsinho, Derrick Jones, Richie Marquez, CJ Sapong, Auston Trusty, and Josh Yaro.
This means the Union currently have two Homegrown Players (Jones and Trusty), two Generation adidas players (Herbers and Yaro), and two Designated Players (Bedoya and Edu). They also now have five international players (Yaro, Alberg, Ayuk, Ilsinho, and Herbers), with two open slots - and one set to open on January 1 (the Union traded an international slot and Sheanon Williams to Houston in 2015 for allocation money and future considerations). The Union will then have room for eight more players (nine if they lose someone in the Expansion Draft), three of which can be international players, and one Designated Player slot.