All of the teams not currently in the MLS Playoffs had to submit their lists of whose contracts were being renewed for 2018 - and whose were not. Those who found themselves out of a contract or with an option not being exercised will be either eligible for the Re-Entry Draft Stage 1, Re-Entry Draft Stage 2, a Waiver Draft, or Free Agency.
Any player over the age of 28 who has eight years of service in MLS who has isn’t renewing their contract or has had their option declined is eligible for free agency. While MLS hasn’t released all of the players eligible for free agency, we know a few of them. Chris Pontius, Kyle Beckerman, Sean Franklin, Patrick Nyarko, Atiba Harris, and a few others.
Players that aren’t eligible for Free Agency are still eligible for the Re-Entry or Waiver Draft. The Waiver Draft is usually quiet, so there may or may not be anyone selected. The good news for the Union is that they’ll have the seventh selection, so if there is anyone available they’ll probably have the ability to grab them.
The Re-Entry Draft is done in two stages. In both stages, the teams go in reverse order that they finished the 2017 season. In the first stage, if a player is selected their current MLS contract is honored. In the second stage, teams will be able to negotiate contracts with players that they select.
So who’s available?
As of right now, there’s almost 190 players out of contract or that have had their options declined. Along with the players the Union released earlier, there are several ex- Philadelphia Union players available. Jordan Harvey, Sheanon Williams, Chris Seitz, Andrew Jacobson, Amobi Okugo, and Ethan White are all without clubs.
The Union don’t have to select anyone, but there are players available that fill positions of need. Eighteen left backs including Harvey, Chris Wingert, and Maynor Figueroa are available, as are 11 central attacking midfielders including John Goossens, Luis Gil, and Javier Morales. For the record, I’m not suggesting the Union get any of these players, just that they’re available and the Union need players at those positions.
So who - if anyone - should the Union look to grab? Here’s the latest list at MLS soccer dot com - let us know who you’d want in navy and blue in 2018 on Twitter, on our Facebook page, or in the comments section below!