MLS Expansion Draft rules released; existing teams can protect 11 players


The rules for Major League Soccer’s Expansion Draft were released on Wednesday as Orlando City SC and New York City FC prepare to boost their rosters.

The draft, which will be held on December 10th, will consist of 10 rounds during which Orlando and NYFC will alternate picks, with the Florida side selecting first.

Highlights of the rules include every existing club only being able to protect 11 players on their roster. Not taking up a spot on the protected list but automatically protected are Generation Adidas players who have yet to graduate by 2014 and Homegrown Players on a team’s Supplemental Roster at the end of this season.

Designated Players with a no-trade clause are required to be protected while DP’s without such a clause are protected at the discretion of the team. As for international players – who are defined as any non-domestic US players – teams can only make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus three.

Perhaps most crucially, teams can not lose more than two players in the Expansion Draft.

See below for a complete set of 2014 MLS Expansion Draft rules:

• MLS clubs may protect 11 players between their Senior Roster and their Supplemental Roster.  If the player’s contract expires at the end of 2014, he will still be considered part of the club’s roster.

• If a club protects a player, it is not obligated to exercise the player’s option. It may renegotiate subject to terms of the CBA.

• If a player retires, he will not be a part of the club’s roster, but his club will lose its right of first refusal to him should he ultimately decide to play.

• Players on a club’s Supplemental Roster, other than Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2014 MLS season or Homegrown Players on a club’s Supplemental Roster, will be part of the expansion draft.

• Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2014 MLS season and Homegrown Players on a club’s Supplemental Roster at the end of the 2014 MLS season are automatically protected (clubs do not have to use a protected slot on them).

• If NYCFC or Orlando City SC selects a Supplemental Roster Player, it must offer him a Senior Roster position and he must remain on the Senior Roster as of Roster Compliance Date.

• Clubs are restricted in the number of International Player(s) that they may make available. Clubs may make available a number of International Players equal to their total number of International Players minus three, provided that if a club has three or fewer International Players it may make available not more than one. (See table below).

• For purposes of this expansion process, any non-domestic U.S. players will count as an International.

• Designated Players are NOT automatically protected (i.e., clubs must choose whether to protect such players and if such player is not protected, he will be available for selection in the Expansion Draft). However, if the Designated Player has a no-trade clause in his contract, then his MLS club must protect him and he will count as one of the 11 players who may be protected.

• Once two players have been claimed from a team’s non-protected roster, that team is eliminated from the expansion draft and may not lose any further players. In addition, once a player has been claimed from a club’s non-protected roster, that club may move a player from its non-protected roster to its protected roster.

• Right to Negotiate: NYCFC and Orlando City SC will have the right to renegotiate a draft player’s salary (either up or down) without having to place such player on waivers or giving his previous club a right of first refusal.

• Rounds: The expansion draft will consist of 10 rounds.