MLS Re-Entry Draft

The Re-Entry Draft, first instituted in the 2010-11 offseason, gives teams a chance to select experienced players who have not agreed to a new contract with their current club but may want to stay in MLS.

Stage 1 of the 2016 Season Re-Entry Draft will take place on Friday, December 11, at 3 pm ET. Stage 2 will occur on Thursday, December 17, at 3 pm ET.

Re-Entry Draft Eligibility

  • There are two sets of players who are eligible to be selected in the Re-Entry Draft:
    • Players who are at least 23 years old and have a minimum of three years of MLS experience whose options were not exercised by their clubs (available at option salary for 2016).
    • 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 2015 salary).
  • The list of eligible players will be released on Monday, December 7.
  • Eligible players may choose to remove themselves from the Re-Entry Draft prior to either stage.

Re-Entry Draft process

  • The draft works like most drafts, with teams being put in the reverse order of their finish during the 2015 season, taking into account playoff performance. So this offseason, the Chicago Fire will have the first pick, followed by the Colorado Rapids.
  • The draft takes place over two stages:
    • In Stage 1, clubs must exercise the option for or extend a "Bona Fide Offer" to any player selected. Clubs may not select their own draft-eligible players. Should a player reject the offer, the drafting club will hold the right of first refusal for that player in MLS. Players with option years left on their contract will automatically be added to the drafting club’s roster.
    • In Stage 2, all players who were not selected in the first stage will be available again in the second stage of the Re-Entry Draft. Teams who select a player in Stage 2 will have the right to negotiate with the player for a new contract.

How many players are typically drafted?

  • This number changes every season and will continue to change with the introduction of free agency. Three players were picked in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft last season, with eight more picked in Stage 2.

Are there Re-Entry Draft success stories?

  • All the time. Marvell Wynne was picked in Stage 2 last offseason and ended playing the most minutes for the San Jose Earthquakes in 2015.
  • Prior to the 2014 season, D.C. United selected Sean Franklin and Bobby Boswell in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft, then selected Fabian Espindola in Stage Two. Those three became the cornerstones of a team that collected the most points in the Eastern Conference during the 2014 season.
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