The 2018 MLS Waiver Draft takes place four days after MLS Cup 2018, occurring after the MLS Expansion Draft and before Stage 1 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft.
MLS Waiver Draft: Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 4 p.m. ET
A list of players eligible for the waiver draft will be released by MLS Communications on Tuesday, Dec. 11, by 6 p.m. ET.
Option Exercise Deadline on Nov. 26, 1 p.m. ET: Clubs no longer competing in the Audi 2018 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.
Option Exercise Deadline for non-MLS Cup participants on Nov. 30, 1 p.m. ET: 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.
The Waiver Draft consists of players who have been waived by their clubs but don’t meet the minimum years of service requirement for the Re-Entry Draft or Free Agency – mostly young players who are relatively new to MLS.
Under Contract players who are selected in the Waiver Draft will be automatically added to the drafting club’s roster. Clubs that claim Out of Contract players must issue a genuine offer to the selected player.
Note: There may be players whose options were declined (and are not Re-Entry Draft eligible) who do not appear among the Waiver Draft pool because teams have expressed interest in re-signing the player and/or bringing them into preseason. Therefore, they are not forced to waive the player in this case.
Re-Entry Draft Process:
The selection process is determined by the reverse order of the final standings in the 2018 MLS season, taking into account postseason performance. The San Jose Earthquakes will get the first pick and the MLS Cup champion will get the 23rd pick. Expansion side FC Cincinnati will get the 24th and final selection in each round.
Once the Waiver Draft is complete, those players who have not been selected are free to sign with teams of their choosing.