MLS releases Expansion Draft rules as Atlanta, Minnesota prepare for 2017

Minnesota United vs Atlanta United - logos

The MLS Expansion Draft will look a lot different this year.

The league announced Tuesday that the 2016 Expansion Draft will include five rounds, giving Atlanta United FC and Minnesota United FC the opportunity to pick five players each ahead of their entry into the league 2017, down from the 10 players that New York City FC and Orlando City SC each selected two years ago. The Expansion Draft will be held on Dec. 13 at 2 pm ET.

In the Expansion Draft, Atlanta and Minnesota will be allowed to select eligible players from the other 20 rosters in Major League Soccer to add to their inaugural MLS roster for the 2017 season. Each current MLS club will have the ability to protect 11 players from selection. Additionally, Generation adidas players who do not graduate from the program at the end of the 2016 season and Homegrown players on a club's Supplemental or Reserve roster will not be eligible for selection.

Each MLS club may only lose one player in the Expansion Draft. After a player is selected from a club's unprotected roster, that club is removed from the Expansion Draft process.

The order in which Minnesota and Atlanta will pick in the Expansion Draft will be determined at the Expansion Priority Draft on Oct. 16. That draft will also see the two new teams determine the order in which they pick in the MLS SuperDraft, Waiver Draft and Re-Entry Draft, as well as their priority in the league's other player allocation mechanisms.