Early moves of the MLS offseason hit the wire on Wednesday, with the New England Revolution, Orlando City and Sporting Kansas City announcing a slew of roster decisions.
Orlando declined contract options for eight players from their 2015 expansion roster. The biggest names among the players whose options were not picked up are goalkeeper Tally Hall, who underwent surgery on his right knee in October, and defender Corey Ashe. The Lions also declined options on goalkeeper Josh Ford, midfielders Eric Avila and Lewis Neal and forwards Danny Mwanga, Adam Bedell and Sidney Rivera. The club also announced that midfielder Tony Cascio’s contract has expired.
Under the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, both Ashe and Avila will be eligible for free agency as players at least 28 years old and with at least eight years of service in MLS. Cascio, Ford, Hall, Mwanga and Neal will be eligible to participate in Major League Soccer’s Re-Entry process.
Orlando announced that they exercised their options on goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr., defenders Luke Boden and Sebastian Hines, midfielders Servando Carrasco, Darwin Cerén, Kevin Molino and Harrison Heath and forward Pedro Ribeiro. The rest of the Lions roster was already under contract for 2016.
New England declined options on six players: goalkeeper Trever Spangenberg, defenders Kevin Alston and Jeremy Hall and midfielders Timi Mulgrew, Steve Neumann and Tyler Rudy. Midfielders Andy Dorman and Jermaine Jones are both out of contract for the 2016 season.
The Revolution also announced that they signed midfielder Daigo Kobayashi to a new deal and that goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, midfielder Zachary Herivaux and forward Juan Agudelo were already under contract for 2016. The remaining 14 players on the New England roster had their 2016 options picked up.
Sporting declined their option on just one player: 27-year-old defender Jalil Anibaba, who will be eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Draft. The team also announced that goalkeeper Jon Kempin, defender Seth Sinovic, and midfielders Mikey Lopez, Soni Mustivar and Paulo Nagamura will all be out of contract on Dec. 31, 2015. The club will extend offers to each of those players and contract negotiations are ongoing.
The remaining 20 players on the Sporting KC roster either had their options picked up or are already under contract for 2016.
Per MLS rules, both Orlando, New England and SKC have until Thursday, Dec. 10, to re-sign any Re-Entry Draft-eligible players, including players whose options were not exercised.