Expansion draft to be held Friday live on ESPNews

Major League Soccer today announced that the 2004 MLS Expansion Draft will be held on Friday, November 19 at 4:00 p.m. ET and will be televised live on ESPNEWS. The League's 2005 expansion teams, Club Deportivo Chivas USA (Los Angeles, CA) and Real Salt Lake (Salt Lake City, UT), will begin to take shape following the 10 rounds of the Expansion Draft, which will be held five days after MLS Cup 2004.

A coin toss that will be held prior to MLS Cup 2004 on Sunday, November 14, will determine which of the two clubs will have the first selection in the MLS Expansion Draft and MLS SuperDraft on January 14, 2005. Investor-operators Antonio Cue (CD Chivas USA) and Dave Checketts (Real Salt Lake) will take the field at The Home Depot Center on Sunday for the coin toss when the winning team will have its choice between the No. 1 selection in the MLS Expansion Draft (Nov. 19) or MLS SuperDraft (January 14, 2005).

Both teams will then gather in their respective war rooms the following Friday, Nov. 19 for the 10 rounds of the MLS Expansion Draft which will be conducted via a teleconference call including all 12 MLS teams and the League office. CD Chivas USA will set up its war room at the ESPNZone in Anaheim while the host location for Real Salt Lake will be the SkyBox Sports Grille at The Gateway in Salt Lake City.

A one-day trade window on Monday, November 15 will allow teams to make final adjustments to their roster before submitting protected and unprotected lists to the League. The list of unprotected rosters will then be released to the public on Wednesday, November 17 on the League's official web site - The following are details regarding the composition of the unprotected rosters:

  • Current MLS teams may protect 12 players on their Senior Roster (consisting of players on a team's senior roster at the end of the season and newly graduated Project-40 players**);
  • If a player's contract expires at the end of 2004 he will still be considered on a team's senior roster;
  • Players on the developmental roster of current teams will not be part of the Expansion Draft;
  • Players indicated as retiring players by current teams will not be part of the Expansion Draft;
  • No more than one senior international player is allowed to go unprotected by any current team (players who become senior internationals in 2005 are also considered senior internationals for this draft);

    **The 11 newly graduated Project-40 players are: Nelson Akwari (Columbus Crew), Jose Burciaga (Kansas City Wizards), Brian Carroll (D.C. United), D.J. Countess (Chicago Fire), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Alecko Eskandarian (D.C. United), Eddie Gaven (MetroStars), Nate Jaqua (Chicago Fire), Eddie Johnson (FC Dallas), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew) and Seth Trembly (Colorado Rapids).

    Current teams can only lose a maximum of three players in the Expansion Draft. Also, once a player has been claimed from a current team's non-protected roster, that same team may move a player from its non-protected roster to its protected roster. The rights to unprotected players who are not selected by Real Salt Lake or CD Chivas USA in the Expansion Draft will be retained by their original clubs.

    This will mark the second Expansion Draft in League history and the first since November 6, 1997 when Danny Pena and David Vaudreuil were selected first by the Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion respectively in what was then a 12-round draft.

    Major League Soccer's ninth season comes to a close on Sunday, November 14, 2004 when the Western Conference Champion Kansas City Wizards battle Eastern Conference Champions D.C. United in MLS Cup 2004 (televised live on ABC Sports at 3:30 p.m. ET). The Wizards will be making their second appearance in MLS Cup following their triumph in 2000, while three-time champion D.C. United will play for the Alan I. Rothenberg Trophy for the first time since 1999.