NEW YORK – Major League Soccer officials announced Wednesday that the MLS SuperDraft will return to a three-round event this year, and the following Supplemental Draft will return this year and will also consist of three rounds.
The 2011 MLS SuperDraft will be held at the NSCAA Convention in Baltimore on Jan. 13, and MLS clubs will have the opportunity to make additional player selections in the annual Supplemental Draft, which will be held via conference call on Tuesday, Jan. 18. The Supplemental Draft was discontinued by the league in 2009 and also did not take place in 2010.
The SuperDraft switch to three rounds was made in conjunction with input received from MLS clubs, coaches and players. A league spokesman explained that the change to the SuperDraft takes into consideration the increasing number of selections in each round, which have nearly doubled with the addition of new expansion clubs in recent years. The 10 picks per round back in 2004 have since given way to this year’s 18 selections in each of the three rounds.
Next week, each team will have four minutes to make a selection in rounds one and two, and three minutes in the third round. A five-minute break will separate each of the three rounds and every club also has the option of using a single five-minute timeout.
All previous trades that involved a fourth-round pick in the SuperDraft will still be honored, with those fourth-round picks converted into a selection in the first round of the Supplemental Draft.
The first round of the 2011 SuperDraft will be broadcast on ESPN2. Coverage of the remaining two rounds will be carried by MLSsoccer.com.