The offseason for San Jose has been relatively quiet thus far, with news about the team’s academy, USL affiliate Reno 1868 FC and upcoming College Cup commanding the majority of the attention. Do not expect it to stay that way for long.
Immediately following MLS Cup (and Avaya Stadium’s
) on Dec. 10, the proverbial floodgates will open with the Quakes expected to make plenty of moves. It’s fair to say the team will aim to get younger and more dynamic, while building off many of the key figures already on its roster.
First Trade Window & Expansion Draft
On Dec. 11 (6-9 a.m. PT), teams will be eligible to wheel and deal players for a few hours. Following the half-day trade window, trades will be prohibited until the conclusion of the Expansion Draft, set for 11 a.m. PT on Dec. 13. The Expansion Draft is a mechanism to allow clubs recently added to the league (Atlanta United FC, Minnesota United FC) the ability to build their rosters by way of capturing players from other clubs around the league. The Earthquakes, as well as the other 19 teams that competed in 2016, can protect 11 players each plus those who are Homegrown (Tommy Thompson) and Generation Adidas (Andrew Tarbell). Each club can only lose one player to the process. Atlanta (picks first) and Minnesota will be able to nab five unprotected players each – selecting them at their current contract. The list of players available for selection will be released on Dec. 12.
Following the Expansion Draft, Free Agents may begin negotiating contracts with teams around the league. A Free Agent is described by Major League Soccer as:
Players 28-years-old and older with eight years of MLS service who are out of contract, or have not had their option exercised, are eligible for Free Agency, allowing them the freedom to negotiate a new contract with any MLS club, including their previous club, subject to certain restrictions. A player has fulfilled a year of service if he was on a club’s roster prior to August 15 or played in at least one regular season or postseason game in the relevant year.
Eligible Free Agents will also be announced on Dec. 12. Two days later, the league will announce players eligible for the Waiver Draft.
The Waiver Draft begins at 11 a.m. PT on Dec. 15. Players in this draft must meet the following criteria:
Any player whose contract has expired or option has been declined, is not eligible for the Re-Entry Process or Free Agency, and their former club does not wish to make them a genuine offer.
Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft is held at noon PT on Dec. 16, involving the following players:
1. Players who are at least 23-years-old and have a minimum of three MLS service years whose options were not exercised by their clubs (available at option salary for 2017).
Players who are at least 25-years-old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them at their previous salary (available for at least their 2016 salary).
Free Agents that choose to participate
Stage Two will be held at noon PT on Dec. 22. The main difference between two stages is that any player selected in Stage One will be taken at their option price, or at least their salary from the season prior. Players selected in Stage Two can be offered a lower salary, as long as the offer is considered genuine and reasonable.
Player Combine & SuperDraft
Attention turns to the college ranks once the calendar hits January. From Jan. 7-12, the MLS Player Combine will take place in Florida, allowing general managers, technical directors and coaches to gaze upon SuperDraft-eligible players. With video on college players in shorter supply than say the NFL or NBA, the Player Combine can often be a critical piece to scouting.
The SuperDraft then takes place on Friday, Jan. 13 in Los Angeles, before preseason kicks off on Jan. 23.
For a full schedule, please click
For a full list of MLS roster rules and regulations, please click