The 2017 MLS season is in the books, with Toronto FC winning the 2017 MLS Cup on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field in Toronto.
That means the MLS offseason is here.
It’s the first one that truly counts for Los Angeles Football Club, the 2018 MLS expansion team, and they will be busy in the coming days and weeks, building an entire roster ahead of the start of next season in March.
Kevin Baxter reported on Saturday that LAFC will likely announce their first intra-league move(s) with the opening of a short leaguewide trade window on Sunday (yes, the offseason will truly be on immediately). Don’t be surprised if there is more than one deal involving LAFC, although word may trickle out later as the trades are approved and the teams get around to announcing.
Then, on Tuesday is the big LAFC-related event, the Expansion Draft. LAFC will have five selections, from the players not protected by their current teams (or exempt from selection altogether). Angels on Parade will be with LAFC on Tuesday covering the Expansion Draft and much more.
Official MLS Free Agency will also begin on Tuesday. Expect LAFC to court a player or two through Free Agency this offseason (MLS Free Agents are players at least 28 years old, out of contract and with at least eight seasons of MLS experience).
Then, on Wednesday, the Waiver Draft will take place. This is for players whose options were declined and have not been in MLS long enough to go through Free Agency or the Re-Entry Draft. LAFC will have the last pick of each round, No. 23, unless they trade up for a higher spot (that’s unlikely unless it’s thrown into a larger deal as an additional consideration). LAFC may take a player or two here.
On Friday, the first round of the Re-Entry Draft will take place. This is the draft for players with more experience than those in the Waiver Draft. In this round, players whose options are declined who are selected will need to be paid on the same rate as they had been on (in other words, no renegotiation with players).
The following week, on Nov. 21, the second phase of the Re-Entry Draft will be held, and in this one players taken in this round can have their contracts renegotiated with teams. Expect more players, if any, to be taken here than in the first phase.
Then, shortly after the New Year, will come the MLS Combine, MLS SuperDraft and then the start of preseason training camp. Like I said, there will be a lot of news coming up in the days and weeks ahead, maybe as soon as tomorrow. And we’ll be with you every step of the way.
WHO’S READY FOR THE OFFSEASON?!?!?!?!?! LET’S DO THIS.
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