Soccer in the United States continues to gain popularity as more sports cities garner the attention of the country’s biggest professional league: Major League Soccer. With the addition of Atlanta United FC and Minnesota United FC to MLS for the 2017 season, an expansion draft will take place to make their entrance into the league relatively seamless.
On Tuesday, MLS announced details of the expansion draft that will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. ET. Atlanta and Minnesota will have five rounds to draft five players each from a list of eligible MLS players. That list will largely be influenced by the 20 current clubs’ decisions on which 11 players they protect. Generation Adidas players who do not graduate at the end of the season and homegrown players on a club’s supplemental or reserve roster are also ineligible in the expansion draft, according to a press release by Orlando City SC.
Furthermore, after a club has had one player picked from their unprotected list, they are removed from the expansion draft.
But before the expansion draft, the league will hold an expansion priority draft on Sunday, Oct. 16 because there is more than one team entering MLS in 2017. A coin flip will decide if Atlanta or Minnesota will get the first pick in the expansion priority draft.
Per the release, the expansion priority draft will determine Atlanta’s and Minnesota’s selection ranking in the following player-acquisition methods:
- 2016 MLS Expansion Draft (picks 1, 2)
- 2017 MLS SuperDraft (picks 1, 2)
- Allocation ranking order (ranks 1, 2)
- 2016 Waiver Draft, re-entry draft ranking (ranks 21, 22)
- Discovery player ranking (ranks 21, 22)
- United Soccer League/North American Soccer League player-priority ranking (ranks 1, 2)
For more details on the 2016 Expansion Draft rules, click here.
For more details on player-acquisition methods, click here.