MLS / Union

MLS announces 2009 expansion draft rules

Major League Soccer finally released rules for next Wednesday’s expansion draft, and it looks like Philadelphia Union will have basically the same rules to work with as the Seattle Sounders had.

The lone change in the rules appears to be a provision allowing for “Home Grown” players to be exempt from the draft. Home grown players are players from a team’s “home territory” who have been placed on a team’s primary or developmental roster. Teams can annually add two players to their rosters via this route.

This takes a few young players off the table, such as Giorgi Chirgadze of New York and D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, and means that teams are freed up to protect other players.

The draft’s main rules stay the same: The Union will select 10 players during the draft. Teams can protect 11 players and lose no more than one player to the Union. Developmental roster players are open to be drafted, with the exception of Generation Adidas and now home grown players. Designated Players need not be protected unless the player has a no trade clause, in which case they must be. The Union can also renegotiate the salary of any players they draft.

Left unstated in all this – and something that will could be a factor in the draft and subsequent player acquisitions – is the contract status of MLS vets whose contracts expire. For example, I’ve indicated that I think New England midfielder Jeff Larentowicz will be a Union target, either in the draft or (more likely?) as a free agent, as his contract expires at season’s end and he’s indicated he may leave. Other big names with expiring contracts are national teamers Robbie Rogers and Stuart Holden. The latter appears headed for Europe, but Rogers may not share Holden’s prospects overseas. Why not burn one of your 10 draft choices on a gamble that one might stay? No promises, but anything’s possible.

Posted via web from The Philly Soccer Page

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