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The Union’s next few days

Beginning Monday morning, you could see some player personnel movement for Philadelphia Union. Teams must provide their expansion draft protected lists to Major League Soccer’s league office by 2 p.m. on Monday in advance of Wednesday’s draft.

But there’s more than that going on related to player movement. Here’s what to watch for in the coming days and when to watch for it.

Monday, Nov. 22
  • 9 a.m – 1 p.m.: A brief trade window opens. Teams can trade freely during this time.
  • 2 p.m.: Teams submit their lists of protected players to the MLS league office in advance of Wednesday’s expansion draft.
  • 5 p.m.: MLS  releases official list of all players available to be chosen by Portland and Vancouver in the draft. It should be posted on MLSSoccer.com, and we’ll get a list for the Union up here as soon as we see it.

That means you could see some wheeling and dealing Monday as teams clear rosters in order to protect players. You could see some trades with Vancouver and Portland to give incentives for them not to choose players that other MLS teams feel they can’t otherwise protect. You could see teams try to move players to free up some international player slots. Or you could see deals for allocation money or spots in the allocation order, which can be valuable. That’s how Vancouver was able to get first crack at defender Jay DeMerit, who signed with them yesterday. The club had first pick in the allocation order for returning U.S. internationals.

Later in the day, we’ll see the lists of players made available for the expansion draft, which means we’ll know what players could be leaving the Union. Just because a player is listed, it doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily get picked.

(Quick note: Fred will not count as an international player due to having secured a green card, a Philadelphia Union spokeswoman has confirmed. This is in contrast with how he was listed during the season. That has implications on the Union’s protected list. You can read about that in our updated expansion draft preview.)

Tuesday, Nov. 23

We sit around and argue over who should have been protected that wasn’t. Fans get apoplectic over one guy made available that no one thinks should have been. (Jacobson? Salinas? Nakazawa? Someone else?) Philadelphia Union quietly works the phone lines to ensure someone exposed doesn’t get taken. Vancouver and Portland finalize their picks. Not a damn bit of it becomes public except fans’ reactions. (We fully expect to have a post here specifically designed to give a venue for readers to freak out or praise the list!)

Wednesday, Nov. 24
  • 2 p.m.: Expansion draft takes place. MLS releases the names of players chosen.
  • 2:30 p.m.: MLS issues a list of players waived by teams and eligible for a subsequent waiver draft.
  • 3:30 p.m.: Waiver draft takes place.

The Union will lose one or two players during the draft. No team can lose more than two.

The waiver draft is a draft of MLS players waived by other teams, and those players are freed up right before it happens. Usually, there’s not a lot of player movement in this draft, but considering the increase of roster size from 24 to 30 next year with the return of the reserve league, anything’s possible.

Thursday, Nov. 25

Eat turkey and stuff.


There’s more to come after that — notably the Nov. 30 mark for offering contract options to players whose contracts have expired — but that should break down the chaos of the next few days. We’ll get to the re-entry draft — the new MLS version of free agency — later.


  1. Ed Farnsworth says:

    Glad to have Fred’s international status cleared up.

  2. I have never seen that trade window you speak of Dan, but it makes things interesting. Since we are down to four internationals (Torres, Coudet, Gonzalez, Stahl), we could make a trade, reducing us to 3, and then only have to protect two of them. In my mind, the only logical trade there involves Gonzalez going (partly due to salary, partly due to what we hope is an established starting CB pairing of Orozco and Califf) and not bringing a a player back in immediate return – meaning draft picks, allocation money, or something else. Don’t know who would be a likely candidate team for that, but its not unpredictable. The other possibility is Coudet retiring from MLS. It would have the same effect, freeing up a protected slot. I dont see any move involving Torres and I have a sneaky suspiscion that Stahl isnt going anywhere.

    That extra slot could then save all the players you would hear people cry about (Harvey, Jacobson, Nakazawa) if we leave both keepers out there.

    If Vancouver uses their allocation order spot to sign DeMerit, that should bump us up to 4th (having finished 3rd to last overall).

    • I agree that Stahl probably isn’t going anywhere. He hasn’t proven his value to be protected, nor has he proven his value to be taken by Portland or Vancouver. He came in with a reputable CV, but didn’t seem to make the transition to the pro game. I’m surprised he didn’t get any time with H-burg or Reading.

    • @ PSPTim … the draft rules regarding int’l players reads as follows: “Clubs may make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus three, provided that if a Club has three or fewer international players it may make available not more than one.” If the Union gets rid of Coudet (for example), they’d only have to protect one of the remaining 3 internationals, not 2.

    • Details on the trade window are here: http://www.mlssoccer.com/2010-re-entry-process

      Skim about halfway down the page till you reach the timeline.

  3. Just like the Salinas-is-comfortable article on the Union’s website, and if that’s an implication of him being protected, there’s another feel-good focus story about Kyle Nakazawa. Can we presume he won’t be left exposed when we see zee list this afternoon?

  4. Yes, I would presume that. Looks like Jacobson could be the odd man out, unless the Union find a way around the international player rule.

  5. Quiet in this trade window so far…

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