We’re drawing closer to the 2018 Major League Soccer Expansion Draft, and the day that FC Cincinnati’s roster really starts to take form. So far, the Orange and Blue already have five players under contract for the 2019 season, and on Tuesday, FCC will choose five players from other MLS rosters.
Here’s how things will go:
By the close of business on Monday, Dec. 10, all but five MLS clubs will submit their protected/unprotected/exempt lists to league headquarters. New England will protect 11 players; off-budget Homegrowns are automatically protected/exempt from selection. Players left unprotected will be available for selection Tuesday afternoon (2 p.m., MLSSoccer.com).
There are five teams exempt from this year’s expansion draft — Toronto, Seattle, Sporting Kansas City, San Jose, Columbus — because the Los Angeles Football Club selected players from those teams in last year’s expansion draft.
Once FCC selects a player from a club, all of the other players from the club’s unprotected list are taken off the board.
With 18 clubs — yes, including LAFC — putting players up for grabs Tuesday, there is a pretty good chance that Cincinnati will snag a player from The Boys In Blue for its inaugural campaign in the Eastern Conference.
A reminder of the Revs’ history in the expansion draft:
- Last December, LAFC took no Revolution players.
- In December 2016, Minnesota United selected Femi Hollinger-Janzen with the last pick, but turned around and traded him back to New England in exchange for goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
- In December 2014 — days after the Revs went to the MLS Cup Final — New York City FC selected both Patrick Mullins and Tony Taylor.
- In December 2011 and 2010, the Revs lost no players.
- In December 2009, the Revs lost Brad Knighton to Philadelphia.
- In December 2008, the Revs lost Khano Smith to Seattle.
- In 2007, the Revs lost James Riley to the second incarnation of San Jose.
- In 2006, the Revs lost Jose Cancela to Toronto.
- In 2004, the Revs lost Brian Kamler and Rusty Pierce to Real Salt Lake.
- In 1997, the Revs lost Francis Okaroh to Chicago.
In addition, this weekend not only marks the end of the season with MLS Cup, but rosters will officially un-freeze for the first time since September on Sunday at 9 a.m. Clubs will be able to make their first moves with a four-hour transfer window, which should wrap up by the time the Pats and Dolphins kick off in Miami.
Rosters will then re-freeze until the expansion draft. After the expansion draft ends, free agency and the waiver and re-entry drafts will begin.
The full calendar is as follows:
Tuesday, Dec. 11
2 p.m.: Expansion Draft
3 p.m.: Free agency begins
Wednesday, Dec. 12
4 p.m.: Waiver draft (players who have been waived by clubs and do not meet minimum years of service requirement for Re-Entry Draft or Free Agency)
Friday, Dec. 14
3 p.m.: Re-entry draft, stage one
Thursday, Dec. 20
2 p.m.: Re-entry draft, stage two
I have no inside info, but based on feel, here’s how I think the Revolution’s lists will shake out come Monday night: