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Expansion Draft Rules


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The expansion draft will be coming soon. I think the problem Toronto will have is finding useful Americans to pick up as the teams will be able to protect most of their starting Americans.

Tell Me About: The MLS Expansion Draft

On two occasions during the 11-year history of Major League Soccer has there been a need for an expansion draft. The first one took place in November of 1997, when the Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion joined the league, and the second one took place in November of 2004 to accommodate Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA. Since Toronto FC will start up play as the league's 13th franchise during the 2007 season, a third expansion draft will place in November of 2006 once MLS Cup is over.

There are 10 rounds in an expansion draft, which allows the new franchise to select players from the pre-existing teams around the league. Each club is allowed to protect 12 players on their roster, with developmental players not being available to be selected. Only one player classified by the league as a Senior International can be left unprotected. Current teams can only lose a maximum of three players during this process. Once a player has been claimed from a current team's non-protected roster, that same team may move a player from its non-protected roster to its protected roster.

In 1997, the expansion draft consisted of 12 rounds, which saw Danny Peña (Los Angeles) and David Vaudreuil (D.C. United) selected first by the Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion, respectively. While Pena would never end up playing for Chicago, he was a key figure in a trade that brought future U.S. national team midfielder Chris Armas and Mexican national team goalkeeper Jorge Campos to the Fire in a trade that also included Kevin Hartman being shipped back to the Galaxy after being selected by then-Chicago Fire head coach Bob Bradley with his second pick of the draft.

Among the players selected during the 1997 expansion draft that went on to have solid MLS careers were Diego Gutierrez (Chicago), Zach Thornton (Chicago) and Ramiro Corrales (Miami).

The 2004 expansion draft saw Chicago Fire players taken with three of the first four picks by Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA. Arturo Torres (Los Angeles) went No. 1 overall to Chivas USA while Andy Williams (Chicago) was taken by RSL with its first selection. The notable players to move clubs that day included a pair of New England Revolution veterans in Brian Kamler and Rusty Pierce, both of whom ended up in Real Salt Lake, as well as Ezra Hendrickson (Los Angeles), who was selected by Chivas USA with its third pick of the draft.

The 2006 expansion draft will surely play out much differently than the ones seen in both '97 and '04. For starters, only one team is selecting, taking an element of strategy out of the draft that existed previously. Also, Canadian players will count as domestic players for Toronto FC, while they will be allowed to carry three American players as well as four Senior Internationals.

Since MLS has stated that its goal is to have 16 teams playing in the league by 2010, there will surely be one or two additional expansion drafts in the years to come in addition to the one being held after the 2006 season.

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quote:Originally posted by Grizzly

... because teams can only protect one senior international. Toronto should be also able to pick up some decent internationals.


Only one player classified by the league as a Senior International can be left unprotected.

actually what is says is one "one" senior international can be left UNprotected. which means picking players such as jazic, serioux, and de rosario will be unlikely - especially considering how much their respective coaches enjoy these players.

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You guys are right, I guess I read it too fast. Looks like they aren't going to get much from this draft then since it will largely be mediocre Americans and unwanted internationals. I think TFC would want to use its internation and American spots on quality players so it is not much help to draft the unwanted or overpaid players that will probably be made available. If they are lucky they will probably only pick up a couple of useful players.

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