The staff here at TBT have been in a full on food coma since Thanksgiving. For years I’ve been blaming tryptophan for my drowsiness, but apparently science says it is not to blame.
Regardless, it’s time to wake up as the MLS offseason, despite the fact that the playoffs are still ongoing, is about to kick into full gear. On Monday, November 27th, teams have until 12:00 PM CT to either pick up options for 2018 or notify the league if they are making a bona fide offer.
Sporting Kansas City have all the following players that have options that they either need to pick up for decline: Roger Espinoza, Seth Sinovic, Ike Opara, Tim Melia, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Soni Mustivar, Daniel Salloi, Tyler Pasher, Adrian Zendejas, Cameron Iwasa, Colton Storm, Amer Didic, James Musa, Andrew Dykstra, Kevin Oliveira and Kharlton Belmar. And those are just the players we know of. MLS just recently started disclosing this sort of information so a player like Diego Rubio, for example, we have no idea when his contract ends.
That is 16 players on a 30 man roster. Not to mention Erik Palmer-Brown and Cameron Porter are out of contract. That could mean some pretty heavy turnover come Monday morning. In case you missed it, we’ve already broken down our thoughts on which Goalkeepers, Defenders, Midfielders and Forwards will be sticking around and which ones will probably be on their way out.
So while tomorrow may mean players that fans know and love are on their way out, it only gets crazier from there. On December 10th, the day after MLS Cup, there is a half day trade window from 8:00 AM CT to 12:00 PM CT where things can get hectic. The reason for that trade window is because two days later, on December 12th, Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) will draft five players in their MLS Expansion Draft and then immediately after that free agency begins.
That half day trade window could be pretty wild. Think back to 2014 when Sporting traded away CJ Sapong and Aurelien Collin on the same day. A few days later they signed Krisztian Nemeth and Tim Melia (and Luis Marin, but let’s ignore that one).
After the Expansion Draft and Free Agency comes a series of “drafts” completely unique to MLS. First, on December 13th at 2:30 PM CT will be the Waiver Draft. A draft basically for players who’s options weren’t picked up or they were waived and aren’t eligible for free agency.
The Waiver Draft also doesn’t include players who fall to the next draft, the Re-Entry Draft which will have Stage 1 on December 15th at 2:00 PM CT and Stage 2 on December 21st at 1:00 PM CT. The Re-Entry Draft usually brings along players unlikely to start, like recent backup goalkeepers Alec Kann and Andrew Dykstra.
That doesn’t even include the fact that Sporting can start signing out of contract players from around the world at any moment. The aforementioned Nemeth signed on December 18th in 2014.
Then in January, the transfer window opens for many leagues around the world and the real big splashes could start happening. Robb Heineman has promised a #9 and #10 (think Rubio and Benny Feilhaber) this offseason. For timing purposes, those could involved transfer fees like last season with Gerso Fernandes (January 4th) and Latif Blessing (January 9th).
It’s time to start getting excited. For the full offseason schedule, MLSsoccer.com has you covered.