With the MLS Cup now in the rearview mirror the MLS offseason is officially upon us. Toronto FC have already been active completing a deal with FC Dallas that saw the club acquire Brazilian winger Jackson. That opening foray into the market will certainly not be the last as the club looks to add players to the roster with MLS experience.
The Re-entry draft is one means through which TFC will have the chance to add some players to their roster. MLS released a list of 68 players who will be eligible for selection in the draft this year. Some of the players on that list may not end up being available for selection as they can opt out or re-sign with the club that holds their rights.
If a club is really interested in a player who is eligible for the re-entry draft they may well negotiate a deal with their current team for the player's rights so that they have time to negotiate and hopefully agree to a new contract prior to that player being exposed to the re-entry draft process. There is a chance that TFC could do that with a player or two in the coming days with Dwayne De Rosario being the most frequently mentioned name.
The list of 68 players includes only a pair from Toronto FC as only Justin Braun and Bobby Convey are included. Braun will certainly be made available to other MLS teams but there is still a chance that Convey agrees a new deal prior to the draft's first stage on December 12th.
The first stage of the draft is normally dominated by teams passing as any player selected in that round would either be paid 105% of their previous salary if they are out of contract or have their option picked up if any remain on their deal. For the most part that means overpaying for a player who was probably released for not being worth their salary. In 2012 the only first round selection was Maicon Santos.
The second round will take place on December 18th and that is when there will likely be some more action. Last year a total of 10 players were taken at that stage including Danny Califf who Toronto selected with the first pick. Toronto will be picking 3rd this year in both stages so they should have plenty of options to chose from.
The full list of 68 players is below. Is there anyone that you would like to see wind up with Toronto FC should they be available?
2013 RE-ENTRY DRAFT ELEGIBLE PLAYERS BY CLUB
Toronto FC (2): F Justin Braun*, M Bobby Convey
Vancouver Whitecaps (4): GK Joe Cannon, F Tommy Heinemann, F Corey Hertzog, GK Brad Knighton
NOTE: * indicates players out of contract. All other players had their options declined.