TORONTO, Canada—Major League Soccer (MLS) unveiled Monday afternoon the full list of players eligible for selection in the upcoming 2020 MLS Expansion Draft, set to take place Tuesday at 6 p.m. EST.
The 27th club to join the league, Austin FC, will be able to select up to five players from the list of eligible names to add to its roster ahead of the Texas-based club’s inaugural 2021 campaign.
Teams who are not exempt from the expansion draft had the ability to protect up to 12 eligible players. If a club does have a player chosen, in exchange, they will receive $50,000 in General Allocation Money. A team may only have a maximum of one player selected from their roster.
The following nine Toronto FC players have been left unprotected and can be selected by Austin tomorrow:
- Ciman, Laurent
- Endoh, Tsubasa
- Gallacher, Tony
- Gallardo, Erickson
- Morrow, Justin
- Mullins, Patrick
- Piatti, Pablo
- Silva, Kevin
- Zavaleta, Eriq
That means that the TFC brass did indeed elect to protect the following 12:
- Auro Jr.
- Alex Bono
- Michael Bradley
- Nick DeLeon
- Omar Gonzalez
- Richie Laryea
- Chris Mavinga
- Jonathan Osorio
- Alejandro Pozuelo
- Quentin Westberg
- Jozy Altidore
It’s worth noting that if a free agent is selected, Austin FC will assume all negotiating rights from its previous club. For instance, Toronto FC own Morrow’s, a pending free agent’s, exclusive rights to re-negotiate a new deal up until Free Agency officially begins Dec. 16.
Of course, Morrow, Zavaleta, and Ciman are all out of contract, making them obvious choices to leave exposed. Piatti is also out of contract after the Reds elected not to exercise the Argentine’s deal. If he is selected by Austin, they will presume his MLS Free Agency rights and will be allowed to try and negotiate a new deal with Piatti before free agency officially begins Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. EST. They do not have the ability to exercise his 2020 contract option, however.
Another interesting tidbit to add is that Piatti is the only Toronto FC player eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Draft on Dec. 17. If he was selected by a club in Stage 1, they would have to pick up his contract option from 2020. It’s worth noting that he is able to opt out of that Re-Entry process as a whole.
Team President Bill Manning and General Manager Ali Curtis told media at the beginning of the month that contract negotiations between Piatti, his agent, and the club had been going ‘very well’. This doesn’t completely write the chance for a reunion off, but it does make it a tad bit more difficult.
Another intriguing name left exposed for selection is Erickson Gallardo. Despite all of the hype built up around Toronto FC’s No. 9, The Venezuelan international TAM-signing had another disappointing year in a Reds’ kit and a change of scenery could be what the 24 year old needs in order to try and turn his MLS career around.
You can find the full list of draft-eligible players from around the league here.