Breaking down MLS re-entry draft

Scouting Hackworth's potential options in Friday's Stage 2

Hackworth feature

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The Philadelphia Union passed in round one of Major League Soccer’s re-entry draft last week.

No real surprises there.

Round two of the draft is where most of the action happens, and there are some still some solid talent available for selection.

Long story short, MLS' re-entry draft is a process by which players who are out of contract, or had their options declined, can be acquired by other teams in the league.

The rules are very specific and complicated. Jonathan Tannenwald has done an excellent job of breaking everything down on his "Goalkeeper" blog at Philly.com. If you're looking for a detailed explanation of the draft, you're encouraged to check it out here.

The only selection in round one of the draft was forward Maicon Santos, who was picked up by the Chicago Fire. A number of solid veteran players, like Gonzalo Segares and Marvell Wynne, either signed new contracts or removed themselves from the draft process to renegotiate with their respective clubs. Originally available, they're now off the market.

For our purposes, we won't speculate on which players the Union would like to sign. That's up to John Hackworth and his technical staff.

Instead, we decided to go player-by-player through the remaining list, to give you a little bit of information on each potential target.

Salary totals are base amounts taken from the data provided by the MLS player’s union.

Players Available in the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft are:

Strikers:

Juan Pablo Angel, Chivas USA (out of contract)

2012 Base Salary: $350,000

Age: 37

Is there anything left in the tank for the former New York standout? Angel moved to Los Angeles following his Red Bull days, then ended up at Chivas after things didn’t work out with the Galaxy. Angel is 37-years-old now, so if he stays in MLS, he’ll likely be signed to a short term contract at far less than his $350,000 salary. He's rumored to be headed back to his native Colombia.

Alejandro Moreno, Chivas USA (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $185,000

Age: 33

The former Union target man is only 33, so he still has a couple of years left in those legs. This was Moreno's 12th season in Major League Soccer, and he contributed just two goals in 22 appearances. He had seven

assists in the Union’s inaugural season. He’s likely to end up on a team that needs a veteran to mentor a young striker.

Conor Casey, Colorado (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $400,000

Age: 31

Injuries limited Conor Casey to just 18 appearances in 2012 and 14 appearances in 2011. The rebuilding Rapids decided to go in another direction and will save $400,000 dollars by parting ways with the former U.S. international. Casey is an intriguing target in the draft. He’s a big body and he could be a threat inside the box, which the Union have lacked over the years. At age 31, he could probably be acquired for a decent price.

Scott Sealy, FC Dallas (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $50,000

Age: 31

The Trinidad and Tobago man has been a role player for the last 3-4 years. He saw the field in Dallas this year when Blas Perez went down injured, but he’s far removed from those years in Kansas City where he was scoring niine and 10 goals a season.

Chad Barrett, Los Angeles Galaxy (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $220,000

Age: 27

Barrett spent the second half of 2012 on loan to Norway’s Valerenga. He made 5 appearances overseas, and now he returns to a Galaxy team that includes strikers Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, and Edson Buddle. Barrett has a good MLS pedigree, but he’s a frustrating player – wildly inconsistent in front of goal. He’ll end up somewhere, but he doesn’t necessarily provide anything that the Union are in need of.

Pat Noonan, Los Angeles Galaxy (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $70,000

Age: 32

It seems like he’s been around forever, but Noonan is only 32. He played the “veteran mentor” role with Los Angeles and Seattle, and could do it elsewhere in 2013.

Paulo Jr., Real Salt Lake (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $65,000

Age: 23

The Salt Lake striker had a disappointing 2012, scoring just two goals in 848 minutes of play. His appearances doubled this season (22), but he failed to solidify a spot on an RSL team that will look much different next year. 

Andrew Wiedeman, Toronto FC (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $80,000

Age: 23

Wiedeman has a future in MLS, but it’s not with Toronto. Wiedeman was acquired in the trade that sent Julian De Guzman to Dallas (which was more about getting rid of De Guzman). The former Pac-10 standout had two goals in 15 appearances in Toronto.

Midfielders:

Pete Vagenas, Chivas USA (out of contract)

2012 Base Salary: $70,000

Age: 34

This was Vagenas’ 13th year in MLS. The veteran midfielder has as much experience as anyone in this league, but isn’t going to be a major contributor. He’s played all 13 years on the west coast and would be a great assistant coach in the near future.

Corben Bone, Chicago Fire (option declined)
Age: 24
2012 Base Salary: $100,000

Bone was a first round draft pick in 2010, but didn't play a whole lot of minutes in Chicago's loaded midfield. The 24 year old had a good 2011, logging 500+ minutes, but he only made 2 substitute appearances in 2012. He's likely to be picked up at a salary less than his current $100,000.Joseph Nane, Colorado (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $44,100

Age: 25

The Old Dominion product is a holding midfielder who got stuck behind Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, and Hendry Thomas in Colorado. The Union have good depth in the defensive midfield, but Nane could find a home on a team that needs a backup option.

Jamie Smith, Colorado (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $149,000

Age: 32

Smith won the 2010 MLS Cup with the Rapids, but only played 226 minutes this year. He’s suffered some devastating injuries and missed a ton of games in 2012 while rehabbing an ACL tear. Smith is a natural winger and could give a team some width on the pitch, but coaches will be put off by his past misfortunes.

Julian De Guzman, FC Dallas (out of contract)

2012 Base Salary: $1,863,000

Age: 31

De Guzman was unceremoniously shipped out of Toronto after falling out with new head coach Paul Mariner. The Canadian international had one of the most bloated DP deals in MLS, but now that he’s out of a contract, teams can pay a much more feasible price for the midfielder. Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman wants De Guzman back, and De Guzman wants to remain in Dallas, but money is the biggest issue holding up an agreement.

Bruno Guarda, FC Dallas (out of contract)

2012 Base Salary: $60,000

Age: 26

A Generation Adidas player, Guarda only made four appearances in 2012, starting one game. Since 2008, he played 40 games for Dallas.

Dan Gargan, Chicago Fire (???)
Age: 29
2012 Base Salary: $88,000

Gargan is a Philly native and product of Chestnut Hill Academy. He was a late addition to the re-entry draft list, squeezed out of the Chicago defense due to the play of Jalil Anibaba at right back, and Austin Berry at center back. The Union could go after Gargan to bring home another local guy, but with the acquisition of Jeff Parke, that seems more and more unlikely.

Colin Clark, Houston (out of contract)

2012 Base Salary: $105,000

Age: 28

Clark was squeezed out of the Houston lineup when Oscar Boniek Garcia was acquired. The winger played 29 games in 2011, but his minutes were cut in half this season. He can occupy wide spaces on both sides of the field. 

Luke Sassano, Sporting KC (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $81,000

Age: 27

Sassano ended up in KC after going through the 2010 re-entry draft. He made some appearances in 2011 as a defensive midfielder in Peter Verme’s 4-2-3-1, but KC has played the majority of their recent games in the 4-3-3. Sassano was loaned out to the Carolina Railhawks for the second half of the 2012 season.

Blair Gavin, New England (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $60,000

Age: 23

Gavin was the 10th selection in the 2010 MLS Superdraft, but he’s seen his minutes decrease every consecutive season since joining the league. The midfielder ended up in New England in the trade which sent veteran Shalrie Joseph to Chivas USA. With Michael Farfan and Danny Cruz in the Union midfield, Gavin would likely be lower on the depth chart.

Lovel Palmer, Portland (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $85,000

Age: 28

Palmer can play a little bit of defensive midfield, but he’s primarily a right back by trade. He was mostly inconsistent in Portland this season and plays two positions where the Union already have depth.

Mike Seamon, Seattle (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $33,750

Age: 24

The Villanova product was selected by Seattle in the second round of the 2010 Superdraft, but he never really got going in MLS. He made just nine appearances in three years with the Sounders.

Jean Alexandre, San Jose (option declined)

2012 Base Salary:

Age: 26

Alexandre was a goal scoring forward in college, but found himself as a holding midfielder behind Kyle Beckerman for three years at Real Salt Lake. He was picked by San Jose last season, but spent much of the year on loan with Orlando City.

Joey Gjertsen, San Jose (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $85,000

Age: 30

Gjertsen couldn’t break into a stacked San Jose midfield, and didn’t make a league appearance this year.

Khari Stephenson, San Jose (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $190,000

Age: 31

The Jamaica international had a solid 2011 with San Jose, but he was stuck behind Sam Cronin and Rafael Baca in Frank Yallop’s midfield this year. He played as an attacking midfielder in the Earthquakes’ 4-5-1 two seasons ago, and he does have a skill set that fits what the Union are looking for in that department.

Eric Avila, Toronto FC (out of contract)

2012 Base Salary: $125,000

Age: 25

Avila is a Generation Adidas product and former U.S. youth international at the U-17 and U-20 levels. That means he’s crossed paths with John Hackworth. Avila is a capable midfielder and made 24 appearances for Toronto this year. He played the most minutes of his six-year career in 2012. Avila is a good prospect for any team, as he’s one of the few players on this list who actually saw increased time on the field prior to being thrown in the re-entry shuffle.

John Thorrington, Vancouver (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $170,000

Age: 33

Thorrington is a veteran central midfielder who spent a good chunk of time with the Chicago Fire. He played 1100 minutes for Vancouver this year, but was the odd man out in a midfield that now includes mainstays Gershon Koffie and Barry Robson.

Defenders:

Danny Califf, Chivas USA (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $275,000

Age: 32

No introduction needed. Danny was arguably the heart and soul of the Union, anchoring the backline that got the team into the 2011 playoffs. Outspoken and honest, he’s absolutely a fan favorite here in Philadelphia. You have to look at what Danny can offer on the field. He’s probably still a capable player in this league, though most would agree that he’s lost a step over the years. With the acquisition of Jeff Parke, it seems unlikely that Danny would be a starter if he ends up back in Philadelphia. It’s unlikely that any team will pay him the salary he earned over the last three years.

Still, Danny is a strong locker room personality and experienced veteran. He could be a perfect backup option not just for the Union, but for any team in the league.

Julius James, Columbus (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $100,000

Age: 28

A 28 year old defender with 6 years of MLS experience, James will find a new home somewhere in the league. His minutes were down this year, but he started 31 games alongside Chad Marshall on the 2011 Crew team that got into the playoffs.

Hunter Freeman, Colorado (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $105,000

Age: 27

The 27 year old is one of four Rapids defenders on the cutting block. He began his career with Colorado back in 2005 and has experience overseas as well. He’s played right back in recent years, where the Union already have Sheanon Williams and Ray Gaddis.

Tyrone Marshall, Colorado (out of contract)

2012 Base Salary: $90,000

Age: 38

Marshall is the second-most experienced player in the re-entry draft. He’s been in the league since 1998, and he’s played 1000+ minutes in all but one season over the last 13 years. That’s really impressive for a 38 year old player. I’m inclined to say that Marshall is too old for teams to give him a serious look, but he was a rock solid player even at age 36 and 37.

Scott Palguta, Colorado (out of contract)

2012 Base Salary: $63,600

Age: 30

Palguta has provided defensive depth for Colorado since 2009, but he only made two appearances in 2012. He won’t be a starter on any MLS team, but he’s a capable, cheap backup player.

Tyson Wahl, Colorado (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $65,000

Age: 28

Wahl is one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft, because he’s capable of playing left back. That’s been the Union’s achilles heel since the departure of Jordan Harvey in the summer of 2011.

Wahl doesn’t make bombing runs down the flanks, but he’s a steady, stay-at-home defender, not dissimilar from Harvey. He’s also pretty tall – six-foot-two to be exact. Height is another area where the Union need some help. His price tag is certainly affordable, and he could be a good fit in Philly.

Mike Chabala, DC United (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $75,000

Age: 28

Chabala is the other 28 year old left back in the draft. He’s a bit faster than Wahl, but he’s also shorter (six feet). He hasn’t played a lot of games recently, but he does have nine years of experience in the league. His best year came in 2010 with Houston when he made 25 appearances and 22 starts.

Korede Aiyegbusi, Sporting KC (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $44,100

Age: 24

Aiyegbusi was a second round pick in the 2010 Superdraft. He only played nine times for KC, stuck behind the defensive rotation of Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, and Lawrence Olum. He’s 24-years-old and won't cost teams a lot of money.

Andrew Boyens, Los Angeles Galaxy (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $62,500

Age: 29

The New Zealand man is six foot four, but he’s somewhat skittish in central defense. He did play a role in the Red Bulls; run to the 2008 MLS Cup, but he failed to assert himself on a Galaxy team that was missing Omar Gonzalez for the first half of the 2012 campaign.

Bryan Jordan, Los Angeles Galaxy (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $55,000

Age: 27

Originally a forward, Jordan transitioned into a right back role for the Galaxy. He didn’t make many starts for the Galaxy, but he did see a good chunk of action as a defensive substitute under Bruce Arena.

Shavar Thomas, Montreal (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $80,000

Age: 31

The former Union man played in 15 games this year for Montreal before Alessandro Nesta and Nelson Rivas took over in central defense. With Matteo Ferrari and Hassoun Camara rounding out the Impact defense, Thomas was the odd man out.

Stephen Keel, New York (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $65,000

Age: 29

Definitely the best hair in the re-entry draft. Keel was a regular contributor in 2011, but the additions of Wilman Conde, Markus Holgersson, and Heath Pearce limited his minutes in 2012.

Steve Purdy, Portland (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $44,000

Age:  27

Purdy is like most of the defenders on this list: he had trouble finding solid minutes on a team with good depth. The six foot four El Salvador international found himself behind guys like David Horst, Futty Danso, Eric Brunner, and Hanyer Mosquera.

Ramiro Corrales, San Jose (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $173,000

Age: 35

The only remaining “MLS original”, Corrales has played 11 of his professional seasons in the league.

Corrales is the oldest of the three left backs available in the draft. He brings a wealth of experience to the table, and he's still a pretty solid player in the back. He was selected to the 2012 all-star game by commissioner Don Garber, and he held his own against European Champions Chelsea. In league play, he contributed 2 goals and 7 assists. He's also a good left-footed option on corner kicks and free kicks. Right now Keon Daniel is the only option the Union have in that department.

Tim Ward, San Jose (out of contract)

2012 Base Salary: $65,000

Age: 25

Ward has been a journeyman defender in MLS since 2005. It seems like he's been around for a long time, but he's still only 25-years-old.

Ty Harden, Toronto FC (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $90,000

Age: 28

Harden only played 5 games for a woeful Toronto side this year. He had a good season with Los Angeles in 2007, then took a year off before returning to soccer In 2009. He's an Oregon guy and might be a sentimental favorite to wind up with the Timbers.

Adrian Cann, Toronto FC (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $126,000

Age: 32

Cann had a decent 2010 season with Toronto, but it's been mostly downhill since then. He's dealt with some injury issues, and he's been in and out of the side over the last two seasons. At this stage in his career, he's likely a capable backup CB.

Jeremy Hall, Toronto FC (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $100,000

Age: 24

Toronto's right back made 23 appearances this year. Hall has bounced around in recent years, from New York, to Portland, to Dallas, and up to Canada. He might be a good fit in Columbus, where the departure of fullback Sebastian Miranda leaves a gap in the defense.

Goalkeepers:

Jay Nolly, Chicago (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $78,000

Age: 30

The 30-year-old was Chicago's No. 3 goalkeeper this year and did not play in a league game. He made 14 starts for Vancouver in 2011.

William Hesmer, Columbus (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $170,000

Age: 31

Hesmer won the 2008 MLS Cup with the Crew and played more than 125 games for Columbus before going down with a hip injury. That injury caused him to miss more than 6 months, and the emergence of Andy Gruenebaum as a bonafide No. 1 left Columbus with the decision to waive Hesmer. He's still got a lot to contribute in MLS, provided he stays healthy.

Ian Joyce, Colorado (option declined)

2012 Base Salary:

Age: 25

Joyce was Colorado's third stringer and only made one appearance over a three-year period.

Kevin Hartman, FC Dallas (out of contract)

2012 Base Salary: $165,000

Age: 38

Along with Corrales and Marshall, Hartman is the most experienced MLS veteran in this draft. He was available to the Union in the 2010 expansion draft, but no one could really foresee his high level of play with Dallas over the last three years. Now in his late thirties, Hartman is certainly no spring chicken. But if Brad Friedel can play in England at age 41, then Hartman can play in MLS at age 38.

Hartman holds numerous MLS records, including shutouts (111), wins (179), and games played (416).

Tim Murray, New England (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $44,100

Age: 25

Murray backed up both Matt Reis and Bobby Shuttleworth and did not play in three years with New England.

Bill Gaudette, New York (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $60,000

Age: 31

Gaudette grew up outside of Harrisburg, so we can call him a local guy. He played for both Los Angeles and New York this year, but lost his starting job when Luis Robles was acquired from Karlsruher in Germany. With Ryan Meara returning from injury, Gaudette's option was declined.

Chase Harrison, Union (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $44,100

Age: 28

Chase had a hell of a game at Dallas this year, putting his body on the line to preserve a tough 1-1 road draw.

Harrison ended up in the re-entry draft mostly due to numbers. The technical staff told philadelphiaunion.com that it was a decision made due to MLS protocol, rather than a desire to release Chase, or dump his contract.

Kyle Reynish, Real Salt Lake (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $66,000

Age: 29

Reynish made 3 appearances this year as Nick Rimando's backup.

Andrew Weber, Seattle (option declined)

2012 Base Salary: $52,000

Age: 29

Weber got a few games this year when Michael Gspurning went down injured. Prior to this season, he had only played two total games in MLS, which came back in 2009 with San Jose.

Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at k.kinkead@hotmail.com. Follow Kevin on Twitter @PhilUnionKevinK