It’s Monday, and the MLS season is officially over.
As of right now and until March 2, every team is in first place. It’s the offseason for every one and time for some serious decision making to start taking place.
On Monday, MLS released the list of players "eligible" for its re-entry draft in which Stage 1 will take place Friday afternoon. We can tell you that goalkeeper Chase Harrison will be the only player put up on the market, but it’s solely a numbers reason.
After speaking with members of the Union technical staff, philadelphiaunion.com was told it’s a decision that was made more due to MLS protocol and less of a desire to rid itself of Harrison, or his contract.
The complete rundown of players was released late Monday with some eye-catching names listed. Of note, six former Union players, Danny Califf, Alejandro Moreno, Kyle Nakazawa, Brian Perk, Justin Mapp and Shavar Thomas are all up for dibs. Now, their teams have until the eve of the draft to come to a deal with these players, so this manifest could certainly shorten by Thursday.
There is a wealth of notable names on the list including former designated player and Chivas USA forward Juan Pablo Angel, a former MLS goalkeeper of the year in FC Dallas' Kevin Hartman and a top three pick in the 2010 SuperDraft in San Jose’s Ike Opara.
Forgot to also mention that players like D.C. United’s Maicon Dos Santos, Colorado’s Conor Casey and Columbus’ Tony Tchani are all up for grabs; even former Villanova standout Mike Seamon was left dangling by Seattle.
Now don’t expect anything major to drop on Friday's Stage 1, generally teams usually don’t geek out over a player until Stage 2 which is slated for Dec. 14. Basically, it’s in this second stage where teams can make players a “genuine offer,” but at a fraction of what their current salaries might be. Because of collective bargaining teams can’t offer players peanuts, but clubs do have a lot more pull in the second stage, especially for a player who doesn’t want his MLS career to come to an abrupt close.
Should make the next couple of Friday’s very interesting…
Check for the entire list of names on the MLS website.
Friday’s draft has sent the rumor mill ablaze on which player (s) the Union should go after based on the names that have already been released. Assuredly, what sparked that fire was Red Bull New York confirming a report released yesterday from Soccer by Ives blog that allocation money was given to Real Salt Lake in exchange for forward Fabian Espindola and defender Jamison Olave.
Does this make RBNY a formidable unit considering Espindola joins Kenny Cooper and DP Thierry Henry on attack?
Sure it does…on paper anyway.
Lastly, Philly mayor Michael Nutter is on trade mission to China and included in the package of goodies he bestowed upon his Chinese counterparts were some Union scarves. Unfortunately, we wish his honorable Mayor took them out of their plastic shrink wrapping beforehand...but we still thank him for thinking of us.
That is all, until tomorrow, let the rumor and speculation begin. Or don’t and wait for us to give you the real deal Holyfield.
Contact Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Kerith on Twitter @sprtswtr.