Brazuca Ball

So what's up next? A brief synopsis of upcoming dates, events and venues that affect the Union

The 2014 MLS season officially ended Sunday when the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the New England Revolution, 2-1.

With a champion crowned, it’s now time to turn our full attention to the 2015 season. One day into offseason activity, Monday was filled with trades, acquistions and departures with the Union in the thick of it all after acquiring C.J. Sapong, bidding farewell to Amobi Okugo in addition to player announcements that shaped the core of the current roster.

However, the fun doesn't stop there as this second week of December features two additional drafts and the certainty that more trades, dealings and familiar faces will join rosters around MLS. Here's a small look of a host of events that will transpire between now and before the first ball is tapped to kick off the 2015 MLS season. 

Wednesday: The MLS Expansion and Waiver Draft -- MLS clubs may protect 11 players between their Senior Roster and their Supplemental Roster.  Per MLS rules, if the player’s contract expires at the end of ‘14, he will be considered part of the club’s roster. If a club protects a player, it’s not obligated to exercise the player’s option. It may renegotiate subject to terms of the CBA. If a player retires, he will not be a part of the club’s roster, but his club will lose its right of first refusal to him should he decide to play. Here’s a link for a more detailed explanation. http://pressbox.mlssoccer.com/content/2014-expansion-draft-rules

Friday: MLS Re-Entry Phase I - The Trade Window opens at the end of the Re-entry Draft Phase I and closes on Dec. 17, at 11 am ET.

Dec. 18: MLS Re-Entry Phase II –  The  Trade Window then opens at the end of the Re-entry Draft Phase II.

Jan. 2-5: MLS Caribbean Combine – MLS recently announced it would partner with the Caribbean Football Union to host the second Caribbean Player Combine on Jan. 2-5, 2015, in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The event will feature players between the ages of 18 to 21 from around the Caribbean who will compete in front of league scouts for the opportunity to earn an invitation to the 2015 adidas MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., days later.

Jan. 9-13: MLS Combine – At this Combine, players perform physical and mental tests for coaches, general managers and scouts in anticipation of the MLS SuperDraft. It’s a way for players to increase their stock and impress MLS personnel.

Jan. 15: MLS SuperDraft – For the second straight year, the city of Philadelphia will host the SuperDraft at the Convention Center as part of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention. There are four rounds in the SuperDraft and the Union currently hold the No. 10 overall pick in the first round. But as we all know, that could change between now and the day of the SuperDraft.

Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at andy.jasner@yahoo.com

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