What you need to know about the 2018 MLS Expansion Draft


Major League Soccer’s newest member, FC Cincinnati, will take another step toward filling out their roster tomorrow, December 11th, at 2 p.m. in the 2018 MLS Expansion Draft.

FC Cincinnati will be permitted to select up to five unprotected players in the draft and no more than one from each club. The five teams who had players selected by Los Angeles Football Club during the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft are exempt this year include: Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City, the San Jose Earthquakes, Columbus Crew SC and Toronto FC.

The Draft

During the draft, there are new trades permitted, no timeouts and FC Cincinnati are limited to three minutes per selection. The draft will move very quickly, even if FC Cincinnati uses all their allotted time and make five selections.

Protected Player List

While the Draft procedure is relatively straightforward, there is a lot of nuance in how teams are able to put together their Protected Player list. Each club is allowed to protect 11 players between their Senior, Supplemental and Reserve Roster. Generation adidas and Homegrown players on the club’s Supplemental or Reserve roster are automatically protected and do not take up one of the 11 available protected slots.

Designated players are not automatically protected and clubs are restricted in the number of international player(s) that they may make available. Clubs may make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus three, provided that if a club has three or fewer international players it may not make more than one international player available. 


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