MLS soccer ball - 2019

MLS Offseason Calendar: Trade window, Expansion Draft just around the corner

NEW YORK – Let the silly season begin. 

Following a 10-week roster freeze, MLS clubs will have the opportunity to participate in a two-and-a-half-day trade window that opens on November 11 (10 a.m. PT), the day after 2019 MLS Cup, and closes on November 13 (5 p.m. PT).  The expanded window this season provides MLS clubs an additional two days to complete transactions prior to a blackout period whereby clubs may no longer make roster moves in anticipation of the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft.

On November 19, the 2019 Expansion Draft will air live on MLSsoccer.com beginning at 2:30 p.m. PT and consist of Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC selecting five players each from the eligible player list.

MLS today confirmed that the full list of players eligible for selection in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft will be released on November 16, at 7 a.m. PT, three days prior to the draft. The five MLS clubs, including Whitecaps FC, that had a player selected in the 2018 Expansion Draft will be exempt from losing a player this year, while the remaining 19 MLS clubs will this year have the opportunity to protect up to 12 players from their draft-eligible roster.

More information about the 2019 Expansion Draft and eligible-player lists can be found here.

Following the Expansion Draft, clubs will have an additional two days to make final determinations on their rosters prior to a November 21 option exercise deadline.

On November 22, MLS Communications will release the list of players eligible for each of the postseason roster mechanisms, including the End-of-Year Waivers, Free Agency, and the Re-Entry Process.

The details and dates for each of the postseason roster mechanisms follows below:

November 11 at 10 a.m. PT - Trade Window Opens
Following a 10-week roster freeze, MLS clubs may sign and trade players.

All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.


November 13 at 5 p.m. PT - Trade Window Closes and Blackout Period Begins
Blackout Period begins whereby clubs may no longer sign and/or trade players until conclusion of 2019 Expansion Draft.

November 14 - Club Deadline to submit Bona Fide Offers
MLS clubs notify the League Office in writing of players who have been extended a bona fide offer.

All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.

November 19 at 2 p.m. PT - 2019 MLS Expansion Draft
Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC may select up to five players each from the eligible player list, live on MLSsoccer.com.

The list of players eligible for selection in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft will be released by MLS Communications on November 16 at 7 a.m. PT.
Expansion Draft Rules

November 21 at 10 a.m. PT - Club Deadline to Exercise Options
MLS clubs notify the League Office in writing of players whose options they are exercising.
All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.

November 25 at 12 p.m. PT - End-of-Year Waivers
The End-of-Year Waivers process is conducted in reverse order of 2019 season finish, taking into account postseason performance. Per the Expansion Priority Draft, Nashville SC will have the 25th pick and Inter Miami CF will have the final selection in each round.

Eligible for selection are players who do not meet the minimum requirements for Re-Entry Process or Free Agency.
End-of-Year Waivers Rules

The list of players eligible for the End-of-Year Waivers will be released by MLS Communications on November 22

November 25 at 12 p.m. PT - Free Agency Opens
Clubs may engage with players, other than their own, that are eligible for Free Agency.

Free Agency eligible players are out-of-contract and option-declined players who are at least 28 years old and who have completed a minimum of eight service years

MLS Communications will make the complete list of Free Agents available on November 22.

November 26 at 12 p.m. PT - Re-Entry Process, Stage 1
The Re-Entry Process (Stage 1 and Stage 2) is conducted in reverse order of 2019 season finish, taking into account postseason performance. Per the Expansion Priority Draft, Nashville SC will have the 25th pick and Inter Miami CF will have the final selection in each round.

Eligible Players include:
1) Players who are at least 23 years old, have a minimum of three service years, and their contract options were not exercised by their clubs. These players will be available at their 2019 option salary.

2) Players who are at least 25 years old, have a minimum of four service years, are out of contract, and their clubs do not wish to re-sign them at their previous salary. These players are available for at least their 2019 salary.

3) Free Agents that choose to participate.

MLS Re-Entry Process Rules

The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Process – Stage 1 will be released by MLS Communications on November 22.

December 3 at 12 p.m. PT - Re-Entry Process, Stage 2
The Re-Entry Process, Stage 2 is conducted in the same format as Stage 1 and consists of MLS players who were not selected in the Stage 1.

Not all unselected Stage 1 players will be available for selection as players may re-sign with their previous club between stages or may opt out of the process.

The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Process – Stage 2 will be released by MLS Communications on December 3 at 7 a.m. PT.