Throughout the year, there have been rumors that the expansion draft would be replaced by new league mechanisms. Previously, FiftyFive.One reported that the Loons would be able to bring players to the league from their existing squad.
Writing for MLSsoccer.com, our own Jeff Rueter confirmed that there would be an expansion draft for the two expansion sides in 2017. Owner Dr. Bill McGuire had hinted at the possibility of an expansion draft in his interview with Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press earlier in the week.
The last expansion draft for MLS was in 2014, when NYCFC and Orlando City FC joined the league. In the expansion draft, every club protects 11 players and its Generation Adidas players. The expansion sides were each allowed to take one unprotected player from each team. The most notable pick-ups from the 2014 draft were Tommy McNamara, Donovan Ricketts, and Ned Grabavoy. Here is a short primer on the expansion draft.
We will certainly be hearing much more about 2017 in the coming weeks and months, but for now Loons fans can speculate on which players they’d like to poach from the existing MLS squads.