Finishing with the fewest points in MLS does have its benefits. Such as picking first in all drafts and sitting atop the allocation order and other acquisition mechanisms.
First up for three-win D.C. United: the re-entry draft.
The first stage is Thursday, the second next Wednesday. Both will begin at 3 p.m. ET.
In the first stage, clubs claiming players must pick up the previously set contract option or offer a new deal to a player out of contract. In the second stage, clubs negotiate a new salary. Naturally, far more players are selected in the second stage, in which clubs have the flexibility to offer new terms.
Since the re-entry draft was introduced in 2010, only six players have gone in the first stage, 35 in the second.
Who is eligible for the re-entry draft?
Players age 23 or older with three years of MLS experience, those at least 24 with four years’ experience and 30+ with eight years’ experience. [Complete rules and guidelines.]
In the past, United has used the re-entry draft to select forward Joseph Ngwenya, forward Josh Wolff and midfielder John Thorrington.
This year’s re-entry class totals 68 players. By declined contract options, United made Dwayne De Rosario, Marcelo Saragosa, Carlos Ruiz, Daniel Woolard, James Riley and Thorrington available.
Clubs have the flexibility to continue negotiating with their re-entry eligible players up until 5 p.m. Wednesday and then again for five days after the first stage is complete.
United, however, cut ties with DeRo, Saragosa and Ruiz. News of United declining options on Woolard (27 starts), Riley (19) and Thorrington (12) did not surface until today. It is unclear whether United will offer them new deals. Messages to club officials were not returned.
Notable names available: Chris Rolfe ($225,000), Logan Pause ($180,000), De Rosario ($600,000), Kenny Cooper ($325,000), David Ferreira ($625,000), Bobby Boswell (out of contract), Sean Franklin ($225,000), Heath Pearce (out of contract), Mauro Rosales ($200,000) and Steve Zakuani (out of contract).
The draft order is the same for both stages.