Expansion Draft Info and Rules

Expansion Draft Info and Rules

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 24, 2008
  • Expansion Draft

Just as we were beginning to discuss the upcoming Expansion Draft, the league has finally released its rules for the year.

The League’s 15th team, Seattle Sounders FC, will participate in a 10-round 2008 MLS Expansion Draft scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Keep in mind that Seattle Sounders FC have signed three players to date including American goalkeeper Kasey Keller, French striker Sebastien Le Toux and Gambian midfielder Sanna Nyassi.

Okay on to the rules:

Senior Roster

  • Teams may protect 11 players between their Senior and their Developmental Roster.
  • If the Player’s contract expires at the end of 2008, he will still be considered part of the team’s Senior Roster.
  • If a team protects a player, it is not obligated to exercise the player’s option. The team may renegotiate a new budget number for the player as in previous years.
  • If a player retires, he will not be a part of the Senior Roster, but his team will lose its right of first refusal to him should he ultimately decide to play.

Developmental Roster

  • Players on a team’s Developmental Roster, other than Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2008 season, will be part of the expansion draft.
  • Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2008 season are automatically protected (teams do not have to protect them).
  • If Seattle Sounders FC select a Developmental Player they must offer him a Senior Roster position and he must be on Seattle’s Senior Roster as of Roster Compliance Date.

International Players

  • Teams are restricted in the number of international player(s) that they may make available per the table set forth below.
  • For purposes of this expansion process, for U.S.-based teams, any non-domestic U.S. player would count as an International and for Toronto FC, any non-domestic U.S. player or non-domestic Canadian player would count as an International.

Designated Players

  • Designated Players do not have to be protected unless the player has a no trade clause in which case he must be protected.

Maximum Player Loss

  • Once a player has been claimed from a team’s non-protected roster, that team is eliminated from the expansion draft and may not lose any further players.

Right to Renegotiate

  • Seattle will have the right to renegotiate a drafted player’s salary (either up or down) without having to place such player on waivers or giving his previous Team a right of first refusal.


  • On the first day of the Discovery/Allocation Period, Seattle will have priority over players who played professionally in the USL First or Second Division in 2008, subject to another MLS team’s right of first refusal.


  • The expansion draft will be 10 rounds.


Teams may make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus 3, provided that if a team has 3 or less international players it may make available not more than 1.