It has long been assumed that the Chivas USA Dispersal Draft would be of little consequence to the Seattle Sounders. The only other time such a draft was held was back in 2002 and teams were effectively placed in the reverse order of the standings, meaning the Sounders would have been very near the bottom.
But lo and behold, MLS threw us all a curve ball when the details of the draft were revealed on Friday. Not only will the draft be held on Nov. 19 -- during the break in the MLS Cup playoffs -- but the order will be decided by a weighted draw on Nov. 14. Video of the draw will be made available to the public on MLSsoccer.com.
Playoff teams will be given one envelope, while non-playoff teams plus Orlando City and New York City FC will each be given two envelopes. A league representative will pick envelopes until each team has a slot. Effectively, the Sounders will have a 1 in 30 chance to get the top pick. Put another way, the Sounders have as good a chance of getting that pick as any other playoff team and half as good a chance of getting that pick as even any non-playoff team. The Dispersal Draft will be held during a private conference call. Teams will keep picking until all the players have been selected or all the teams have passed on their selections.
Players picked in the Dispersal Draft will have their 2015 options guaranteed and teams will need to assume the full salary-cap implications of their contract and whatever associated loan or transfer fees come along with it. Among the players being made available are Chivas USA's Homegrown Players -- Marky Delgado and Caleb Calvert -- as well as goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and former Sounders center back Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.
One player who won't be available is Erick Torres, the league confirmed. There have been rampant reports that Torres is effectively deciding between signing a $1.5 million annual contract with MLS or returning to Chivas de Guadalajara. Reports also suggest that MLS would need to pay a $7.5 million transfer fee if Torres chooses to remain in the league. A decision is apparently due by Dec. 15. It remains unclear how Torres would be allocated within MLS, but the Sounders are rumored to be among the teams interested in him.
The Sounders will also retain the second round pick (No. 27 overall) they obtained from Chivas USA in the Shalrie Joseph trade. Chivas USA had retained only one of their 2015 SuperDraft picks (third round) and that will simply be dissolved.