What’s the worst part about having a successful season in MLS? Getting a lousy spot in the MLS Re-Entry Draft, of course. Okay, so that’s not true. Seattle Sounders did not select any players today in Stage 2 of the 2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft (they also passed on a selection in Stage 1), but they did see one member of their 2017 squad, Calum Mallace, picked up by LAFC.
Mallace, who was originally drafted by the Montreal Impact in 2012, joined the Sounders this past August. Although he saw no first team minutes for Seattle in 2017, that did not stop LAFC from going after him. If he chooses to accept LAFC’s offer, Mallace will be on his way to his second high-profile club in a matter of months.
As for the rest of the Re-Entry Draft, after two stages and a total of 46 opportunities for teams to make selections, only five players ended up being drafted, two in Stage 1 and three in Stage 2. It is notable, though, that 60% of those picks were once on the Seattle Sounders roster, which shows we know quality when we see it.
Stage 1 saw 2016 MLS Cup champion Tyrone Mears drafted by Minnesota United FC. The other player picked up in Stage 1 was midfielder Mike Grella, who was injured to close out the 2017 season. Grella was sent from the New York Red Bulls to the Colorado Rapids, and was then immediately traded by the Rapids to the Columbus Crew in exchange for a second-round SuperDraft pick in 2019.
Stage 2 was just as lively, as D.C. United swiped Gonzalo Veron from the New York Red Bulls, the LA
Garbage Fire Galaxy drafted veteran midfielder Servando Carrasco, a Sounders SuperDraft pick in 2011, from Orlando, and LAFC picked up Mallace.
In case you’re wondering how it all works, MLS provides us with the following explanation for which players are eligible to be included in the Re-Entry Draft:
Option Decline Players: Those not eligible for Free Agency who will be at least 23 years old in 2017, with a minimum of three years of MLS experience.
Out of Contract Players: Those not eligible for Free Agency who have not received a bona fide offer and who are at least 25 years old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience, or are at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience.
The Re-Entry Draft selection order is determined by the reverse order of the final 2017 standings, taking into account postseason performance (see below). Players not selected following Stage 2 will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to all clubs.
Here’s how the 2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft played out:
Colorado Rapids - Mike Grella (Stage 1, traded to Columbus Crew)
Minnesota United FC - Tyrone Mears (Stage 1)
LA Galaxy - Servando Carrasco (Stage 2)
D.C. United - Gonzalo Veron (Stage 2)
LAFC - Calum Mallace (Stage 2)