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MLS offseason starts now

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The Sounders are about to lose some players.

Lodeiro and Fernandez’ first training: Photos Photo credit - MikeRussellFoto

Losing MLS Cup sucks. It’s about to be worse, because several players will no longer be Sounders by the end of the weekend. By 9 a.m. Sunday the Seattle Sounders will exercise their options and make bona fide offers on the players where those conditions apply. Seattle will also submit their protected list for the Expansion Draft at that time.

This coincides with a half-day trade window where teams are trying to move minor assets as they prepare for “draft season.” That trade window is from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday.

All roster movement shuts down at 10 a.m., which is around the same time they’ll likely be boarding their flight back to Seattle. They are scheduled to land at Boeing Field around 3 p.m.

The offseason picks up pace again on Dec. 12 at 11 a.m. with the Expansion Draft, when Los Angeles FC will take five players from the other 22 teams. Teams are compensated with General Allocation Money if they lose a player, and they can lose one player maximum.

At noon on the 12th, free agency season officially begins. Brad Evans and Lamar Neagle will both be eligible. Clint Dempsey and Chad Marshall have options that will almost certainly prevent them from being lost as frees. Dempsey is rumored to have reached an agreement on his extension already.

Draft season continues with the Waiver Draft at 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 13, the Re-Entry Draft Stage 1 at noon on Dec. 15 and RED 2 at 11 a.m. on Dec. 21.

On Dec. 18 the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League draw will take place. Seattle will face one of Saprissa, Herediano, Motagua, Tauro, Santa Tecla, Cibao or Olimpia.

In just under two weeks, the roster that made MLS Cup 2017 after winning the West will look quite different.

There will then be a nearly two-month break as the league pauses. The 2018 SuperDraft starts on Jan. 19 (with the Sounders picking 22nd, 45th and 68th).

The international transfer window opens on Feb. 7 and closes May 1. During that time the 2018 CCL Round of 16 takes place (leg one Feb 20-22, leg two Feb 27-March 1).