Buckle up, folks. It’s time to do some scouting. The Major League Soccer Re-Entry Draft is upon us and the Free Agent Class of 2017 is out looking for teams. There is one thing that MLS loves and that is drafts. They’ve a draft for everything. College players. US National Team players. Expansion. Draft of Draft (no, not making that up).
This particular draft is for senior players who don’t qualify for Free Agency. Basically, players whose options have been declined go into Re-Entry. It’s a 2 round process where teams finishing in the bottom of the standings go first (like all of the drafts). Without getting into all of the particulars, Round 1 is where teams pick up a player at their current contract. Round 2 where teams can negotiate deals with the player.
As with most explanations in the past, this is really basic but you get the idea of how it works and what is about to happen Thursday afternoon. Here is the list of available players. Here is their salary according to the Players Union.
Glancing over the Re-Entry Draft list and with the #2 pick, the best option in Round 1 is……no one. While there are players who can help, gambling on their availability into the second round and renegotiating is worth it. The top of my personal list is Columbus Crew’s Cedric Mabwati. The team needs fullbacks and he is a perfectly capable one. His salary of $263,350 is a bit pricey.
Beyond that no one else jumps out as being worth picking up. Perhaps Colorado Rapids’ Sean St. Ledger to bolster the defense. Neither are solutions but both can help the Dynamo into 2017.
Now on to Free Agency. It was a big deal during the last negotiations between the league and the players union. While the restrictions are a bit difficult, to be polite, it is a foot in the door for players to further negotiate when the CBA expires. In the meantime, players with complete Free Agency are those who have been in the league for 8 years and have 28 years of age.
This year’s class is here. A lot of familiar names are available, including former Dynamo left back Corey Ashe. Bringing him back wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world and it’d help. Not the most exciting thing but with so many holes on the roster, making compromises in certain areas will allow the team to focus on more worrying areas. Such as the offense. The offensive four are a complete disaster and that is where the team should focus their efforts. Getting some temporary, veteran help in defense while grooming younger replacements makes more sense than not.
Ashe was on $105,500 last year, fyi.
Another option is Kevin Alston. The versatile defender was on $130,000 last season and even at that price isn’t a bad option to fill in. About the only other option that even raises an eyebrow is Marvell Wynne at $224,375. If he can be brought in and have something to offer, that would be ok.
Besides these players, it appears that the bulk of the players needed to fill out the roster will have to come from trade, the college ranks and outside the league.
What about our own Free Agents: David Horst and DaMarcus Beasley. The former is highly doubtful to return while the latter is negotiating with the team. Personally, I wouldn’t hold my breath that Run DMB will return in 2017.
Let us know who you think the Dynamo should select in the Re-Entry Draft and pick up fro Free Agency.