Major League Soccer today released the lists of players eligible for selection by Charlotte FC in the 2021 MLS Expansion Draft. The 2021 MLS Expansion Draft will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. ET, and will be produced and broadcast live by Charlotte FC’s broadcast partners locally and simulcast nationally on MLSsoccer.com and the MLS App.
The off-season roster building events continue with End-of-Year Waivers and the opening of Free Agency on Dec. 15, followed by Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft on Dec. 17, and Stage 2 on Dec. 23.
2021 MLS Expansion Draft
The 28th club in Major League Soccer, Charlotte FC, will continue to build its inaugural season roster by selecting up to five players from the eligible player list. Five teams are exempt from losing players after having players selected by Austin FC in the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft: LA Galaxy, Nashville SC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC and San Jose Earthquakes.
The remaining 22 teams were each allowed to protect 12 eligible players. Charlotte FC will select up to five players from a total list of 258. Once one player is selected from a club’s unprotected roster, that club is removed from the remainder of the Expansion Draft and may not have a second player selected.
On Wednesday, Dec. 15 (1 p.m. ET), the End-of-Year Waivers process gives the clubs that finished at the bottom of the 2021 standings the first opportunities to select from out-of-contract, typically young players who have not met the minimum number of service years for Free Agency or the Re-Entry Process. Beginning in reverse order, and taking into account postseason performance, FC Cincinnati will select first. The 2021 MLS Cup champions New York City FC will have the 27th pick, and expansion club Charlotte FC will have the 28th selection to end each round.
Immediately following the End-of-Year Waivers process, Free Agency also will open on Dec. 15 for players who are at least age 24 with at least five MLS service years and either option-declined or out-of-contract. Free Agents can negotiate a new contract with any MLS club, including their previous team, subject to certain restrictions. There is no limit on the number of Free Agents a team may sign each year.
Free Agents may participate in the Re-Entry Process.
The Re-Entry Draft, Stage 1 begins on Friday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. ET. Similar to the End-of-Year Waivers process, the Re-Entry Draft is conducted in the reverse order of the final 2021 season standings, keeping in mind postseason performance and any trades impacting selection order. During the Re-Entry Draft, MLS clubs can select from option-declined players who are at least 22 years old with a minimum of one service year and who are not eligible for free agency.
Note: The Re-Entry List is subject to change since players can opt out.
The final postseason roster mechanism will be Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft, which will be conducted on Thursday, Dec. 23. The list of players eligible for Re-Entry, Stage 2 will be announced on Dec. 23 at 11 a.m. ET.