MLS Offseason Calendar

Roster-building events on the horizon as MLS offseason officially begins

Columbus Crew SC were crowned champions of Major League Soccer on Saturday night with an emphatic 3-0 home win over Seattle Sounders FC in the 2020 MLS Cup at MAPFRE Stadium.

With the 2020 campaign done and dusted, an important offseason period has officially begun for all 27 MLS clubs. Over the next 10 days, teams across the league will have opportunities to acquire new players through a number of different roster mechanisms.

First on the docket is the half-day trade window, which runs today from 8 a.m. to noon CT. On Tuesday, newcomers Austin FC will add up to five players to their inaugural roster in the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft. Because Sporting Kansas City had a player selected in the 2019 Expansion Draft, the club is exempt from having any players taken in this year's event.

The roster-building calendar also includes the Re-Entry Process, End-of-Year Waivers and the start of Free Agency. Details and dates for each of the offseason roster mechanisms follows below.

Sunday, Dec. 13
 
8 a.m. CT
 
Half-Day Trade Window Opens
Following a 45-day roster freeze, MLS clubs may trade players.
 
12 p.m. CT
Half-Day Trade Window Closes and Blackout Period Begins 
Blackout Period begins whereby clubs may no longer sign and/or trade players until conclusion of 2020 Expansion Draft.
Tuesday, Dec. 15
 
5 p.m. CT
 
2020 MLS Expansion Draft
Austin FC may select up to five players from the eligible player list. The list of players eligible for selection in the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft will be released by MLS Communications on Dec. 14 at 9 a.m. CT.
 
Wednesday, Dec. 16
 
12 p.m. CT
 
End-of-Year Waivers
The End-of-Year Waivers process is conducted in reverse order of 2020 season finish, taking into account postseason performance. Expansion club Austin FC will have the 27th pick in each round. Eligible for selection are players who do not meet the minimum requirements for Re-Entry Process or Free Agency. The list of players eligible for the End-of-Year Waivers will be released by MLS Communications on Dec. 14.
 
 
12 p.m. CT
 
Free Agency Opens
Clubs may engage with players, other than their own, that are eligible for Free Agency. Free Agency eligible players are out-of-contract and option-declined players who are at least 24 years old and who have completed a minimum of five service years. MLS Communications will make the complete list of Free Agents available on Dec. 14.
 
Thursday, Dec. 17
 
12 p.m. CT
 
Re-Entry Process, Stage 1
The Re-Entry Process (Stage 1 and
Stage 2) is conducted in reverse order of 2020 season finish, taking into account postseason performance. Expansion club Austin FC will have the 27th pick in each round. Eligible Players include those who are at least 22 years old, have a minimum of one service year, and their contract options were not exercised by their clubs or they did not receive a bona fide offer. The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Process – Stage 1 will be released by MLS Communications on Dec. 14.
 
Tuesday, Dec. 22  
 
12 p.m. CT
 
Re-Entry Process, Stage 2
The Re-Entry Process, Stage 2 is conducted in the same order as Stage 1 and consists of MLS players who were not selected in the Stage 1. Not all unselected Stage 1 players will be available for selection as players may re-sign with their previous club between stages or may opt out of the process. The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Process – Stage 2 will be released by MLS Communications on Dec. 22 at 9 a.m. CT.
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