The Gamble that is the First Stage of the Re-Entry Draft

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The first stage of the Re-Entry Draft is this Thursday, but is there anyone really worth taking in that stage?

The last two Decembers, we have been given another draft to play around with while following the FC Dallas offseason. The Re-Entry Draft, a very interesting draft that is mostly about getting players signed to new deals at cheaper prices.

The first stage is set for this Thursday and FC Dallas will pick fifth. Last year, nearly every club passed in the first stage so it begs the question, is there anyone worth taking this year?

To understand the rules of the first stage, we consult the league rules:

Available to all teams in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry draft will be:

Players who are at least 23 years old and have a minimum of three years experience in MLS whose options were not exercised by their clubs (available at option salary for 2014).

Players who are at least 25 years old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them at their previous salary (available for at least their 2013 salary).

Players who are at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them (available for at least 105% of their 2013 salary).

Players who are not selected in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft will be made available in Stage 2. Clubs selecting players in Stage 2 will negotiate a new salary with the player.

Players who remain unselected after Stage 2 will be available to any MLS club on a first come, first serve basis.

Get all of that? Basically, you pick a player in Stage 1, you're going to have to pay up. Wait around until Stage 2 and you stand the chance to get a good deal. Stage 2 is like Black Friday for MLS clubs in that sense.

So who would I gam be on with a Stage 1 pick? A couple of names sound intriguing when looking closely at the list of players available. Early next week we will give you all another list of players worth looking at in Stage 2.

Corben Bone (total 2013 compensation $49,000)

The Plano native has always been an intriguing prospect for the Chicago Fire. At 25-years old, he still has some time to show what he is worth in the right system. The only thing is, without a new head coach, we don't know if he'd fit here just yet. Still, that price tag, which likely would only go as high as $60k in 2014 isn't that bad for a young depth player to have in the midfield.

Josue Soto (total 2013 compensation $35,125)

Another young prospect here, Soto can play anywhere on the flanks from the full back position to the wings. The SMU grad was a part of the Houston Dynamo academy system for years before being released by the Dynamo in early 2013. Chivas USA picked him up after impressing in a pre-season trial.

Andre Akpan (total 2013 compensation $67,595)

Another local native here, and one that our old pal Daniel always wanted in Frisco with the club. Akpan never quite caught on this past year with the New York Red Bulls but I do still feel that there is enough talent with this kid to take a gamble on in the first stage this week. He would be another forward on the roster but I think he could also play on the wings in the right setup as well.

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