Thanks to the 2022 World Cup, the Major League Soccer offseason comes super early and before Christmas!
MLS announced Thursday the full calendar of offseason roster-building events, highlighted by the MLS Expansion Draft on November 11 and the 2023 MLS SuperDraft on December 21.
As the 2023 expansion club St. Louis CITY SC prepares to begin MLS play next season, the team will have the opportunity to select up to five current MLS players to help shape the core of their inaugural roster during the MLS Expansion Draft. The club also holds the first overall selection in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft.
MLS Offseason Calendar
|Monday, November 7, 2022||Trade Window Opens||Following a two-month roster freeze, MLS clubs may begin making adjustments to their rosters and conduct trades with other MLS teams. All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.|
|Wednesday, November 9, 2022||Trade Window Closes and Blackout Period Begins||Blackout Period begins whereby clubs may no longer sign and/or trade players until the conclusion of the MLS Expansion Draft.|
|Thursday, November 10, 2022||Expansion Protected Lists Announced||The list of players eligible for selection in the MLS Expansion Draft will be released by MLS Communications.|
|Friday, November 11, 2022||MLS Expansion Draft||St. Louis CITY SC may select up to five players from the eligible player list. The list of players eligible for selection in the MLS Expansion Draft will be released by MLS Communications on Thursday, Nov. 10.|
|Monday, November 14, 2022||Club Deadline to Submit Bona Fide Offers||MLS clubs must submit to the MLS League Office, in writing, all Bona Fide offers. All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.|
|Monday, November 14, 2022||Club Deadline to Exercise Options||MLS clubs must submit to the MLS League Office which players will have their options exercised, and which players will not have their options exercised. All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.|
|Wednesday, November 16, 2022||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 Wednesday, Nov. 16.|
|Thursday, November 17, 2022||Re-Entry Process, Stage 1||The Re-Entry Process (Stage 1 and Stage 2) is conducted in reverse order of 2022 season finish, considering postseason performance. Expansion club St. Louis CITY SC will have the 29th position in each round. Eligible Players include those who are at least 22 years old, have a minimum of one service year, and who are not eligible for Free Agency. An out-of-contract player who has received a BFO from his current club will not be eligible for the Re-Entry Draft. The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Process – Stage 1 will be released by MLS Communications on Wednesday, Nov. 16.|
|Thursday, November 17, 2022||End-of-Year Waivers||The End-of-Year Waivers process is conducted in reverse order of 2022 season finish, considering postseason performance. Expansion club St. Louis CITY SC will get the 29th pick, the final selection 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 Wednesday, Nov. 16.|
|Tuesday, November 22, 2022||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 Tuesday, Nov. 22.|
|Thursday, December 8 – Monday, December 12||MLS College Showcase||The third edition of the MLS College Showcase will take place from Dec. 8-12 in Cary, N.C. The event will give technical staffs from every MLS club an opportunity to scout top collegiate prospects in the nation, including players with remaining NCAA eligibility.|
|Wednesday, December 21, 2022||2023 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas||The 2023 MLS SuperDraft will consist of three rounds of player selection. The MLS SuperDraft order is set by taking the reverse order of the club standings at the end of each MLS season, taking postseason performance into account, with new expansion club St. Louis CITY SC at the top of the order.|
The following five teams that had players selected by Charlotte FC during the 2021 MLS Expansion Draft are exempt from the 2022 MLS Expansion Draft: Austin FC, Atlanta United FC, D.C. United, LAFC, New York City FC.
The other 23 returning MLS clubs that competed during the 2022 season can protect 12 players from their Senior and Supplemental rosters.
Generation adidas players who have not been graduated and Homegrown Players (players 25 years old and under in the year in which the Expansion Draft takes place) on a club’s Roster at the end of the 2022 MLS Season are automatically protected. Clubs do not have to use a protected slot on them.
Designated Players and other discretionary players are NOT automatically protected (i.e., clubs must choose whether to protect such players and if such player is not protected, he will be available for selection in the Expansion Draft).
Clubs with four or more international players must protect at least three international players, excluding any automatically protected players. If a Club has only three international players, it must protect two. If a Club has only two international players, it must protect one. A club with only one international player is not required to protect that player.
Free Agency Rules
11 days after the 2022 MLS Cup, teams can begin engaging with players via the league’s Free Agency process in preparation for the 2023 season. Eligible players will be at least twenty-four (24) years old in the year in which the immediately preceding League Season concluded and have at least five (5) MLS Service Years. This allows players the freedom to negotiate a new contract with any MLS club, including their previous team, subject to certain restrictions.
Players who are eligible to be selected in the Re-Entry Draft include Players who are at least 22 years old and have a minimum of one year of MLS service who are out of contract and did not receive a Bona Fide Offer or whose contract options were not exercised by their clubs.