MLS has confirmed a recent Grant Wahl report concerning the 2016 Expansion Draft taking place on December 13 at 2 p.m., three days after MLS Cup. According to the release, the draft will be shortened from previous years, from 10 picks to five per team. The 20 MLS teams will still be able protect up to 11 players.
Because the draft has been shortened to five rounds, so have the number of players either expansion team will be able to select. After a player has been picked from a given team, that team will be removed from the selection process. One player per team between Minnesota United and Atlanta United.
“We’re eager to continue building our roster for next season and the expansion draft is another opportunity for us,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said in a release. “We will continue our scouting and preparation for all player acquisition mechanisms and ensure that we’ll be well prepared for this draft come December.”
An Expansion Priority Draft to determine the selection positions of Atlanta United and Minnesota United has also been confirmed for October 16. This includes the selection positions of the 2016 MLS Expansion Draft, 2017 MLS SuperDraft, Allocation Ranking Order, 2016 Waiver Draft and Re-Entry Draft Ranking, Discovery Player Ranking and USL/NASL Player Priority Ranking.
MLS will flip a coin to determine who gets the first pick in the Expansion Priority Draft. For those who might be confused as to what exactly the Expansion Priority Draft means, it’s basically a draft of picks for the aforementioned selection processes.
One interesting note regarding lower-division players: “Atlanta will have priority over players it has signed to MLS Contracts and one additional player in USL/NASL subject to another MLS Club’s right of first refusal.”
You can see the full rules here.