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MLS Expansion Draft: Who’s Protected? Who’s Not?

The rules, regulations, and stipulations of MNUFC’s first expansion draft on the “other side”

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Los Angeles Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

It has been 364 days since Minnesota United chose its first five players in the 2016 MLS Expansion Draft. Almost a full year later, it is now time for the new, new guys, Los Angeles FC, to do the same on December 12.

As always, LAFC will get their choice of players from the existing 22 MLS teams, but there are safeguards in effect to protect players they wish to stay on the teams’ rosters.

Protected Players

  • Each MLS team can protect 11 players from its senior, supplement, and reserve rosters.
  • Generation Adidas players who have not graduated by the end of the 2017 are protected. In most cases, a GA player will make his own decision to graduate, based on his playing time. If a player is established on the roster, (i.e., a starter) he may choose to graduate and join the team’s salary cap.

For the Loons: Abu Danladi (unless he decides to graduate before the season’s end)

  • Homegrown players on a team’s supplemental or reserve roster are protected.

For the Loons: Brandon Allen (will return to New York on loan), Collin Martin

  • Players with a no-trade clause in their contract are protected.
  • Retired players are not able to be drafted, but if the player changes his mind and returns, his original team loses its right of first refusal to him.
  • If any player is selected from MNUFC, all other players on the roster are now protected.

Unprotected Players

All players besides the ones described above are eligible for draft by LAFC, unless selected as one of the 11 protected players.

  • If a player’s contract runs out at the end of 2017, he is still considered part of the roster, unless. If a team protects a player, they are not forced to sign his player option.

For the Loons: (all of the following players have contracts ending in 2017 and have already been dropped from MNUFC’s roster) Jermaine Taylor, Justin Davis, Bernardo Añor, Patrick McLain, Joe Greenspan, Ismaila Jome, Thomas de Villardi

  • Free agents are unprotected. According to, “If a Free Agent is selected in the Expansion Draft, the expansion club that selected the player will gain his previous club’s ability to renegotiate a new contract consistent with the CBA before the beginning of Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft. If an Out of Contract Free Agent is selected in the Expansion Draft and subsequently signs with his 2017 club via Free Agency, he will be subject to the compensation limitation for Out of Contract Players signing with a new Club, as provided in the CBA.”
  • Designated players are unprotected.

For the Loons: None

  • International players may be unprotected based on the number on each team. Teams must take their total number of international players and minus three; this is how many international players can be unprotected. If a team has three or less, only one of their international players can be unprotected.

For the Loons: Michael Boxall, Fransico Calvo, Vadim Demidov, José Leitón, Sam Nicholson, Rasmus Schuller, Jerome Thiesson, Johan Venegas (8-3: only five of the international players can be unprotected)

Loons Eligible to be Protected/Unprotected

Adrian Heath and the rest of the will have the following list to decide which 11 players will be protected, and the rest will be eligible to join Los Angeles if the team wishes to draft them.

  1. Ibson
  2. Marc Burch
  3. Francisco Calvo
  4. Sam Cronin
  5. Vadim Demidov
  6. Ethan Findlay
  7. Miguel Ibarra
  8. Brent Kallman
  9. Alex Kapp
  10. Kevin Molino
  11. Sam Nicholson
  12. Christian Ramirez
  13. Rasmus Schuller
  14. Bobby Shuttleworth
  15. Jerome Thiesson
  16. Johan Venegas
  17. Collen Warner

Who would you pick to protect if you had the decision? Let us know in the comments below!