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Rules for MLS Re-Entry Process

As part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, MLS players who meet certain criteria are eligible to be made available to all teams through the Re-Entry Process after the season.

The Stage 1 Draft of the Re-Entry Process will take place on Wednesday, December 8th at 12 p.m. MT via teleconference with the Stage 2 Draft taking place on Wednesday, December 15th at 12 p.m. MT.

“This process grants new rights to our players,” said MLS Executive Vice President Todd Durbin. “It ensures that players receive fair and timely offers after each season and provides clubs with another opportunity to strengthen their rosters.”


Both Stage 1 and Stage 2 Drafts will be conducted in the same order as the traditional Waiver Draft (reverse order of finish in 2010 with playoffs included), with Vancouver selecting 17th and Portland selecting 18th. 


  1. 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 2011).
  2. 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 at 2010 salary).
  3. 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 2010 salary).


  1. Each club may either select a player from the eligible player list, or pass. Once a team has passed, they may no longer participate in that stage of the Re-Entry Process. Each stage will continue until all 18 clubs have passed on the available players.
  2. Clubs must exercise the option for, or extend a Bona Fide Offer to, players selected in Stage 1. Players that were out of contract may either accept or reject the Bona Fide Offer. Should a player reject the offer, the drafting club will hold the right of first refusal for that player in MLS. Players with option years left on their contract will automatically be added to the drafting club’s roster. 
  3. Any player selected in Stage 1 will remain on the drafting Club’s 2011 budget at the option price or Bona Fide Offer price until April 1, 2011. Clubs and players may not mutually renegotiate that price to a lower number until April 1, 2011.
  4. Clubs may not select their own players in Stage 1. Players will have the opportunity to negotiate contracts and sign with their previous clubs after Stage 1 is complete until 12 p.m. MT on December 13. 
  5. In Stage 2, clubs may select from players that are under contract and those not under contract. If a player is not under contract, the drafting club will be required to make a genuine offer to the player within seven days. In the event that an agreement cannot be reached between the drafting club and an out-of-contract player, the drafting club will hold the right of first refusal for that player in MLS. Clubs may select their own players in Stage 2 only after all other clubs have declined to select those players.
  6. Players who are not selected in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft will be made available in Stage 2 on December 15. Clubs selecting players in Stage 2 will negotiate a new salary with the player.
  7. If a player is not selected in either stage of the Re-Entry Process, that player will be available on a first come first serve basis to all clubs.