The Chicago Fire's selection of D.C. United forward Maicon Santos was the lone pick taken in last Friday's Stage 1 Re-Entry Draft. The Crew and seventeen other teams passed on their opportunites to pick-up a player's option for 2013, as the Black & Gold were able to negotiate a new deal for Tony Tchani just before the draft commenced.
"Obviously, the salaries play a big role," Crew Technical Director Brian Bliss said of Stage 1. "We just don't have that kind of room that we can go above and beyond what we value those players in order to get them on our roster. It was pretty cautious on our side to pass [in Stage 1 of Re-Entry]."
Bliss expects more players to be taken off the list as they re-negotiate deals with their 2012 teams before Stage 2 of Re-Entry takes place on Friday.
"I'd be surprised if a lot of those guys are still around, because a lot of them know their salaries are high and they will probably negotiate down to a reasonable number and stay with the clubs they're currently at. Hence, they will probably be taken off the board before Friday," Bliss explained.
Still, more activity should take place in the second stage on Friday than in Stage 1 as teams are able to negotiate new salaries with the players they select in Stage 2.
From the 2012 Crew roster, defender Julius James and goalkeeper William Hesmer remain on the eligible player list and could land on a new team ahead of the weekend. Midfielder Chris Birchall took his name off the list, opting to stay in England rather than moving his family overseas again.
Defense will remain the focus for Bliss and the Crew as some intriguing names remain on the list for Friday's Re-Entry Draft, if the team and player can settle on the right price.
"Looking at some of the defensive guys, Jeremy Hall or maybe Stephen Keel and guys like that have some value," Bliss noted. "They have experience in the League and you might be able to get them at a reasonable price."
Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft takes place at 3:00 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon via teleconference.