The first stage of the 2017 Major League Soccer Re-Entry Draft took place on Friday afternoon with two teams adding faces to their respective rosters.
Defender Tyrone Mears and forward Mike Grella were the only two names called, being chosen by Minnesota United and the Colorado Rapids, respectively. Fifty-five players were eligible for selection in the draft. The players not selected in Friday’s first stage will now carry over to the second stage, which takes place on Thursday, Dec. 21.
Mears, 34, played in 21 matches for Atlanta United in 2017, scoring one goal and adding in one assist. The fullback had joined the expansion side from the Seattle Sounders after playing in 74 matches for them between 2015-2016. He will look to help strengthen a backline that allowed an MLS-worst 70 goals a season ago.
After acquiring Grella, the Rapids then traded him to the Columbus Crew in exchange for a second round draft pick in 2019. Grella struggled with injuries in 2017, appearing in only eight matches for the New York Red Bulls. After netting 16 goals in the last two MLS seasons combined, the 30-year-old failed to record a point for Jesse Marsch’s side last season. He will look to add an offensive spark to the Crew, who just missed out on an MLS Cup appearance.