Top Stories

MLS Expansion Priority Draft to take place Wednesday


Although they won’t be picking players yet, the two 2015 MLS expansion teams — New York City FC and Orlando City — will have several big choices to make about their future on Wednesday.

Both will take part in an Expansion Priority Draft, which will determine their spot in eight different player acquisition mechanisms — most notably for December’s expansion draft and the 2015 SuperDraft.

The event will take place at 2 p.m. and will be available via stream on KickTV host Jimmy Conrad will MC the event, while coaches Jason Kreis (NYCFC) and Adrian Heath (Orlando City) will both be in attendance to make the selections.

The eight acquisition mechanisms to be determined are as follows:

1. MLS Expansion Draft (Picks 1 or 2)
2. MLS SuperDraft (Picks 1 or 2)
3. USL PRO/NASL Player Priority Ranking (Picks 1 or 2)
4. Designated Player Ranking (Picks 1 or 2)
5. Allocation Ranking (Picks 1 or 2)
6. Discovery Ranking (Picks 20 or 21)
7. Waiver/Re-Entry Draft Ranking (Picks 20 or 21)
8. Lottery Ranking (Picks 20 or 21)

A draw done by supporters from NYCFC and Orlando City will determine which club goes first, and then the two coaches will alternate selections for priority in each of the player acquisition mechanisms, choosing whichever their franchise feels is more important to the team-building process.

These are the same conditions MLS used during the last two-team expansion when the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps joined the league in 2011.

What do you think of the way the Expansion Priority Draft is run? How would you rank the player acquisition mechanisms in order of importance? Which should each team prioritize?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Expansion draft seems the best source for talent, but it’s just one pick earlier than the other team. DP ranking seems so fickle based on the whims of the selected DP. Huh, I dunno. I’d probably want Expansion draft most.

  2. The question after all the whining is done.

    Which one do you take if you win the coin toss ?

    DP Ranking, Expansion draft, SuperDraft ( love that name ), other ?

    • Why would you think that ?

      If you like it like I do, there would be no need to change.

      If you hate it, like so many posters, you probably have fretted about it so much that you expect it, no ? MLS overall goals/ideals have not changed one iota, nor are they going to.

      Do you disagree with that last statement ?

      • I like MLS

        I attend games too

        I just think the play aquisition rules are unnecesarily complex

        Also, I understand the original single entity business model, but the original idea as I recall it in 1996 was that the league was going to move to a less centralized approach over time.

        That time does not yet seem to have arrived

        If anything, the rules re: player aquistion have become more compliated

  3. Oh MLS, the hoops you will go through! The owners are priority one and you must never let them compete for a player in an open market. Don’t get me wrong, I want MLS to succeed but I don’t want it to still look like this in 5 or 10 years.

  4. Can someone please explain numbers 3-8? What a clusterduck. I’m a huge fan of the league and even I don’t know what any of this stuff is. That’s a problem.

    • 3. USL PRO/NASL Player Priority Ranking (Picks 1 or 2)
      -USed to sign lower division players and only exists for expansion teams during their first year. Essentially gives them priority to sign such players before other MLS teams (i.e. Alonso to Seattle in 2009).
      4. Designated Player Ranking (Picks 1 or 2)
      -DPs signed by the league that have more than one team interested in acquiring them, i.e. what Jones would have been if not for Kraft getting involved.
      5. Allocation Ranking (Picks 1 or 2)
      -Used for current USMNT or returning MLS players. Current examples include Edu, Beasley, and Bocanegra.
      6. Discovery Ranking (Picks 20 or 21)
      -Used when multiple teams have put in a discovery claim on the same player.
      7. Waiver/Re-Entry Draft Ranking (Picks 20 or 21)
      -Used for waived players and for the Re-Entry Draft, which is for players out-of-contract or who have had their option declined.
      8. Lottery Ranking (Picks 20 or 21)
      -Used for SuperDraft-eligible players that have signed with MLS after the SuperDraft has taken place.


      When the league hits 24 teams, group them in to 4 divisions of 6 (similar to other U.S. pro sports). This will help to continue to build regional rivalries while cutting down on travel.

      Proposed divisions:

      New England


      San Jose
      LA Galaxy

      Las Vegas?

      • Nah. Just keep it the way it is. Play the other 11 teams in your conference twice, the 12 teams in the other conference once – 34 games. No need to copy other US sports leagues.

      • Actually, travel is a major concern. Players and clubs would like it to be cut down as much as possible. Travel is not a concern in a domestic league in a smaller country, but as you are probably aware, MLS covers 4 time zones and is literally all over the map. Foreign players have stated that the heavy amount of travel is a concern and it takes some time for them to adjust.

      • Not the same comparison. Most of Brazil’s population is in the southeastern part of the country. Same with Russia. Most of the population of that country is west of the Ural mountains in one time zone.

      • No “comparison” will be the same unless the things being compared are identical (in which case, there’s no point in comparing).

        This isn’t a question of where Brazil’s population lives. Rather, it’s about how Campeonato players feel about traveling distances as far as Porto Alegre to Recife (5.5-h plane ride)—i.e., further than Seattle to Newark. Rio de Janeiro to Recife is a 2.5-h flight (comparable to LA to Seattle, but further than DC to Boston or Boston to Columbus).

        Point is: MLS teams travel a lot and players (some anyway) complain about it. Well, Campeonato players also travel a lot (some teams far more than others), so I wonder if they too complain.

      • Why would you put DC United, a team that’s clearly located in the Northeast Corridor, a mid-Atlantic big city that is in the same cultural region as other big mid-Atlantic cities Philadelphia and New York, already has an historic rivalry with the Red Bulls, and a secondary rivalry with the Union, with the southern teams but not their closest neighbors?!?!

        The NHL tried that and they’ve since moved the Caps back into a division with their natural rivals in Philadelphia and New York. Also, your alignment would replace train and bus trips with almost all airplane trips. That’s a big deal from the perspective of cost and wear and tear on players’ bodies (it takes a long time and is very stressful to transfer airplanes in sprawling airports while the players often simply take the Metro to Union Station for games at New York and Philadelphia).

  5. This is an absolutely ridiculous system. Take off the training wheels, let competition reign. May the best organization win!

    • Careful, MLS fanboys will rip you to shreds if you say anything critical about the league. But, yes, I agree it is time to take off the training wheels if they want to become a better league.

    • I don’t think we want a total free for all but some of this stuff is baffling and silly. It also makes the league harder to follow, which is never a good thing. Even people who are huge MLS fans don’t know what a lot of this stuff is.

      • Soccer is a fairly simple sport: a few rules, most of which are fairly obvious. The rule book is a pamphlet you could fit in your back pocket.

        But Americans love NFL. I don’t think there even is an NFL rule book; I believe it comes as a series of 24 hardbound volumes. Remember the days of “You Make the Call” before and after commercials? You could never do that with soccer. When I lived in Brazil, the big sports TV station would broadcast the Super Bowl, but for three hours before kickoff they would air an explanation of NFL rules. Three hours!

        MLS can’t do much to change the rules of FIFA soccer, so is instead just trying to give Americans fans a little pinch of NFL complexity in whatever way they can.

    • Better idea: write every potential player’s name on a small white marble, then “Hungry Hungry Hippos” to determine allocation.

  6. What a jumble. MLS player allocation/acquisition rules verge on self-parody.

    Does this process also have one of those wonderful “we can waive any of these rules if, in the judgment of the league, it’s necessary” provisions?


Leave a Comment