While the 2015 MLS season has yet to reach its conclusion, the league has revealed the details surrounding the offseason that will precede the 2016 campaign.
MLS announced the 2016 offseason schedule on Thursday, revealing the key dates surrounding the build up to next season. The offseason will be the first to feature a form of free agency, which will see players 28 years of age and older with eight years of MLS service who are out of contract have the freedom to negotiate a new contract with any club.
A list of eligible free agents will be released on Dec. 7, while players will be allowed to enter negotiations with clubs the following day. The start of free agency will be followed by both the familiar Waiver Draft and Re-Entry Draft, which are set for Dec. 9 and Dec. 11, respectively. Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft is scheduled for Dec. 17.
With current players’ statuses all but handled, the focus then turns towards those entering the league via the college game. MLS will hold the league’s 2016 Player Combine from Jan. 7-12 ahead of the 2016 MLS Draft on Jan. 14.
Finally, the league will kickstart the preseason on Jan. 22.
Here’s a full look at the 2015-16 MLS offseason schedule:
Dec. 7 – List of all players eligible for Free Agency and Re-Entry Draft made public
Dec. 8 – Starting at 1 p.m., Free Agents may engage in negotiations with MLS clubs outside of their previous club List of eligible players for the Waiver Draft made public
Dec. 9 – Waiver Draft at 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 10 – Starting at 5 p.m., clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry eligible players
Dec. 11 – Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft at 3 p.m.
Dec. 16 – Starting at 11 a.m., clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry eligible players
Dec. 17 – Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft at 3 p.m.
Jan. 7-12 – 2016 adidas MLS Player Combine
Jan. 14 – 2016 MLS SuperDraft
Jan. 22 – 2016 MLS preseason begins
What do you think of the offseason schedule? What are your expectations for the upcoming offseason?
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