NEW YORK, NY - Major League Soccer announced Friday that the MLS Expansion Draft will be held on November 19, allowing 2020 expansion sides Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF to add to their roster ahead of their debut seasons. Additionally, the 2019 MLS Expansion Priority Draft will take place on October 6, the final day of the MLS regular season, on MLSSoccer.com's "Matchday Central".
The Expansion Draft is one of the mechanisms MLS uses to give expansion teams an opportunity to add to their rosters ahead of their debut seasons. Both Miami and Nashville will be able to select up to five players currently on the roster of another MLS side. Each current MLS team is allow to protect up to 12 players on their roster, making them unavailable for selection in the draft. The full list of draftable players will be released on Saturday, November 16.
2019 expansion side made five picks in last year's draft, selecting Darren Mattocks (DC United), Kei Kamara (Vancouver Whitecaps), Roland Lamah (FC Dallas), Eric Alexander (Houston Dynamo) and Hassan Ndam (New York Red Bulls). The five clubs who had players selected in last year's draft are exempt from this year's draft.
The expansion draft has been a successful method for new clubs to bring in contributors for their club. Current MLS leaders LAFC selected Tyler Miller and Latif Blessing in 2017, both of whom are first-choice starters for the club. In 2016, Atlanta United selected Mikey Ambrose, who has made 20 appearances for the reigning champions.
The MLS Priority Draft will kick off MLSSoccer.com's “Matchday Central: Decision Day presented by AT&T Pregame Show", which will be live streamed on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, as well as MLSSoccer.com and the MLS App. Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre and General Manager Mike Jacobs will represent Nashville, joined by Inter Miami CF Managing Owner & CEO Jorge Mas and Sporting Director Paul McDonough.
The Priority Draft will flip a coin to determine which club has first pick for the below events:
First pick in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft (selecting max of five players from current MLS teams)
First pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft (selecting players from college teams)
Number 1 position in Allocation Ranking Order
Penultimate position in MLE Re-Entry and End-Of-Year Waiver Order
Penultimate position in Discovery Player Ranking