SANDY, Utah (Monday, December 14, 2020) – Real Salt Lake has announced the 12 players on the club’s Protected Player list in advance of the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft, taking place on Tuesday, December 15 at 4 p.m. MT. Austin FC will select five players with no club losing more than one player to the expansion side. New York City FC, FC Cincinnati, LAFC, Columbus Crew SC, Seattle Sounders FC, Minnesota United FC, Atlanta United, Sporting Kansas City, the Portland Timbers and the New England Revolution are exempt after each losing a player in the previous MLS Expansion Draft to Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF last year.
The off-season roster building events continue with End-of-Year Waivers and the opening of Free Agency on December 16, followed by Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Process on December 17 and Stage 2 on December 22.
The following 12 RSL players will not be eligible for selection by Austin when Major League Soccer’s newest club makes their selections:
In addition to those 12 players, Homegrown Players Luis Arriaga, Corey Baird, Christopher Garcia, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Milan Iloski, David Ochoa, Tate Schmitt and Julian Vazquez are exempt from the draft and cannot be selected. Also, Real Salt Lake has three players signed for the 2021 season who are exempt from the Expansion Draft – Andrew Brody, Bode Davis and Noah Powder.
With the Protected Player list established, this means that the following players under contract in 2020 with Real Salt Lake will be available for selection by Austin:
Goalkeepers: Zac MacMath, Andrew Putna
Defenders: Alvin Jones, Ashtone Morgan, Nedum Onuoha (retired)
Midfielders: Luke Mulholland, Justin Portillo
Forward: Giuseppe Rossi
On Wednesday, Dec. 16 (11 a.m. MT), the End-of-Year Waivers process gives the clubs that finished at the bottom of the 2020 standings the first opportunities to select from out-of-contract, typically young players who have not met the minimum number of service years for Free Agency or the Re-Entry Process. Beginning in reverse order, and taking into account postseason performance, FC Cincinnati will select first. The 2020 MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew SC will have the 26th pick, and expansion club Austin FC will have the 27th selection to end each round.
Arriaga and Vazquez are eligible for the Waiver Draft.
Immediately following the End-of Year Waivers process, Free Agency also will open on Dec. 16 for players who are at least age 24 with at least five MLS service years and either option-declined or out-of-contract. Free Agents can negotiate a new contract with any MLS club, including their previous team, subject to certain restrictions. There is no limit on the number of Free Agents a team may sign each year.
Beckerman and Mulholland are eligible for Free Agency.
Free Agents may participate in the Re-Entry Process.
Re-Entry Process The Re-Entry Process, Stage 1 begins on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. MT. Similar to the End-of-Year Waivers process, the Re-Entry process is conducted in the reverse order of the 2020 season finish, keeping in mind postseason performance and any trades impacting selection order. During the Re-Entry process, MLS clubs can select from option-declined players who are at least 22 years old with a minimum of one service years.
Jones, Onuoha and Rossi are eligible for the Re-Entry Draft.
*Note: The Re-Entry List is subject to change since players can opt out.
The final postseason roster mechanism will be Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Process which will be conducted on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The list of players eligible for Re-Entry, Stage 2 will be announced on Dec. 22 at 9 a.m. MT.
Real Salt Lake History in MLS Expansion Drafts
2006: Toronto FC – Jason Kreis selected (re-acquired by RSL in exchange for allocation money)
2007: San Jose Earthquakes – no RSL player selected
2008: Seattle Sounders FC – Nathan Sturgis selected
2009: Philadelphia Union – no RSL player selected (RSL traded Chris Seitz to Union in exchange for allocation money on eve of expansion draft)
2010: Portland Timbers/Vancouver Whitecaps FC – Portland selected Robbie Findley and David Horst
2011: Montreal Impact – Collen Warner selected
2014: New York City FC/Orlando City SC – NYCFC selected Ned Grabavoy and Chris Wingert
2016: Minnesota United/Atlanta United – Minnesota selected Jeff Attinella
2018: FC Cincinnati – no RSL player selected
2019: Inter Miami CF/Nashville SC – no RSL player selected
*** Prior to its inaugural 2005 campaign, Real Salt Lake selected Andy Williams, D.J. Countess, Pablo Brenes, Brian Kamler, Nelson Akwari, Chris Brown, Matt Behncke, Rusty Pierce, Kevin Ara and Erick Scott in the 2004 MLS Expansion Draft on November 19, 2004.