Expansion Draft: All You Need to Know

MLS EXpansion

The MLS Expansion Draft is almost here…

This will be NYCFC’s first time on the other side of the fence as Atlanta United FC and Minnesota United FC pull together their first MLS squads.

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Expansion Draft…


The Expansion Draft will take place on December 13, three days after Saturday’s MLS Cup final between Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders. It will be held at 2pm ET.


All 20 MLS teams will submit a list of 11 protected players to the league this weekend before the two expansion sides can select five unprotected men each from the current MLS rosters.

Atlanta will pick first after they won the Expansion Priority Draft coin flip last month.


Atlanta and Minnesota can select a maximum of one unprotected player from each of the 20 teams. After a player is selected from a club's unprotected roster, their club is removed from the Expansion Draft process.


Generation Adidas and Homegrown players are not available to be selected, meaning Jack Harrison (GA) will not have to be listed as protected by NYCFC.


The most significant difference between the 2014 Expansion Draft, which NYCFC and Orlando City participated in, sees the number of players picks down from 10 to 5.

In every other MLS Expansion Draft since 2004, expansion clubs picked 10 players, alternating picks in draft format only when two teams entered the league at once (like Vancouver and Portland in 2011 and Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake in 2005). The expansion teams entering the league alone (Montreal in 2012, Philadelphia in 2010, Seattle in 2009, San Jose in 2008 and Toronto FC in 2007) made their 10 picks one after the other.

Back in 1997, expansion clubs Miami Fusion and the Chicago Fire got to pick 12 players each.

Last Time?

NYCFC picked up Ned Grabavoy, Patrick Mullins, Jason Hernandez, Daniel Lovitz, Tony Taylor, Medhi Ballouchy, George John, Tommy McNamara, Sal Zizzo and Chris Wingert in 2014’s Expansion Draft.


Following the Expansion Draft, there will be the SuperDraft, the Allocation Ranking Order, Waiver and Re-Entry Drafts, the Discovery Player Ranking and the USL/NASL Player Priority Ranking.

For more information on the above player acquisition methods, click here.

For the City - Stories

Join us on our mission to empower NYC youth through soccer.