A week ago, clubs decided to take a wait-and-see approach in Stage 1 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft, resulting in a relatively quiet evening.
Ahead of the draft’s second phase on Wednesday, LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said he was still uncertain whether the team would use the draft as an opportunity to beef up their roster.
“I don’t know if we’ll be involved or not because we’re down at the end [of the picking order],” Arena told MLSsoccer.com. “It depends – if there’s a player available we might have an interest in, we could possibly take him.”
In the first phase, players selected would have kept their salary, but the second phase offers clubs a chance to renegotiate deals with their new players.
Only two players – Aaron Holbein to Columbus Crew and Joseph Ngwenya to D.C. United – were selected in the first phase of the draft. The Galaxy had two players available in Stage 1, as Jovan Kirovski and Dema Kovalenko were each out there for other teams to take.
That so few players were selected was not a surprise, Arena said.
“The Re-Entry Draft was a mystery to everybody,” Arena said. “I don’t think too many people expected anyone to be taken, to be honest.”
Kovalenko is still available in the second phase, but Kirovski has opted out of the Re-Entry Draft and is negotiating with LA. Before trying to figure out what players could wind up where, teams are still trying to wrap their minds around it, Arena said.
“That’s one of the things that came out with collective bargaining and everyone’s still trying to sort out and try to figure out what it means and what kind of value it has,” Arena said. “At this point, I don’t think anyone’s real clear about it.”