offseason

2020 MLS offseason calendar for player moves announced

NEW YORK (November 12, 2020) – Major League Soccer today announced the calendar of offseason roster mechanisms – a schedule of roster-building events and deadlines ahead of the 2021 season. The calendar is highlighted by the 2020 Expansion Draft on Dec. 15 as Austin FC will have the opportunity to select up to five current players for their inaugural season in 2021.

In addition to the Expansion Draft, the calendar includes the Re-Entry Process, Free Agency as well as roster deadlines as MLS clubs prepare to make key roster decisions at the conclusion of their current campaigns.

As clubs begin to shape their 2021 rosters, the roster freeze will be lifted on Dec. 13, the day after MLS Cup, for a half-day trade window (9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET), followed by a blackout period before the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft on Dec. 15.

Details and dates for each of the offseason roster mechanisms follows below.
 

Nov. 30
 
 
 

1 p.m. ET
 

Club deadline to submit Bona Fide Offers and Exercise Options

 

MLS clubs not competing in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs (including clubs that did not qualify and clubs eliminated during the Play-In Round or Round One) must notify the League Office in writing of bona fide offers and exercised options.
 
All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.
 
 
 
Dec. 1-13
 
 
 

1 p.m. ET
 

Club deadline to submit Bona Fide Offers and Exercise Options

 

For any clubs competing in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, one day after elimination, the club must notify the League Office of bona fide offers and exercised options.
 
All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.

 
 
 
Dec. 13
 
 
 

9 a.m. ET
 

Half-Day Trade Window Opens
 

Following a 45-day roster freeze, MLS clubs may trade players.

All roster decisions will be publicized by the individual clubs.

 
 
 

1 p.m. ET
 

Half-Day Trade Window Closes and Blackout Period Begins
 
 
 
Blackout Period begins whereby clubs may no longer sign and/or trade players until conclusion of 2020 Expansion Draft.

 
 
 
Dec. 15
 
 
 

TBC
 

2020 MLS Expansion Draft
 

Austin FC may select up to five players from the eligible player list.

The list of players eligible for selection in the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft will be released by MLS Communications on Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. ET.

Expansion Draft Rules & Procedures

 
 
 
Dec. 16
 
 
 

1 p.m. ET
 

End-of-Year Waivers
 

The End-of-Year Waivers process is conducted in reverse order of 2020 season finish, taking into account postseason performance. Expansion club Austin FC will have the 27th pick in each round.

Eligible for selection are players who do not meet the minimum requirements for Re-Entry Process or Free Agency.
 
End-of-Year Waivers Rules & Procedures
 
The list of players eligible for the End-of-Year Waivers will be released by MLS Communications on Dec. 14.

 
 
 

1 p.m. ET
 

Free Agency Opens
 

Clubs may engage with players, other than their own, that are eligible for Free Agency.

Free Agency eligible players are out-of-contract and option-declined players who are at least 24 years old and who have completed a minimum of five service years.

Free Agency Rules & Procedures

 
MLS Communications will make the complete list of Free Agents available on Dec. 14.

 
 
 
Dec. 17
 

 

TBC
 

Re-Entry Process, Stage 1
 

The Re-Entry Process (Stage 1 and
Stage 2) is conducted in reverse order of 2020 season finish, taking into account postseason performance. Expansion club Austin FC will have the 27th pick in each round.
 
Eligible Players include those who are at least 22 years old, have a minimum of one service year, and their contract options were not exercised by their clubs or they did not receive a bona fide offer.

MLS Re-Entry Process Rules
 
The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Process – Stage 1 will be released by MLS Communications on Dec. 14.

 
 
 
Dec. 22
 

 
 
 

1 p.m. ET
 

Re-Entry Process, Stage 2
 

The Re-Entry Process, Stage 2 is conducted in the same order as Stage 1 and consists of MLS players who were not selected in the Stage 1.

Not all unselected Stage 1 players will be available for selection as players may re-sign with their previous club between stages or may opt out of the process.

MLS Re-Entry Process Rules
 
The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Process – Stage 2 will be released by MLS Communications on Dec. 22 at 10 a.m. ET.