The offseason, thanks to the collective bargaining agreement signed before the start of this season, should be a doozy for Major League Soccer. Today, the league released details on how player movement will work this offseason.
Strap in. It's kind of confusing. (If you need some help,this MLSsoccer.com article might help.
Seriously, they can't make this any easier to comprehend?Via the League:
This document summarizes the process that will transpire after MLS Cup with regard to the Expansion and Re-Entry Process.I. Expansion Draft Process and Waiver Draft
The Expansion Draft for Portland and Vancouver will take place on Wednesday, November 24, 2010. The Expansion Draft Rules are attached hereto as Exhibit A. The Waiver Draft (the “Waiver Draft”) will also be held on November 24, 2010, which is the traditional waiver process for players who do not qualify for the Re-Entry Process.II. Re-Entry Process Player Eligibility
The Re-Entry Process will consist of the following players: (1) Players at least 23 years old with a minimum of 3 years of MLS experience whose options were not exercised (“Option Decline Players”), and (2) out of contract players who have not received a Bona Fide Offer1 and who are (a) at least 25 years old with a minimum of 4 years of MLS experience and/or (b) at least 30 years old with a minimum of 8 years of MLS experience (“Out of Contract Players”).
Please note, players may choose to opt out of the Re-Entry Process (Stage 1 and/or Stage 2) and have their rights remain with their current Club by notifying the League Office at any time prior to the applicable time ((a) December 3 at 12:00 pm and/or (b) December 13 at 12:00 pm).
1 Bona Fide Offer must meet the following minimum conditions: (1) “25/4 players” – first year salary at least equal to 2010 annual base salary and “30/8 players” – first year salary at least equal to 5% greater than their 2010 annual base salary; (2) option year salaries must increase by at least 5% each year; (3) term of 1+1+1; (4) the performance bonuses must be at least the same as the player’s performance bonuses in his previous year under contract; (5) for purposes of Stage 1, offers extended as of November 30 must remain open from November 30 until at least December 3 at 12:00 pm; and (6) for purposes of Stage 2, offers extended on December 8 must remain open from December 8 until at least December 13 at 12:00 pm. If a player declines to accept a Bona Fide Offer or the Club withdraws such Bona Fide Offer, the Club that extended the Bona Fide Offer will have a right of first refusal on such player and any subsequent offer may be less than the Bona Fide Offer.Two Stages
The Re-Entry Process will consist of two separate drafts, a Stage 1 draft (Dec. 8) and a Stage 2 draft (Dec. 15). In Stage 1, Clubs may select Option Decline Players at their option price and Out of Contract players at their Bona Fide Offer price. In Stage 2, Clubs may select players that were unselected in Stage 1 and who may be under contract or not under contract at that time. If a player is not under contract and the Club selects such player, the Club will be required to make a genuine offer to the player within seven (7) days (subject to League Office approval). If a player is not selected in either Stage 1 or Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Process, such player will be available on a first come first serve basis to all Clubs.Click here for a full timeline of events. I was going to try and distill it for ya'll, but I just don't have that kind of time. It's pretty dense.