If Josh Wolff is to play in Sporting Kansas City’s new stadium next year, it likely will be as an opposing player.
Wolff confirmed Wednesday night that the option in his contract with Sporting Kansas City has not been picked up by the team.
That means Wolff will be eligible for the MLS re-entry drafts, the first of which is Monday.
Players whose options were not exercised and who are at least 23 years old and have a minimum of three years’ MLS experience are eligible for the drafts. Ditto for players whose contracts have expired and are 23 years old with three years of MLS experience and/or are 30 years old with eight years’ experience.
Wolff, 33, has 12 years of MLS experience.
He was acquired by Sporting Kansas City in a trade with the Chicago Fire prior to the 2003 season. Three times he reached double-digits in goals scored.
Between 2003-06, he had 27 goals in 90 games, then played for 1860 Munich in Germany’s Bundesliga 2 for two seasons. He returned to the Wizards in 2008 and had 16 goals in 64 games. This past season, Wolff scored two goals in 25 games, which included 16 starts.
Wolff, who started with the Fire in 1998, has 75 goals in his career, despite being sidelined for significant portions of three seasons because of injuries. He also has made 52 appearances for the U.S. national team, scoring nine goals.
"I'm certainly still interested in playing soccer," Wolff said. "We’ll wait and see what happens."
On Friday, MLS will make public the list of available players for the first part of the re-entry draft.
In Monday’s draft, teams pick players who will be paid at their option price or who have been made a contract offer if their current deal has expired. Wolff made $220,004 this past season. In the second phase of the draft, players not picked in first round are available to be picked, but must be given a new contract offer.
Wolff doesn’t know what to expect, other than these drafts are better than the old system in which the teams retained rights to players they didn’t even want.
"I think from the coaching and the staffs around the league, that people are a little gun-shy this first time around," he said. "But only because it’s new. You’ll get a better sense of how things move this year and then you’ll be able to see what happens down the road. It’s a good thing for the players. We’re certainly a lot better off now than we have been in the past 15 years."