CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 16: Gregg Berhalter #3 of the Los Angeles Galaxy strikes the ball clear away from Juan Pablo Angel #9 of Chivas USA in the second half during the MLS match at The Home Depot Center on October 16, 2011 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated Chivas USA 1-0. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
MLS announced the dates of the 2011 Re-Entry Draft yesterday. It'll take place after the Expansion Draft on December 5th and 12th. I did a bit of digging on the history of the Re-Entry draft back in September. It's an idea MLB first had, after deciding to allow players to negotiate with other teams when their contracts expire. Baseball eventually allowed for true, open free agency, but MLS isn't there. Teams are ordered in the reverse of the MLS 2011 table, but taking into account playoff performance. The Montreal Impact have the 19th pick.
Last year, the Galaxy put Jovan Kirovski and Dema Kovalenko in the draft. Kirovski withdrew and negotiated a new contract with the Galaxy. Dema Kovalenko was not selected and then retired after eleven years in MLS.
The way it works, there are two stages. Stage one remains open until every team has passed their turn. Last year, only DC United and the Columbus Crew chose a player in the first round, then passed in the second. Stage two was more lively, with the Galaxy trading up to grab Juan Pablo Angel and a slew of other moves.
Neither Kirovski nor Kovalenko were protected in the expansion draft, so when fretting about the Re-Entry draft, consider these are players that weren't wanted, then weren't wanted again. JPA was passed up in twenty picks of expansion draft and a whole stage of the re-entry draft.
It's hard to know who the Galaxy might submit without knowing what contracts are up, and MLS is so secretive. We all know David Beckham's contract is up, but that's not even a slight possibility. Landon Donovan is signed through 2013, Robbie Keane through 2012. It's everyone else who's a mystery.
If Kirovski's contract was just a one year deal, he could enter the draft again. Adam Cristman? Chad Barrett? We really won't know until we know.
Of course, this is all just a distraction to the real question, what does David Beckham do? But feel free to post your thoughts on the Re-Entry draft below : )