Major League Soccer today released the offseason schedule for 2014-15, a period which will see a massive redistribution of talent due to the Dispersal Draft and the Expansion Draft. The Dispersal Draft still isn't scheduled, though it is known that the Chivas USA players will be redistributed before MLS Cup 2014.
2014-2015 MLS Offseason Calendar pic.twitter.com/wh4Ttsf5Yo
— Ben Jata (@Ben_Jata) November 5, 2014
The trade window is a bit of a timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly bit, opening and closing through the month of December. There's a half-day trade window before the Expansion Draft where presumably the two expansion teams would be free to trade for the first team ahead of selecting. During draft trades won't be permitted as a blackout begins, but then the window reopens just after the draft. James Riley in 2011 was selected and then traded immediately to Chivas USA.
That window will remain open through the Waiver Draft, but will close before the Re-Entry Draft. It will open again between phases and then close for phase two before opening again for good. That is all terribly confusing, but it's simpler when you realize these drafts are most likely going to be conducted by conference call, and there are a bunch of them, so for the ease of getting it all in there's no trading during the draft.
This all means that before MLS Cup we'll know if the Galaxy are picking up anyone from Chivas USA. By mid-December we'll know which players the Galaxy are not protected and which players are out of contract, which should be a rather lengthy list.
That gives teams about a month of college draft prep with their veteran rosters. MLS' primary transfer window began in mid-February last season, well after the European midseason windows had closed. With CBA negotiations needed to put in place operating procedure for the 2015 season, December's negotiations will also affect the window opening, incoming draft picks, and homegrown signings.