2017 offseason calendar

Dates to Remember: MLS announces 2017 offseason schedule

Major League Soccer unveiled the full schedule for the 2017 offseason on Tuesday, releasing several key roster deadlines in addition to announcing that the Expansion Draft will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

The first major deadline of the offseason will come at 1 pm ET on Nov. 27, when clubs no longer competing in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs must notify the league office of which player contract options they’re exercising, and which they’re declining. The option exercise deadline for the two Conference Championship losers is 1 pm ET on Dec. 1, while the two MLS Cup finalists will have until Sunday, Dec. 10 at 12 pm ET.

The latter deadline coincides with a brief, half-day trade window which will be held beginning on the morning of Dec. 10, the day after MLS Cup. 

The Expansion Draft will be held on Dec. 12 at 2 pm ET, with MLS Free Agency set to begin immediately after its conclusion, at 3 pm ET.

The Waiver Draft, consisting of players who have been waived by clubs but do not meet the minimum years of service requirement for the Re-Entry Draft or Free Agency, will be held the following day, Dec. 13.

Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft will be held on Dec. 15, followed the next week by Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft on Dec. 21.

A full breakdown of the 2017 offseason schedule, complete with details on each player acquisition method, follows below: 

2017 Offseason Calendar
November 27
1:00 PM ET
Monday
Option Exercise Deadline
Clubs no longer competing in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs must notify the League Office in writing of (1) players whose options they are exercising and/or (2) players who are receiving bona fide offers, announced by the teams.
December 1
1:00 PM ET
Friday
Option Exercise Deadline for Non-MLS Cup Participants
Non-MLS Cup participants must notify the League Office in writing of (1) players whose options they are exercising and/or (2) players who are receiving bona fide offers, announced by the clubs.
December 10
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM ET
Sunday
Half-Day Trade Window
Following a three-month roster freeze, MLS clubs may begin making adjustments to their rosters. This is a four-hour window in which clubs may sign and trade players.
December 10
Noon ET
Sunday
Option Exercise Deadline for MLS Cup Participants
Clubs that compete in MLS Cup must notify the League Office in writing of (1) players whose options they are exercising and/or (2) players who are receiving bona fide offers.
December 10
1:00 PM ET
Sunday
Blackout Period begins
Blackout Period begins whereby clubs may no longer sign and/or trade their own draft-eligible players until the conclusion of the Expansion Draft.
December 12
2:00 PM ET
Tuesday
Expansion Draft
While Generation adidas and off-budget Homegrown Players are automatically exempt, current MLS clubs may protect up to 11 players from selection in the Expansion Draft. LAFC may select up to five players from the eligible MLS player pool. Only a single player can be drafted from any one club.
December 12
3:00 PM ET
Tuesday
Free Agency Begins
Out-of-contract players and those who had their contract option declined who were at least 28 years old during the 2017 season and have at least eight years of MLS service are eligible for Free Agency.
December 13
3:30 PM ET
Wednesday
2017 MLS Waiver Draft
Consisting of players who have been waived by clubs and do not meet minimum years of service requirement for Re-Entry Draft or Free Agency; the draft is conducted in reverse order of 2017 season finish, taking into account postseason performance, with expansion LAFC picking 23rd.
December 15
3:00 PM ET
Friday
2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft – Stage 1
The Re-Entry Draft (both stages) is conducted in reverse order of 2017 season finish, taking into account postseason performance, with expansion club LAFC selecting last.
December 21
2:00 PM ET
Thursday
2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft – Stage 2
Stage 2 includes MLS players who were not selected in the Stage 1 draft, but not necessarily all Stage 1 players as they can re-sign with their previous club between stages; teams selecting in this stage have the right to negotiate with the player for a new contract; the format of the draft is conducted in the same manner as Stage 1.