Stage One of the MLS Re-Entry Draft saw an unusual amount of activity this year. Since the draft was created in 2010, the first stage of the draft rarely saw more than a couple picks. This year, a total of five selections were made.
|Previous Stage 1 Picks of the Re-Entry Draft|
|Year||Drafted By||Player||Position||Former Club|
|2010||DC United||Joseph Ngwenya||Forward||Houston Dynamo|
|2010||Columbus Crew||Aaron Hohlbein||Defender||Sporting Kansas City|
|2011||New England Revolution||Danleigh Borman||Defender||Toronto FC|
|2011||Chivas USA||Arturo Alvarez||Midfielder||Real Salt Lake|
|2011||Columbus Crew||Carlos Mendes||Defender||New York Red Bulls|
|2012||Chicago Fire||Maicon Santos||Forward||DC United|
Before the draft began, a few big names were pulled out of the pool of players who were eligible for the Re-Entry Process. Toronto FC's Bobby Convey, FC Dallas' Kenny Cooper and New England Revolution's Kevin Alston were removed from the draft. The full list of eligible players was cut down to 57.
With the first pick of the draft, D.C. United selected former LA Galaxy defender Sean Franklin. The 2008 MLS Rookie of the Year and two-time MLS Cup champion will enter his seventh year in MLS with a D.C. team that is hoping to rebound after one of the worst seasons in team history.
D.C. also selected former Houston Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell in the second round of the draft. All of a sudden Ben Olsen's back line already looks much better than last year's woeful defense that allowed 59 goals.
Chivas USA had the second overall pick in the draft but traded it to the Portland Timbers. The Timbers moved up in the draft while sending 21-year-old defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste to Chivas USA and receiving utility man Jorge Villafaña in return.
With the second pick the Timbers selected Steve Zakuani. The former Seattle Sounders speedster has yet to return to his pre-injury form, though he should fit in well with Portland's fast-paced and dynamic offense.
The two other selections in the draft were made by the Philadelphia Union and the Colorado Rapids. Philly picked up former Chicago Fire midfielder Corben Bone, while the Rapids shored up their defense by selecting Marc Burch.
With Stage One of the draft over, teams are now getting ready for Stage Two which will be held on December 18.
News on the players who were pulled out of the draft should come soon.
With plenty of big names left such as Dwayne De Rosario, David Ferreira and Fabian Espindola, there's plenty more action and excitement to come in this first part of the offseason.