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MLS to announce re-entry draft eligible players today; RSL unlikely to have any

Will Real Salt Lake have any players eligible for the re-entry draft? Probably not.

Jason Mowry-USA TODAY Sports

MLS will announce a list of players eligible for the Re-Entry Draft as well as free agency today, kicking off the off-season in quick fashion less than 24 hours after the final whistle of the season.

What can you expect today from Real Salt Lake?

Real Salt Lake's list of players eligible for the re-entry draft is likely to be short. In fact, that list might only include Chris Schuler, unless he's decided to withdraw his eligibility for this particular draft.

That's because the players RSL didn't take options on aren't actually eligible for the draft. To be eligible for the Re-Entry Draft, 23-to-25-year-old players must have at least three years of MLS experience. That rules out Phanuel Kavita and Elias Vasquez.

But let's take a quick second here — Kavita is actually in the process of re-signing with Real Salt Lake, according to Craig Waibel last week.

We're already in the midst of discussing his future with us and trying to establish that it is with us. He's a good, young player. He's just a fantastic human being. — Craig Waibel, via RSL.com

And, of course, we know about the Vasquez departure, but here's another Waibel line just to clear it up a bit.

With Elias, we brought him here believing he could be the number three center back, the number three choice. Over the course of the season, we felt that Aaron Maund really proved to be that number three choice, and for much of the season with the injuries we sustained, a starter. It came down more to we felt Aaron Maund deserved the credit for what he did this year, and it kind of makes the decision for you.

Pecka's not eligible — players 25-years-old and older need at least four years of MLS experience, and Pecka has exactly one. The same applies to Demar Phillips.

And there you have it. The closest RSL otherwise gets is Luis Silva, who is out of contract, but we have every reason to think he will withdraw his eligibility for the draft and head to Mexico. Luis Gil doesn't meet the first criteria — he's only 22.

Of course, Chris Schuler is probably eligible — he's out of contract, and he's old enough, and he has enough experience. But it does sound like the club is looking to keep him around, so you might not see Schuler's name pop up in the eligibility discussion.

And there you have it: Real Salt Lake may not have anybody sent to the Re-Entry Draft, which takes place on Friday. Now, what about the waiver draft, you ask? Well, that's a different story. In fact, each of these players could be eligible — and that list comes out tomorrow.

I'd expect RSL's contribution to that list to be:

  • Pecka
  • Elias Vasquez

And that's probably where that stops, because — and I could be wrong about this — players don't have to be made eligible if they're in their club's plans for 2016. That would give RSL extra time to negotiate with Phanuel Kavita and Demar Phillips, and they've further indicated that the three out-of-contract players are at least somewhat in the team's plans — even if there's uncertainty about whether that comes to fruition.

Of course, that 'in your plans' rule was for 2014, so don't be shocked if the 2015 edition has some other caveat that makes planning difficult.