As a Real Salt Lake fan, you’re more than allowed to be worried about expansion drafts and the potential impact they can have on the squad.
But 2016 might spell a little bit of reprieve from the hubbub: This year, the two teams will be making five picks each (down from the usual ten), meaning there’s less risk for each extant MLS team.
Here’s everything you need to know about the rules.
How many players must be protected?
This stays the same: 11 players may be protected.
How many players can be picked from a team?
One. Just one. This is the biggest windfall for Real Salt Lake in this regard, as it seems like they’ve had the max selected for some time now.
Which players are not eligible for selection?
Aside from players who have been protected? Players who are on the supplemental and reserve rosters that are homegrown or un-graduated Generation Adidas players.
However, designated players aren’t automatically protected.
What about out of contract players?
This one’s simple, too. They’re not automatically protected, but you may protect them.
So, wait. What are “supplemental” and “reserve” rosters?
Those are roster spots 21-28, basically. There’s a limit to how many players may be on that, and there’s a limit to how much they can earn. So Jordan Allen is probably not on the supplemental roster, despite being a homegrown player, but Ricardo Velazco is.
What else do I need to know?
The full set of rules and regulations is helpful here, because there are a lot of little edge cases that need to be considered.
So who might RSL protect?
Our protected list might look a little like a starting XI:
Rimando, Beltran, Glad, Maund, Phillips, Beckerman, Sunny, Allen, Burrito, Yura, Plata.
Who would be automatically protected at RSL?
Read more: Real Salt Lake roster, explained
Supplemental roster, 21–24
- Lalo Fernandez — under contract for more than two years
- Omar Holness — makes more than minimum, and Generation Adidas players must go in off-budget reserve roster
- Justen Glad — homegrown and in his third contract year
Reserve roster, 25–28
- Phanuel Kavita — homegrown
- Danilo Acosta — homegrown
- Ricardo Velazco — homegrown
You’ll note that Jordan Allen isn’t on this list. There’s some ambiguity over whether he’s on the supplemental roster or not. This is important because senior roster players are selectable if not protected, and yes, that would include homegrown players.