Today marks the start of Major League Soccer free agency. At noon central time, clubs will be able to sign players from around the league who are out of contract, over 24 years old, and have played in MLS for six years. But what about out of contract players who don’t meet that criteria?
Enter the MLS Re-Entry draft. Beginning at noon central on Thursday, clubs can draft players who are at least 22 years old and have played in MLS for at least one year. The first stage will take place on Thursday, with the second and final stage on Tuesday, December 22.
Like in the Waiver Draft, clubs will select in reverse order of the standings. Nashville will select 19th overall.
Nashville made use of the re-entry draft last season, taking Eric Miller with the second overall pick. Could they add to their roster again this season? Let’s take a look at some players who could draw interest.
27 years old | Striker |
2020: 1404 minutes, 7 goal, 2 assist, 8.47 xG+xG, 1.40 goals added above replacement
Mora is one of the more productive players on this list. At 27, the Chilean international is in his prime and would almost certainly be more productive than several of Nashville’s current strikers. He’s not a DP, but he’s also not inexpensive. He’s also on loan from Pumas, so there’s the issue of him not being a long-term acquisition.
24 years old | Left-back |
2020: 1604 minutes, 1.13 xG+xG, -0.92 goals added above replacement
Nashville fans will be familiar with this name. Gutman was signed on loan for Nashville’s final USL season before MLS intervened and nixed the move. Even on an abysmal Cincinnati side, he’s been a pretty solid player, and is more of a goal threat than you typically get from a full-back. Nashville have a pair of solid left-backs in Dan Lovitz and Taylor Washington, and with the 19th pick, it’s unlikely he’d even be available when their selection comes.
22 years old | Left-back |
2020: 263 minutes, 0.49 goals added above replacement
A solid left-back prospect, Seagrist is an inexpensive pickup who’s impressed in limited minutes in New York and could be developed into a contributor down the road.
29 years old | Winger |
2020: 907 minutes, 3 goals, 1 assist, 3.06 xG+xA, -0.56 goals added above replacement
Mokhtar is something Nashville could use more of; a goal threat from the wings. He made just over $530k in 2019, so he’s not a cheap pickup, but he’s a consistently solid winger who puts up good numbers. It was a bit surprising to see Columbus decline his option after their MLS Cup win, but he should find a new home in MLS very quickly.
27 years old | Center-back |
2020: 1171 minutes, 1 goals, 1.78 xG+xA, 1.03 goals added above replacement
Aja really stepped up in Minnesota this season, filling in for the 2019 Defender of the Year admirably as Ike Opara missed almost all of the 2020 season. He’s bounced around the league a bit with Orlando and Vancouver, and although he doesn’t fill a position of need for Nashville, he’s one of the higher-value players available.
25 years old | Attacking midfielder |
2020: 400 minutes, 0.82 xG+xA, 0.26 goals added above replacement
Martínez is a very talented player who never quite clicked in Houston. He was on a $517k contract in 2019, and would be an expensive option, but could fill in well for Hany Mukhtar when needed. Martínez should have options to return to Argentina, but he’ll likely also have plenty of interest around the league. Nashville may not want to spend the money on a player who has been fairly inconsistent in MLS.
Who do you think Nashville SC should try to sign? Take a look at the full list of players available in the re-entry draft and let us know in the comments!