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FC Cincinnati in the MLS Expansion Draft: Here's everything you need to know

Posted at 1:36 PM, Dec 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-11 11:25:46-05

CINCINNATI — Representatives of 18 MLS teams will converge at 2 p.m. Tuesday on MLS headquarters in New York to participate in the expansion draft that will help shape each teams’ lineup for the 2019 season. 

The list of eligible draft players was released today to FC Cincinnati, and the technical staff is already bunkered down to pour over the eligible options. 

MLS is streaming the expansion draft live:

Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about Tuesday's expansion draft:

What happens during the draft?

FC Cincinnati will be able to select up to five players during the draft, but only one from each team at maximum. However, once one player has been drafted from a team, that team cannot lose any more players, and are officially eliminated from the expansion draft.

There are 18 eligible teams participating in this year’s draft.

Each selection round is three minutes long, and there are no time-outs and no trades. However, players can be traded freely after the draft is fully concluded. 

Each team can protect up to 11 players on their team. However, protection received during the draft does not guarantee the player a place on the team. 

If a team has a player claimed from their unprotected roster, that team will receive $50 thousand from MLS for the selection. 

Clubs can only offer some of their international players up for draft. The amount of international players up for draft must be three less than the amount of international players on the team overall. Teams with fewer than three international players on the roster can only offer up one international player for draft. 

What’s different this year?

Per a brand new rule from the MLS, teams that had players selected in last year’s draft are exempt from participating this year. That means players from the following teams are off limits:

  • Seattle Sounders FC
  • Sporting Kansas City
  • San Jose Earthquakes
  • Columbus Crew SC
  • Toronto SC

FC Cincinnati will receive compensation to make up for the limited pool, as a result of this new rule.

How does FCC factor into this?

FC Cincinnati has already been announcing the players from the 2018 season who will be continuing on with the team into the first MLS year. These players likely on FCC’s list of protected players who will be off limits during the draft. To date, those players are:

  • Corben Bone, 19 – Midfielder
  • Emmanuel Ledesma, 45 – Midfielder
  • Forrest Lasso, 3 – Defender
  • Blake Smith, 23 – Defender
  • Nazmi Albadawi, 5 – Midfielder
  • Emery Welshman, 10 – Forward
  • Justin Hoyte, 32 – Defender
  • Jimmy McLaughlin, 20 — Midfielder

After Tuesday's draft, FC Cincinnati can walk away with a maximum of five new players signed for the 2019 MLS season, and one player can be drafted from FCC to another team. After the conclusion of the draft, clubs will be able to engage with free agent players who meet the age and years-of-service parameters set by the MLS. The draft results will be announced live on