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New York City FC Submit Protected List for MLS Expansion Draft

 New York City FC have today submitted their Protected List ahead of Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft.

The draft will take place on Tuesday, December 11 at 2pm ET and FC Cincinnati can make up to five picks to help build out the team’s roster for their inaugural 2019 season.

In addition to the 11 players listed as Protected below, Jonathan Lewis is exempt from selection as a current member of Generation adidas, while James Sands and Joe Scally cannot be taken due to their Homegrown status.



  1. Sean Johnson
  2. Anton Tinnerholm
  3. Maxime Chanot
  4. Alex Callens
  5. Ben Sweat
  6. Ronald Matarrita
  7. Alex Ring
  8. Maxi Moralez
  9. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi
  10. Valentin Castellanos
  11. Jesus Medina

Automatically Protected


  1. James Sands (HG)
  2. Joe Scally (HG)
  3. Jonathan Lewis (GA)


  1. Brad Stuver
  2. Jeff Caldwell
  3. Andre Rawls
  4. Saad Abdul-Salaam
  5. Sebastien Ibeagha
  6. Cedric Hountondji
  7. Ebenezer Ofori
  8. Yangel Herrera
  9. Eloi Amagat
  10. Tommy McNamara
  11. Kwame Awuah
  12. Danny Bedoya
  13. Rodney Wallace
  14. David Villa
  15. Jo Inge Berget

2018 MLS Expansion Draft process:

  • Rounds: Five rounds as FC Cincinnati can select up to five players from the eligible pool; they can only claim a single player from any one club
  • Selection clock: Permitted three minutes for each selection
  • Timeouts: No timeouts implemented
  • Trades: No trades permitted during draft

Key parameters:

  • Allocation plans:
    • FC Cincinnati will receive an additional sum of allocation money as compensation for five exempt teams in the MLS Expansion Draft.
    • For a club that has a player claimed from their unprotected roster, that team will receive $50,000 in General Allocation Money for the selection.
  • Protected/unprotected player-related rules:
  • The five teams who had players selected by the Los Angeles Football Club during the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft are exempt from the 2018 Expansion Draft: Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City, the San Jose Earthquakes, Columbus Crew SC and Toronto FC.
  • The other 18 returning MLS clubs that competed during the 2018 season can protect 11 players between their Senior, Supplemental and Reserve Roster. If the player’s contract expires at the end of 2018, he will still be considered part of the club’s Senior Roster. If a club protects a player, it is not obligated to exercise the player’s option. It may renegotiate a new budget number for the player as in previous years, subject to the CBA. Option Decline Free Agents and Out of Contracts Free Agents are part of the Expansion Draft and are not automatically protected.
  • Players on a club’s Supplemental Roster, other than Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2018 MLS Season or Homegrown Players, are eligible.
  • Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2018 MLS Season and Homegrown Players on a Club’s Supplemental/Reserve Roster at the end of the 2018 MLS Season are automatically protected. Clubs do not have to use a protected slot on them.
  • Designated Players are NOT automatically protected (i.e., clubs must choose whether to protect such players and if such player is not protected, he will be available for selection in the Expansion Draft).
  • If a player has a no-trade clause in his contract, his MLS club must protect him, and he will count as one of the 11 players who may be protected.
  • Retired player rules: If a player retires, he will not be a part of the Expansion Draft, but his club will lose its right of first refusal to him should he ultimately decide to play.
  • International player rules: Clubs are restricted in the number of international player(s) that they may make available. Clubs may make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus three, provided that if a club has three or fewer international players it may not make more than one international player available.
  • Selection of Free Agents: If a Free Agent is selected in the Expansion Draft, the expansion club that selected the player will gain his previous club’s ability to renegotiate a new contract consistent with the CBA before the beginning of Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft. If an Out of Contract Free Agent is selected in the Expansion Draft and subsequently signs with his 2018 club via Free Agency, he will be subject to the compensation limitation for Out of Contract Players signing with a new Club, as provided in the CBA.
  • If FC Cincinnati selects a Supplemental/Reserve Roster Player, it must offer him a Senior Roster position and he must remain on the Senior Roster as of Roster Compliance Date.
  • Maximum player loss: Once one player has been claimed from a club’s non-protected roster, that club is eliminated from the Expansion Draft and may not lose any further players.
  • Right to negotiate: FC Cincinnati will have the right to renegotiate a drafted player’s salary (either up or down) without having to place such player on waivers or giving his previous club a right of first refusal.


For the first time with the 2016 Expansion Draft, the league changed its system as Minnesota United FC and Atlanta United were granted only five selections each, and General Allocation Money awarded to them in lieu of lost picks.

As recently as 2014, the Expansion Draft allowed for 10 players to be selected by any participating expansion clubs; in the 1997 Expansion Draft, up to 12 selections were allowed.


About New York City Football Club

New York City Football Club is an American professional soccer team based in New York City that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the Eastern Conference of the league. It was announced as the League’s 20th franchise on May 21, 2013 and is the first and only MLS Club located within the five boroughs of New York City. Majority owned by City Football Group (CFG), New York City FC plays its home games at Yankee Stadium, which is also home to minority owner, the New York Yankees.

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