Connor Sparrow photo by Tim Sullivan/For Club and Country
Phase Two of MLS’s annual Re-Entry Draft takes place at 1 p.m. EST (Noon in Nashville) today. Will Nashville take any players?
First, let’s take a very brief once-over of what the re-entry draft is: players who are out-of-contract at the conclusion of each season are automatically entered into the re-entry draft, wherein the league’s teams can select them. The difference between Phasess One and Two is that the previous round (only three players were selected: Raheem Edwards, Andrew Gutman, and Kendall McIntosh) have to be offered a contract equal to what they had from their previous clubs. In Phase Two, any bona fide contract offer can be made. In this phase, players who may have been on too big a budget hit last year ($870k ain’t walkin’ through that door for Reto Ziegler) are far more likely to be selected.
Nashville SC’s needs have also changed. Third-string keeper Brady Scott was picked by Austin FC in last week’s Expansion Draft, so the Boys in Gold are in search of a No. 3 keeper in addition to their previous needs (upgrades at a few specific positions).
It’s worth noting that two of the options I pointed out last time around (Edwards and Gutman) were taken in Phase One, while a couple more (José Aja, Felipe Mora, Cristian Pavon) have pulled their names out of Phase Two. Add in Nashville’s changing needs, and you can’t use the same list a week later.
Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Dick. NSC now needs a goalkeeper, and Dick is a senior-minimum salary player (or close enough to it) from a familiar club to NSC general manager Mike Jacobs.
Sporting KC midfielder Felipe Gutierrez. Now that he’s in Phase Two, Nashville SC could negotiate a much lower salary hit (he was a borderline DP last year) for a player like Gutierrez. Although he’s 30 and a little more centrally-minded than might be needed. He’s a lefty and a talented attacker.
New York City FC winger Gary MacKay-Steven. A left-footed winger who made only $300k last year and can be negotiated down after teams passed in Phase One. The Scotsman requires an international slot (though Nashville has made it clear that an international player is incoming). Solid xG+xA numbers and good G+. Can still empathize with Alex Muyl about being kicked in the balls during the playoffs.
Houston Dynamo central midfielder Tomás Martinez. His $500k salary is due for a reduction after he was passed over in Phase One, making a 25-year old green-card-holding Argentine somehow a value buy? A versatile central midfielder who can serve as a bridge between the aging Godoy/McCarty midfield and a younger group of the future.
Toronto FC goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell. The Hendersonville native is a senior-minimum salary guy, and kind of a perfect fit for a third-string keeper. He likely wants to be close to home (where he runs goalkeeping camps) and can be a(nother) mentor to Elliot Panicco, allowing Joe Willis to give his full focus to game prep rather than adding mentorship duties.
New York Red Bulls fullback Patrick Seagrist. A 22-year old left back from a system that has translated very well to NSC once already (Alex Muyl joined mid-season). On a senior-minimum salary, at a position that NSC probably needs a backup to Dan Lovitz and one who can develop for the future. Goals Added really liked him, as well.
Chicago Fire goalkeeper Connor Sparrow. Another familiar face – he played for NSC’s final USL squad – and with the Boys in Gold able to look for a third-string keeper, the fact that he wasn’t seen as the keeper of the future (and thus not signed) is no longer the “pass” it was last offseason. At just 26, though, he may well be looking for a home where he can be a second-stringer.