Stage 1 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft typically produces little movement and such was the case again Friday. Only two players changed teams.
Still, the players themselves are fairly prominent. New York Red Bulls midfielder Mike Grella was selected by Colorado, and Atlanta United right back Tyrone Mears went to Minnesota United.
The contract options on both players were declined by their former clubs and they met the league benchmarks of age (25) and years of MLS service (three) to qualify for the Re-Entry Draft. Grella was then traded to Columbus for a second-round pick in the 2019 SuperDraft.
In his first two MLS seasons (2015-16), Grella compiled 16 goals and 13 assists for the Red Bulls. Injuries in 2017 limited him to eight appearances (three starts), and in 362 minutes he didn’t register a goal or assist. Mears started at right back for 2016 MLS Cup champion Seattle and after the season the club traded him to Atlanta for $50,000 in general allocation money. In 2017, he scored one goal and registered one assist for Atlanta in 20 games (16 starts).
To secure their rights, Colorado and Minnesota United have agreed to satisfy the contract terms specified for 2018, and by entering the draft players agree to those terms as well. The process is automatic and they have been added to the rosters of their new teams.
For Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft that will be held next Thursday, teams can renegotiate the terms of players they select. During the interim, players can resume negotiations with their current teams and opt out of Stage 2.