Breaking Down the 2022 MLS Expansion Draft

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Another team is getting a seat at the MLS table next year, as St. Louis CITY SC joins the fray. Per league rules, St. Louis now has the opportunity to shore up their roster as much as possible before their inaugural season. This Friday, November 11, all eyes will be on St. Louis as they select up to five players from the eligible player list, possibly scooping up some hometown favorites in the process. Who is safe, who is up for grabs, and what you can expect on this dramatically eventful evening.

Kicking off at 6:00 p.m. CT, the 2022 MLS Expansion Draft live studio show will bring fans all of the selections in real-time, providing expert analysis on each team’s picks. Fans can watch online at or the MLS app.

The Expansion Draft eligible player list includes players from 23 MLS clubs. Austin FC, Atlanta United FC, D.C. United, LAFC, and New York City FC are exempt from the draft, having had a player selected by Charlotte FC in the 2021 MLS Expansion Draft.

All 23 remaining clubs had the opportunity to protect up to 12 players each from their roster. MLS Homegrown Players ages 25 and under (those born during or after 1997), as well as Generation adidas players that did not graduate from the program following the 2022 season are automatically protected, therefore, clubs did not need to use one of their 12 selections to protect them.

Minnesota United protected players list:

Luis Amarilla
Ménder García
Franco Fragapane
Emanuel Reynoso
Robin Lod
Bongokuhle Hlongwane
Hassani Dotson
Kervin Arriaga
Kemar Lawrence
Michael Boxall
DJ Taylor
Dayne St. Clair

The 2022 MLS Expansion Draft has its own set of unique rules, and there is more to the event than protected and unprotected players. In order to prepare for what you can expect, here are the rest of the details.

2022 MLS Expansion Draft Rules:

St. Louis CITY SC may select up to five players from the eligible MLS player pool. Only a single player can be drafted from any one club. Once a player has been claimed off of a club’s unprotected roster, St. Louis CITY SC cannot select any other players from that club's list.

  • Five rounds
  • Three minutes for each selection
  • No timeouts
  • No trades permitted during the draft

Players NOT exempt from the draft:

  • Designated Players: If a Designated Player has a no-trade clause in his contract, then the club must protect him in the Expansion Draft.
  • International Players: Clubs with four or more international players must protect at least three international players, excluding any automatically protected players. If a club has only three international players, it must protect two. If a club has only two international players, it must protect one. A club that has only one international player is not required to protect that player.
  • 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 negotiate a new contract consistent with the CBA. The player’s 2022 club would be treated as a new club for purposes of the Free Agency rules.

Roster Notes:

  • 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.
  • If a club protects a player, it is not obligated to exercise the player’s option. A new contract may be renegotiated with the player as in previous years, subject to the CBA.
  • If the player’s contract expires at the end of 2022, he will still be considered part of the club’s roster.
  • If St. Louis CITY SC selects a Supplemental/Reserve Roster Player, they must offer him a Senior Roster position and he must remain on the Senior Roster through 2023 Roster Compliance Date.

It’s all set to be a dramatic evening this Friday, and fans can catch all of the action at 6:00 p.m. CT on or the MLS app.