Impact can protect 11 players from being selected
With FC Cincinnati becoming the newest club to join MLS in 2019, another expansion draft is in order, and will officially take place on December 11, 2018, right before the beginning of free agency on the same day. The Ohio club, which will integrate into the Eastern Conference, will select five current MLS players to help shape the core of its inaugural roster.
The draft selection will be announced live at 2pm during a special expansion draft show on MLSsoccer.com
Since 2014, each round of expansion has involved two incoming clubs selecting players from the eligible player list. Therefore, for the purpose of this expansion draft, LAFC and FC Cincinnati are considered a single round of expansion. This means that teams who had players selected by LAFC last year will be exempt from the 2018 MLS Expansion Draft, although LAFC’s players will remain up for grabs.
Since the Impact did not have any of its unprotected players chosen by LAFC in 2017, FC Cincinnati can still choose a Bleu-blanc-noir player come December 11. The complete list of players eligible for selection by FC Cincinnati in the 2018 MLS Expansion Draft will be released on Monday, Dec. 10.
Since it joined MLS in 2012, the Impact has had two of its players selected during an expansion draft; defender Heath Pearce was selected by Orlando City SC in 2014, while defender Donny Toia was selected by Atlanta United FC in 2016.