SEATTLE — Sounders FC has declined to exercise contract options on three players — midfielder Mike Seamon, goalkeeper Andrew Weber, and forward O’Brian White, whose contract for 2012 was bought out in March — making the trio eligible for the upcoming MLS Re-Entry Draft.
The first stage of the two-part draft is noon Friday, though Seattle can still re-sign any of its three players by 2 p.m. Thursday. Players can also opt out of the process by the same deadline.
The Re-Entry Draft began in 2010 as a mechanism to control free agency, which MLS doesn’t allow under its single-entity structure. Sixty-three players leaguewide are eligible due to expiring contracts or teams not exercising options.
The Sounders pick 16th out of 19 teams (the order is based on last season’s finish).
In the first stage of the draft, teams must pay a selected player’s option price or, to those out of contract, extend a bona fide offer.
The second stage is noon Dec. 14 and typically sees more action by allowing teams to renegotiate contracts with players picked.
Both stages will take place on conference calls within the league; results will be released afterward.
Teams can select their own players in the second stage of the draft, but only after all other teams have passed. Players unselected throughout the process will be available on a first come first served basis.
The Sounders have also apparently declined contract options on goalkeeper Bryan Meredith and forward/midfielder Cordell Cato, but neither is eligible for the Re-Entry Draft due to a lack of MLS experience. The club has not confirmed either move yet, though the players have announced their exits on Twitter.
Former MLS Sounders potentially eligible for the Re-Entry Draft include Peter Vagenas (Chivas USA), Tyrone Marshall and Tyson Wahl (Colorado), Stephen King (D.C. United) and Pat Noonan (LA Galaxy).
Also included are San Jose’s Joey Gjertsen, a Tacoma native, and University of Washington alumni Mike Chabala of D.C. United and Ty Harden of Toronto FC.