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MLS to Draw Lots for Dispersal Draft Picks

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Because not doing it randomly would be just too crazy.

Jeff Gross

Speculation surrounding the dispersal draft for Chivas USA has been ongoing for some time now, but there has always been an assumption that the draft would be somehow linked to the 2014 standings. In an announcement yesterday, however, MLS confirmed that was not the case.

Instead, the pick order will be drawn randomly, with non-playoff teams, including Orlando City SC and New York City FC, getting two entries while playoff teams get one. This method gives the Timbers a 1 in 15 chance of picking first.

The draft will be held on November 19th and the lots will be drawn on November 14th.

With this news it is no longer a foregone conclusion that Dan Kennedy will be headed somewhere like sunny Montreal to join the last place Impact. Instead, the Dan Kennedy sweepstakes could send the pined-after keeper just about anywhere in the league, with few teams in a position to refuse his services.

Beyond the pick order, MLS also revealed several key details about the draft in a separate article on MLSsoccer.com.

First, the article reveals that the draft will not be for just the rights to the player, but that any player picked by a club must be taken at his 2015 contract option. For a player like Leandro Barrera, that could mean being forced to take the prearranged transfer fee to complete his loan or there could be a player in a Pa Modou Kah-type contract that is back-loaded after a cheap first year.

Second, the article also confirms that, other than the draft picks already traded away, Chivas's draft picks will not be available for selection, unlike in MLS's previous dispersal draft, and will instead be removed from the pick order in the 2015 MLS Superdraft.

Finally, the article confirms what we all knew: Erick Torres will not be available through the draft. The article does not say how "Cubo" Torres will be made available, but it does confirm that the league is negotiating to keep him in the US.

So, how does this affect the Timbers? Not much at all. The pick numbers that the Timbers hold in the Superdraft this year may change slightly, but really, the Timbers will have their eye on a select few targets and hope that, through chance or otherwise, they fall to them.

The MLS press release:

2014 MLS Dispersal Draft to be held on Nov. 19

NEW YORK (Nov. 7, 2014) – Major League Soccer has announced that it will hold the 2014 Dispersal Draft for former Chivas USA players on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 4:00 p.m. ET. The Dispersal Draft will be conducted via a teleconference call with all 20 MLS clubs.

MLS, in participation with all 20 clubs, will conduct a weighted draw on Friday, Nov. 14 to determine the Draft ranking. Using an envelope method, the MLS clubs that qualified for the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs will receive one envelope, while all non-playoff teams, along with 2015 expansion teams New York City FC and Orlando City SC, will be given two envelopes. Video of the draw will be made available on MLSsoccer.com following the event.

More information on the random weighted draw and Dispersal Draft can be found on MLSsoccer.com HERE.

www.MLSsoccer.com