In 2013 the Re-entry Draft signaled the start of the trading season in MLS. This year that honor fell to Monday's briefly open transfer window and, with few must-have prospects in the year's re-entry draft, there was little noise made today.
The Portland Timbers, along with all but three teams, passed in the first stage of the 2014 Re-entry Draft. Feeling adventurous were Toronto FC, who took striker Robbie Findley; the Montreal Impact, who took goalkeeper Erik Kronberg; and the San Jose Earthquakes, who took keeper Andy Gruenebaum.
The trio of players taken were certainly among the best values on offer. Findley, while not inexpensive at $245,000, is a reliable striker, which are always at a premium in MLS. Gruenebaum and Kronberg, meanwhile, are a pair of starting-quality keepers, neither of which are on particularly inflated salaries and will be significently cheaper than the pair of players that they are replacing in Jon Busch and Troy Perkins.
In 2013 five players were taken in the first stage of the draft, including 2014 Defender of the Year runner-up Bobby Boswell in the second round of picks and the Timbers' lone Re-entry Draft pick since joining MLS in 2011, Steve Zakuani.
The second stage of the Re-entry draft, coming next Thursday, should be a much more active affair, with teams no longer obliged to take a player's option or make them a "bone-fide offer" (rumored to be a 5% increase over their previous year's salary). The second stage in 2013 had eight players taken.
Is there anyone you wish the Timbers had taken in the first stage of the Re-entry Draft? Let us know in the comments below.