In its brief existence, the MLS Re-Entry Draft has featured a potpourri of league talent: Some high-priced underachievers, some bargain-bin journeymen, some cap casualties. This time around, in the fourth year of the unique player-movement mechanism, it is going to feature a pair of MLS MVPs.
With Dwayne De Rosario and David Ferreira getting cut from D.C. United and FC Dallas, respectively, the two former league top dogs are up for grabs in December's player draft. MVPs anyone?
De Rosario, the league's MVP in 2011 and a four-time MLS Cup winner, is coming off the poorest statistical output of his career. He had just three goals (which still tied for D.C. United's team lead) and two assists in 24 games. He has won everything the region has to offer except a CONCACAF Champions League title, though, and has a knack for being a big-game player.
Ferreira won MVP honors in 2010 after leading FCD to the MLS Cup final, and he finally started to get back to his best self two years removed from a broken ankle that threw his career off kilter. The diminutive Colombian, who continues to be among the most fouled players in the league, is coming off a second straight nine-assist season.
There is a buyer beware aura surrounding both players, though, as they come with significant baggage: Namely cost, age and the fact that their best days are likely behind them.
Ferreira, 34, was on the books with FC Dallas for $730,000 in guaranteed compensation. De Rosario, 35, made $645,333.33 in guaranteed compensation with D.C. United. For a team to take them in the first phase of the Re-Entry Draft would mean picking them up at their existing option or higher, which, in the cost-cautious confines of MLS, makes them unattractive assets to cap-conscious teams.
In the second phase, though, which is more financially friendly to teams as they can negotiate new contracts with the players they select, the pair could be quite intriguing for teams who consider themselves on the cusp of a title but may be missing that one attacking spark. MLS offseasons are typically littered with high-profile player movement, and with the decorated De Rosario and Ferreira essentially available to all (and Eddie Johnson being shopped by the Seattle Sounders), that aspect of the winter break does not figure to change in the least.