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Some very interesting names now available through Major League Soccer’s re-entry process

Dec 9, 2013, 8:55 PM EDT

Seattle Sounders FC v Colorado Rapids Getty Images

Major League Soccer announced its list of players eligible for the 2013 Re-Entry Draft, and there are some very, very intriguing names.

The process from here is all about “value.” These are mostly guys who still have some value (even to the club that just took a big step toward cutting ties with them). But the clubs have generally assessed that these players aren’t achieving “value.” That is, they aren’t worth the money about to applied to the 2014 salary cap.

Clubs may still sign these guys through 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 11, but it’s probably too late for most of them at their current addresses. Here is the entire list, along with explanations of the process.

We’ve picked out a few of the most intriguing names available for selection in Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft on Dec. 12.

Chicago’s Chris Rolfe: A lot of us believed the Chicago Fire livewire would do fantastic things in 2013. (*Sheepishly raises hand*) Well, he was neither live nor a wire … and his season needed rescuing, just like the entire team’s, by league MVP Mike Magee.

D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario: A year ago, several teams may have jumped at the chance to sign the former league MVP (2011) and veteran Canadian international. But his decline this year was staggeringly sharp. “De Ro,” once such a swashbuckling figure, could essentially play one good game a month, or so it seemed. He is 35 now. Still, might some team take him during the process and attempt to negotiate a deal knowing he can be influential only here and there?

Houston Dynamo’s Bobby Boswell: The Orange’s longtime fixture at center back is out of contract (rather than having had his option declined, as with most players about to go through the re-entry process). Either way, the guy has been a starter for nine years in MLS, and he will be just 31 next year. Some team will surely take him.

Seattle Sounders’ Mauro Rosales and Steve Zakuani: This means big changes around on Sounders roster. Sadly, Steve Zakuani (pictured above) has never recovered completely from that devastating 2011 injury. Rosales certainly has talent and vision, and can create from the right side. But he’s 32 … and it’s an old 32.

New York Red Bulls’ Fabian Espindola: He came over in a big trade just a year ago from Real Salt Lake. But, again, the Red Bulls find that playing alongside Thierry Henry is all kinds of problematic. Henry is among the most talent forwards ever to kick an MLS ball, but talk about high maintenance. Last year he didn’t like 18-goal-scorer Kenny Cooper, so the mercurial American talent was gone. Espindola is a different case; the chemistry with Henry just wasn’t right, and “Espy” wasn’t starting by mid-season. Still, can’t the guy (Henry) find someone he likes playing alongside?

LA Galaxy’s Sean Franklin: This guy will play in MLS in 2014 if he wants. He was a starter on both of Los Angeles’ recent (2011 and 2012) MLS Cup championship sides. And he started 29 times last year for a good Galaxy bunch. The team decided, however, that $250,000 (plus any scheduled increase for 2014) was too much to pay. Franklin can play right back or in the midfield.

  1. geojock - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Lots of good players and even more spot starters and role players. I think this might show how deep the league is getting. Enough talent here to see a few guys picked up in the first round, but I think we will def. see some crazy action in the 2nd round.

  2. talgrath - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Rosales is surprising to a lot of people, but you can’t ignore that he just wasn’t. able to get healthy enough to play full games for a whole season or even most of one. Rosales could have worked well as a super sub, coming on and injecting a different look into the midfield, playing in those pretty crosses into the box, but $200,000+ a year for a super sub in MLS is a bit much. Unfortunately the only way I see De Rosario playing again is as a super sub with a modest contract. Zakuani is a big question mark, when he played for the Sounders last season he looked good, not as fast as before but his technical abilities had improved; but the injury bug has bit him hard the last two years and there’s a big question about whether or not he can stay healthy. Everyone else should play, they’re not big names, they don’t command big contracts and there aren’t any real question marks around them; someone will pick them up on the cheap and give them another shot.

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