Major League Soccer announced Friday morning the full schedule for the 2022 offseason, just one day before kick off of the 2021 MLS Cup playoffs. Teams involved in the postseason won’t begin offseason proceedings until they are eliminated, but for the 13 other clubs that didn’t qualify, the preparations for the 2022 season begin shortly.
The Columbus Crew is among those teams that will begin the offseason on the day before Thanksgiving. The Black & Gold will have to submit all its bona fide offers to its current roster by next Wednesday, Nov. 24. Six days later, the Crew will submit a list of the players who have had options exercised or not exercised.
MLS clubs that are in the MLS Cup playoffs will release roster information shortly after they are eliminated with all teams needing those decisions completed no later than Dec. 12. After that, small transaction periods will begin with Dec. 12 also being the half-day trade window. The half-day trade window is a period of four hours where teams can make trades before an afternoon blackout.
The first major event of the 2022 MLS offseason will take place on Dec. 14 with another MLS Expansion Draft. The league’s new club Charlotte FC will select five players from the MLS expansion list, which could potentially include a Crew player. The following day on Dec. 15, the league will have the end-of-year waivers selection for teams and will open free agency.
December will conclude with two MLS re-entry drafts with the first taking place on Dec. 17 and the second falling on Dec. 23. With the quick season turnaround, clubs will have to be quick with their roster decisions as the MLS season kicks off on Feb. 26.
The main offseason event won’t happen until 2022 with the MLS SuperDraft scheduled for Jan. 11. Charlotte FC will get the first pick in the draft while the Columbus Crew will likely have a mid-round pick in the first round. The last Black & Gold SuperDraft selection to play in MLS was 2020 pick Miguel Berry, who broke out for a splendid season in 2021.
MLS season is right around the corner with just 99 days to go until kick off of the league’s 27th season. While no date was announced for a full schedule reveal, the league is expected to announce the 2022 regular season schedule sometime this year.
2022 MLS Offseason Schedule
NOV 24: Club Deadline to Submit Bona Fide Offers
NOV 25-DEC 12: Playoff Club Deadline to Submit Bona Fide Offers
NOV 30: Club Deadline to Exercise Options
DEC 1-DEC 12: Playoff Club Deadline to Exercise Options
DEC 12: Half-Day Trade Window Opens and Closes (9 a.m. ET - 1 p.m. ET)
DEC 14: 2021 MLS Expansion Draft
DEC 15: End-of-Year Waivers and Free Agency Opens
DEC 17: Re-Entry Process, Stage 1
DEC 23: Re-Entry Process, Stage 2
JAN 11: 2022 MLS SuperDraft
FEB 26: 2022 MLS season begins