When new teams join the league, MLS hosts an Expansion Draft. This draft allows the new team or teams to choose unprotected players from around the MLS to join their squad. The MLS Expansion Draft is designed to help bring MLS veterans into new teams.
The MLS Expansion Draft has five rounds, in which each of the two expansion teams will be able to pick five unprotected players from existing MLS squads.
Each MLS club will have the ability to protect 11 players from being chosen. Additionally, Generation Adidas players who do not graduate from the program at the end of the current season and Homegrown players on a club's Supplemental or Reserve roster will not be eligible for selection.
Each MLS club can only lose one player. Once a player is chosen from the team’s roster, the team is eliminated from selection.
The MLS Expansion Draft is just one of the tools used to help new teams enter MLS. The two teams will also get to use the MLS SuperDraft, Waiver Draft, and Re-Entry Draft, as well as other player allocation mechanisms to develop their squad in the offseason.