Ahead of Wednesday's MLS re-entry draft (MLS's way of handling free agency), the Los Angeles Galaxy have decided not to renew contract options on Jovan Kirovski and Dema Kovalenko. This makes both players eligible for the Stage 1 Draft of the re-entry process, though they may elect to opt out. Both players were left off the Galaxy's protected player list from the MLS expansion draft held just after the MLS Cup.
The Re-Entry draft is conducted in the same order as the traditional Waiver Draft, giving the two expansion teams first pickings. The Galaxy have the fourteenth selection in both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 draft stages.
Kirovski is in his second stint with the Galaxy, having originally played for the club from 2004-2005. He re-joined the club in November 2008 and appeared 43 regular season games over the last two seasons, scoring six goals and adding three assists. A native of Escondido, Calif., the 34-year-old midfielder finished third on the Galaxy this season with four goals, two of which came in the 4-1 win over the Houston Dynamo on June 5. His first goal on that day was scored just 47 seconds into the game, making it the third fastest goal in club history.
Kovalenko has been with the Galaxy for two years, joining the club in a trade with Real Salt Lake in January 2009. He appeared in 26 regular season games for the club in that time, scoring once and adding a pair of assists. He scored the first goal of his Galaxy career this season, tallying the eventual game-winning goal in the 3-1 win over Columbus on September 11. Despite missing significant time over the past two seasons with injury, the 33-year-old midfielder started six of the Galaxy’s seven postseason games in 2009 and 2010.
Per Major League Soccer rules, in the Re-Entry Process, each club may either select a player from the eligible player list, or pass. Once a team has passed, they may no longer participate in that stage of the Re-Entry Process. Each stage will continue until all 18 clubs have passed on the available players.
Clubs must exercise the option for, or extend a Bona Fide Offer to, players selected in Stage 1. Players that were out of contract may either accept or reject the Bona Fide Offer. Should a player reject the offer, the drafting club will hold the right of first refusal for that player in MLS. Players with option years left on their contract will automatically be added to the drafting club’s roster.
Any player selected in Stage 1 will remain on the drafting Club’s 2011 budget at the option price or Bona Fide Offer price until April 1, 2011. Clubs and players may not mutually renegotiate that price to a lower number until April 1, 2011. Clubs may not select their own players in Stage 1. Players will have the opportunity to negotiate contracts and sign with their previous clubs after Stage 1 is complete until 11 a.m. (PT) on Monday, December 13.
In Stage 2, clubs may select from players that are under contract and those not under contract. If a player is not under contract, the drafting club will be required to make a genuine offer to the player within seven days. In the event that an agreement cannot be reached between the drafting club and an out-of-contract player, the drafting club will hold the right of first refusal for that player in MLS. Clubs may select their own players in Stage 2 only after all other clubs have declined to select those players.
If a player is not selected in either stage of the Re-Entry Process, that player will be available on a first come first serve basis to all clubs.