The 2011 Major League Soccer season may be over for all but two teams, but as we know there will be plenty of action over the next several months to keep us busy. From the CONCACAF Champions League draw on Tuesday all the way to the start of the 2012 season some time in March, the MLS offseason barely even qualifies as an actual offseason.
Among the important MLS-related dates are Nov. 21 when the 18 existing teams must submit a finalized list of players protected from the Nov. 23 expansion draft. That will be the day the Montreal Impact really start adding some meat to their roster. From there, a series of five more drafts will likely result in many MLS teams looking significantly different than they do today.
Here's a list of some important dates between now and the start of the MLS season:
Nov. 21: Teams submit finalized list of protected players for Expansion Draft. Each team can protect up to 11 players, exempting Generation Adidas and Homegrown players.
Nov. 23: Expansion Draft held. Montreal Impact select 10 players, with no more than 1 coming from each team.
Nov. 23: Waiver Draft held. Players released by teams can be selected by other teams with the order determined by the reverse order of the standings.
Dec. 5: Re-Entry Draft, Stage 1. Players can choose to enter this draft if they fail to come to contract terms with their current teams and meet certain experience requirements. Selecting teams are bound by various contractual obligations to the players. (explanation here)
Dec. 12: Re-Entry Draft, Stage 2. Players that go unselected in Stage 1 are eligible here, the difference being that selecting teams can negotiate new contracts.
Jan. 1: The first of the international transfer windows open.
Jan. 12: MLS SuperDraft. Two rounds long.
Jan. 17: MLS Supplemental Draft. Four rounds long.
Jan. 21-April 15: MLS transfer window opens. Players under contract in other leagues can be brought into MLS during this time.
March 6-8: First leg of CCL quarterfinals.
March 8-10: Rumored date of MLS First Kick.
For all your MLS offseason news and analysis, be sure to follow SB Nation Soccer.