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Kyle Reynish is a free agent, just like he was last year

Maybe he ends up back at RBNY, just like he did last year?

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

After the MLS Expansion Draft on December 13, the league will officially allow this year's class of free agents to open negotiations with interested teams.

This year's free-agent class numbers 37 players, including some (e.g.: Jack Jewsbury, Mehdi Ballouchy, Conor Casey) who have already announced their retirement. Also on the list: New York Red Bulls' back-up 'keeper Kyle Reynish.

Reynish was also part of the 2015 MLS class of free agents, but he ultimately re-signed with RBNY at the end of January, 2016.

The Red Bulls are currently one 'keeper short: most teams shoot to have three goalkeepers on their MLS roster, since two are required for a match-day squad and injury can strike at any time. Ryan Meara has recently been re-signed by the club, and is presumably set to continue his role as Luis Robles' de facto back-up.

But Reynish, who has never made a competitive appearance for the RBNY first team in two seasons, filled a valuable role for the Red Bulls in 2016: generally occupying the reserve 'keeper spot on the bench on MLS match-days, freeing up Meara to play for the USL squad.

RBNY has issued no statement to suggest it expects Reynish to return to the team. But his spot - patient, mostly unused, benchwarming back-up - is a tough one to fill, and it's not a role (one would think) the club particularly wants to thrust on Meara, who surely needs more than the scant minutes afforded Reynish.

Barring a drastic change in a selection policy that sees Robles play essentially every game the team considers significant to its ambitions for the season, RBNY needs a third 'keeper to play the Reynish role in the squad. But it will have to wait for the Expansion Draft to pass and free agency negotiations to begin to see if the man best suited to the job is still available to do it.