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Report: MLS Expansion Draft will be less expansive this year (but it will happen)

The Expansion Draft is coming for sure (reportedly) but will be a little different from years past (reportedly).

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl has got the scoop on the 2016 MLS Expansion Draft: the mechanism with the Uniteds of Atlanta and Minnesota will stock their threadbare rosters with goodies from around the league.

The simple fact there will be an Expansion Draft is news in itself, and Wahl reports some aggravation in front offices around the league at the vacillation over whether or not the 2017 intake to MLS would be granted the same privilege as prior expansion teams. Clubs have roster planning to do, and not even knowing for sure whether they would be raided by the league's newcomers was surely a very difficult uncertainty to adequately plan around.

Per Wahl, now they know: the Draft will be held on December 13, 2016. But it will be a little different from prior incarnations.

In 2014, Orlando City SC and New York City FC were allowed to grab 10 players each, with a maximum of two from any one team being pillaged. Wahl reports that the 2016 Expansion Draft will only allow Atlanta and Minnesota five selections each, and only one from any particular roster in MLS.

There are some more details to be revealed: specifics on the rules governing "protected" (i.e. undraftable) players, for example. But the basic outline of this year's Expansion Draft is in place: it will be shorter and potentially less disruptive to existing rosters around MLS. And it is three months away.