2015 Major League Soccer Waiver Draft

2015 Major League Soccer Waiver Draft

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Thanks for joining us today, picks or not. This is Eevry Goren signing off, be sure to join us tomorrow for the Re-Entry draft which promises to be a much more active affair!

Well folks, unfortunately it appears as though the rest of Major League Soccer's teams have passed on selecting a player today. If you missed it previously, the Colorado Rapids were the only team to select a player, grabbing midfielder Michael Azira with the second pick.

With the fifth pick in the waiver draft Real Salt Lake select... no one! This appears to be a bit of a trend today.

New York City FC are the fourth team up, and once again the third team to pass on selecting a player. 

Next up is the Philadelphia Union who also pass on selecting a player. Seems as though it'll be slim pickings today as predicted

With the second pick in the 2015 Major League Soccer Waiver Draft, the Colorado Rapids select midfielder Michael Azira, previously of the Seattle Sounders.

It appears as though Chicago Fire have passed on selecting a player.

In other potentially game changing roster news, Major League Soccer has announced increases to last year's Targeted Allocation Money as well as Homegrown Player funds.

Chicago are in need of a back up goalkeeper and central defenders following the release of Adailton and Alec Kahn among others.

Alright Ladies and Gentlemen! We should be beginning shortly. The Chicago Fire are first up. Just a quick reminder picks can NOT be traded.  Any player selected must be given a firm/legitimate contract offer.

UPDATE the following players are also available for selection today: Dzenan Catic of the Philadelphia Union, Demar Philips of Real Salt Lake,  Vancouver Whitecaps trio, forwards Robert Earnshaw and Caleb Clarke, as well as midfielder Andre Lewis.

The forwards available this year are as inexperienced as they are few. 21-year-old Charles Eloundou, the lone representative of Colorado Rapids failed to score in his debut season this year, making 22 appearances as well as his debut for the Cameroon national team. He's joined by Adam Bedell formerly of Orlando City who seems to have had more success in Denmark than in the United States. Finally, 22-year-old Sidney Rivera also formerly of Orlando City, who failed to make an appearance for the Florida side but had some success at the USL level. He may be the only option listed worth taking a risk on.

Of the two keepers available, neither has any MLS experience whatsoever; however, 25 year old former Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Michael Lisch could be a reasonable option for MLS clubs seeking back-up goalkeepers such as New York City FC, Orlando City, Toronto FC, LA Galaxy, and Colorado Rapids. With so many clubs in need of goalkeepers, both Lisch and Gomez could go quickly.

Finally, forward and goalkeeper present MLS clubs with slim pickings this year.

An honorable mention goes to Leo Stolz, who failed to make an impact on the New York Red Bulls first team, but performed well toward the end of the season for New York Red Bulls II. There are questions over his consistency but at just 24-years-old and with his ability to create chances deep from midfield he could be a solid pick up for a team looking to pad midfield depth.

Not dissimilar to Pierazzi, Michael Azira offers a reliable, but unspectacular back up option in defensive midfield.

With Houston in need of a backup for Ricardo Clark in a highly unbalanced midfield next season, Pierazzi could be the perfect solution. Another potential destination would be Philadelphia.

Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi was a solid performer in an otherwise inconsistent San Jose midfield last season. A defensive midfielder by trade, the 30-year-old Frenchman made 27 appearances, scoring one goal last season.

Mika Vayrynen, a 33-year-old Finnish international was made largely obsolete by the arrival of Steven Gerrard in Los Angeles. A central midfielder with a creative spark, the former Leeds United player made 19 appearances for Los Angeles last season and could provide leadership and consistency for a team such as Philadelphia, Real Salt Lake, or New England.

Coria, a 28-year-old Argentinian, is an attacking midfielder who last played for D.C. United and was a go to for the Eastern Conference side in CONCACAF Champions League play, and could perform a similar role for the Portland Timbers

Midfield appears to be the deepest area to draw from in this year's Waiver Draft, of which the standouts are: Facundo Coria, Mika Vayrynen, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, and Michael Azira.

Daneil Cyrus also would prove to be a reasonable acquisition. The Trinidad and Tobago right back played just four times this season after his arrival in Chicago on loan from Trinidadian club W Connection FC. At just 24 years old, he's got plenty of fuel left in the tank, however his status as a loaned player could complicate matters.

Other potential destinations include: Philadelphia Union and New York City FC both of whom had poor defensive records this past season and are in need of reinforcements following player releases.

Of the defensive players available, AJ Cochran seems to be the player with the biggest upside. Just 22 years old and a regular at the heart of the Houston defense the past two seasons. Cochran could be a good pick up for teams such as Chicago or Colorado. Both teams have just three recognized defenders on their rosters following the announcements of the Waiver and Re-Entry draft, and given the fact that Chicago had the joint worst defense in MLS last season there's clearly room for improvement.

Where each team is in need of most: Chicago leads the pack with a combined eight players released between the Waiver and Re-Entry drafts.

Despite many of the available players being on the wrong side of 30, the Waiver Draft does present some opportunities for Major League Soccer clubs to pick up valuable players. Generally bench and leadership positions can be expected of these so called "cast offs".

A team that selects a player in a Waiver Draft goes to the bottom of the order for the following round of the draft.

They are: Forward Charles Eloundou, midfielder Facundo Coria, defender Otis Earle, midfielder Mika Vayrynen, midfielder Timothy Mulgrew, midfielder Leo Stolz, and finally defender Jeanderson Pereira.

Finally, with just a single player available each are the Colorado Rapids, D.C. United, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls and Portland Timbers.

Rounding out the group, the Orlando City players available are: forwards Adam Bedell and Sidney Rivera.

For Chicago they are as follows: defenders Daneil Cyrus, and Adailton dos Santos. As for Houston, defender AJ Cochran and goalkeeper Michael Lisch are up for grabs. New York City's available players include: midfielders Pablo Alvarez and Sebastian Velasquez

Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo, New York City FC, and Orlando City SC all have two players available.

Columbus' available players are: defender Emanuel Pogatetz, and midfielders Ben Speas and Kristinn Steindorsson.

San Jose Earthquakes and Columbus Crew both have three players eligible for selection. The San Jose players available are: midfielder Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, defender Paulo Renato, and goalkeeper Tomas Gomez.

Seattle Sounders lead the way with four players eligible for selection. They are as follows: midfielders Michael Azira, Thomas Bedinelli, Gonzalo Pineda, and defender Andres Correa.

The draft's selection order is the reverse of each MLS team's finishing spot. Chicago Fire, the team with the worst overall record during the 2015 MLS Regular Season have the first pick of the draft, followed by the Colorado Rapids, Philadelphia Union, New York City FC, Real Salt Lake, Houston Dynamo, Orlando City SC, San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto FC, New England Revolution, Sporting Kansas City, LA GalaxyD.C. United, Montreal Impact, Seattle Sounders FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Conference runners-up FC Dallas and New York Red Bulls, MLS Cup runner-up Columbus Crew, and finally MLS Cup winners Portland Timbers

Former Chivas USA trio Reo-Coker, Barrera, and Burling were the only players selected. The three going to the Montreal Impact, San Jose Earthquakes, and Colorado Rapids respectively.

Last year's draft featured just nine players: Robert Earnshaw, Joe Nasco, Marco Franco, Victor Pineda, Grant Ward, Aaron Wheeler, Nigel Reo-Coker, Leandro Barrera, and Bobby Burling.

This year's draft is the largest in recent history with two goalkeepers, eight defenders, 12 midfielders, and three forwards for a total of 25 available players who've had their contracts expire with their individual teams and will be followed by the Re-Entry Draft which features two stages on December 11th and 17th featuring players who've all had their contract options declined. 

Welcome to VAVEL Soccer's LIVE coverage of the 2015 Major League Soccer Waiver Draft. I'm Eevry Goren and I'll be providing periodic updates, commentary, and results of the draft. The draft begins at 4:30pm ET and will continue until all teams have passed or no players are left for selection.