Heading into its fourth season or its tenth, depending on how you interpret the history of the Major Arena Soccer League, the league is poised to have its largest ever free agency frenzy.
“Beginning May 1st at 9:00 a.m. ET through May 15th at 6:00 p.m. ET will be considered a ‘Live Period’ for contract negotiations,” according to a league press release. Any player whose contract expires prior to the beginning of the 2017/18 season will be eligible to be signed by any team during the two week window.
If a player does not sign during the live period, his current team will be able to protect his rights until the expiration date of his current contract.
Last year teams had until August 31 to re-sign their own players before free agency began. Pushing the free agency window up and shortening it could create a burst of player movement and liven up the offseason for fans. It will also make the process transparent to the public for the first time.
The earlier free agency period is also intended to set aside the distraction of player acquisition and allow teams to shift their focus back to sales and marketing during the months leading up to the season.
The MASL doesn’t plan to publish a list of free agents, but the 2017/18 rosters on MASLsoccer.com currently show players who are already signed through the upcoming season. Therefore, by process of elimination, fans will be able to deduce who is available.