Offseason set to be a busy one for Sounders FC

The club has a lot planned between now and the start of the 2013 campaign in March.

The offseason of player movement began on Monday with a flurry of trades around Major League Soccer.

Friday kicks off the Re-Entry Process, with the Stage One draft commencing at noon Pacific on a conference call. With that, the busy offseason that concludes with the Supplemental Draft in mid-January will begin its roll toward the start of the 2013 MLS season.

On Friday, the Stage One draft will take place, with teams drafting from a list primarily made up of players whose options were declined by their previous team. In this stage, the drafting team must pick up the current option for the player’s contract or make a Bona Fide offer for the player if they are out of contract.

Next Friday, the Stage Two draft will have teams selecting players from a similar list, with the drafting team having the ability to renegotiate the player’s contract for the 2013 season.

After that, things should be relatively quiet until news starts coming out of international player signings. The preseason transfer window opens around the time of the start of training camp in MLS, while it starts on January 1 through most of Europe.

The MLS SuperDraft will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the NSCAA Convention on January 17. This consists primarily of college players who have fulfilled their college eligibility, but has also featured some underclassmen and young international players.

That will be followed by the Supplemental Draft, which takes place over a conference call.

For the Sounders it all builds towards their preparation for the 2013 season, which will start with a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series with Tigres from Mexico. As part of the preparation for that aggregate goal series, the Sounders will play in the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Arizona, between January 26 and February 23.

For ticket information for the preseason tournament, visit www.fctucson.com.

The Sounders will start preseason camp in Seattle before making their annual trip to Casa Grande, Arizona. After a brief return to Seattle, they will then stay in Tucson to complete their preseason camp.