Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry draft is coming up tomorrow and there is still a good number of players available to be taken. Orlando City has already been involved in Stage 1, taking Patrick McLain from Chicago, but the Lions may end up picking up another player with their No. 6 overall pick. While it’s more likely that no one will be selected, let’s highlight three players that would make intriguing pickups for the Lions.
As a reminder, Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft means teams can negotiate new deals with players rather than be bound by their former contract terms. Eligibility for the Re-Entry Draft is only open to players who are out of contract or had their options declined, and are at least 23 years old with a minimum of three years of MLS experience, or are at least 25 with a minimum of four years of league experience.
Participation is not mandatory, meaning players may opt out right up until the draft begins. Players eligible for free agency are not included in the Re-Entry process.
1. Tony Taylor
The 27-year-old Florida native could be a logical pick for Orlando. Not only did he grow up in Florida, but he played for the Central Florida Kraze in 2008-2009, which became the Orlando City U-23 team in 2012. He also spent 2015 under Jason Kreis up at New York City FC. Unfortunately, he only appeared in two games that year due to injury, but in 2016 he made 14 appearances and started in seven games. He also tallied two goals and one assist. Taylor can play as a striker or as a winger on either side and the 6-foot attacking player can also be a target on set pieces. Currently, Orlando is looking for a reserve striker/winger, so a former player under Kreis would make sense in this situation.
2. Eric Gehrig
Any Orlando City fans remember him? Gehrig was a member of the Lions in 2014 for all of five minutes before being traded to Chicago for a 2016 MLS SuperDraft second-round pick. That pick turned into Adam Bedell after Orlando City traded it to Columbus. Bedell never saw the field for Orlando, so consider the Eric Gehrig trade a bust. Gehrig as a player was decent for a struggling Chicago Fire side. In 2015 he was the team's best and most consistent defender, but the team’s back line struggled in general. Last year, he only appeared in five games due to injury. At 28 years old, the versatile Gehrig has been around the league since 2011 and could provide depth on the back line.
3. Chris Korb
Korb is an interesting choice. Up until last year, he was a consistent performer on D.C. United’s defensive line. Since coming out of Akron in 2011, Korb played over 100 games for D.C., logging over 8,000 minutes across five seasons. In August of 2015, Korb tore his ACL and missed all of 2016 doing rehab, so there’s a bit of risk involved if a team were to pick him up. The upside is that he is adept at playing both sides as a fullback, providing depth behind Rafael Ramos and Donny Toia. Not only that, but Korb provides a veteran MLS presence to help players like Ramos to learn how to defend better in MLS games.
Do you think Orlando will select anyone in the Re-Entry Draft on Thursday? Let us know what you think in the comments below.