FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Spencer Richey is in London training with English Premier League side Crystal Palace through Nov. 6, making him the club’s first player to train with an EPL club, according to an FC Cincinnati media release.
Richey kept two clean sheets in 19 appearances for FC Cincinnati in its inaugural MLS season, but he missed the last 12 games with a back injury.
Richey’s visit reinforces the positive relationship built between the two clubs. Crystal Palace, in preparation for its 2016-17 EPL season, defeated FC Cincinnati 2-0 in an international friendly at Nippert Stadium on July 16, 2016.
Through 10 matches this season, Crystal Palace sits sixth in the EPL table, only five points off the pace for UEFA Champions League qualification.
“Crystal Palace is one of the best teams in the Premier League this year, so it’s going to be an amazing experience,” Richey said in the media release. “I’ll try to take the confidence that I have and take that over to England with me, and vice versa, I’ll try to take some things from those guys that I’m training with and the coaching staff and apply that towards next season.”
Said head of goalkeeping Jack Stern in the release, “I think it’s a great opportunity for Spencer. To go to a club that plays in the Premier League and to be able to train at that level for a period of time will be great for Spencer and great for his development as a goalkeeper.”
No in-person SuperDraft?
The 2020 MLS SuperDraft is absent from the United Soccer Coaches convention calendar, according to the Washington Post’s Steven Goff, with indications that there will not be an in-person SuperDraft this year. The convention is scheduled for Jan. 15-19 in Baltimore.
The first two rounds of this year’s SuperDraft were conducted during the coaches convention in Chicago, with the third and fourth rounds via teleconference.
Key offseason dates
As Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC prepare for MLS entry, there are several roster-building dates for them and the rest of the league in the coming weeks. Among them:
■ Trade window from 1 p.m. Nov. 11 through 8 p.m. Nov. 13: Clubs can conduct business in this window, but once it closes, rosters are frozen until the end of the expansion draft.
■ Expansion draft, Nov. 19: Inter Miami and Nashville alternate picking five players from the list of those unprotected by their teams. Only one player per club can be claimed. D.C. United, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo and New York Red Bulls are exempt, because FC Cincinnati claimed players from these clubs in last year’s expansion draft.
Teams can protect up to 12 players from the draft. The list of players protected is due to MLS by Nov. 15 and will be made public by the league at 10 a.m. on Nov. 16.
■ Club deadline to pick up or decline player options, Nov. 21: FC Cincinnati has already made several of its options public.
■ End-of-year waivers and free agency, Nov. 25: These are for players that don’t meet the minimum years of service requirement for the re-entry draft or free agency. Players under contract for next year chosen through waivers are automatically added to their new team’s roster. Teams selecting players out of contract must issue a genuine offer to that player.
As the worst team in MLS this season, FC Cincinnati gets the first pick through waivers. Inter Miami and Nashville go last. Players not selected through waivers can sign with any team through free agency.
■ Stage 1 re-entry process, Nov. 26: Eligible players include those at least 23 years old with three years of service with options not picked up by their clubs; those at least 25 years old with four years of service that are out of contract; and free agents. Picks are in reverse order of season finish
■ Stage 2 re-entry process, Dec. 3: The pool includes players not selected in Stage 1, but some players may instead choose to re-sign with their previous club between stages or drop out altogether.