SPORTS

Only 3 players taken in MLS re-entry draft but Montreal and Toronto both active

12/12/2014 06:37 EST | Updated 02/11/2015 05:59 EST
TORONTO - The Montreal Impact added Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg with the first pick in Stage 1 of the MLS re-entry draft Friday.

Only two other players were taken. San Jose Earthquakes used the second overall pick to take goalie Andy Gruenebaum, also of Sporting Kansas City. Toronto FC used the sixth pick to select Real Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley.

Every other team passed.

Some 60 players remain eligible for Stage 2 of the re-entry draft, which goes Thursday. Teams who choose players at that stage will be able to renegotiate their contracts, as opposed to Stage 1 when teams must pick up the players' existing contract options.

The 31-year-old Kronberg, Kansas City’s longest tenured-player, started 20 games this season. The nine-year veteran missed part of the year with a broken hand.

"It was a good opportunity to bring in an experienced goalkeeper with the team," Frank Klopas, Montreal's head coach and director of player personnel, said in a statement. "He's a veteran player who will give us depth in an important position."

Montreal protected goalie Evan Bush, who started 13 games in 2014, in the expansion draft Wednesday but made veteran Troy Perkins available.

Kronberg, whose salary last season was listed at US$120,000, took over as No. 1 in Kansas City after Jimmy Nielsen retired. He went 7-8-5 with a 1.55 goals-against average and seven shutouts in 2014.

Gruenebaum, 31, started 11 games this year for Kansas City in Kronberg's absence, with a salary of $85,000, before being sidelined himself at the end of the season. He spent eight seasons before that with the Columbus Crew.

Sporting Kansas City, which has wasted little time overhauling its roster since exiting in the first round of the playoffs, declined options on both 'keepers. It currently only has one goalie on its roster in 21-year-old homegrown product Jon Kempin and is looking for help in goal.

Findley had one goal in 16 appearances for Salt Lake last season, with eight starts. The 29-year-old U.S. international left MLS after the 2007 season to join England's Nottingham Forest, returning in 2013.

Findley adds some experience to a Toronto strike force that currently features Jermain Defoe, Luke Moore, Brazil's Gilberto, Bright Dike and Canadian teenager Jordan Hamilton. He also adds to the wages, with a salary of $245,000 this season. He has 26 goals and 15 assists in 137 career regular season appearances for Real Salt Lake.

"Robbie brings a wealth of MLS experience to our club. He is a proven goal scorer in our league and has won an MLS Cup," Toronto FC general Mmanager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement.

The re-entry process covers players at least 23 years old a minimum of three years of MLS experience whose options were not exercised. In addition, players out of contract who have not received a "bona-fide" offer and who are at least 25 years old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience, and/or players at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience are included.

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