Chicago takes Santos as only pick in first stage of MLS Re-Entry Draft

The former D.C. United striker is headed to the Windy City after being the only selection in the first phase of the player draft. The second phase is set for next Friday.
Maicon Santos is on the move again.

The Brazilian forward was selected by the Chicago Fire in the first stage of the MLS Re-Entry Draft Friday, making that his fifth MLS team since 2010. Santos scored seven goals and had three assists for D.C. United in 2012, but he did not have his option picked up by the team and became eligible for the player dispersal mechanism.

In the first stage, teams are required to pick up existing options or extend a "bona fide offer" for players who had either had their options declined or became out of contract. Santos' base salary was $106,400 this past season, and he automatically has his contract option picked up by the Fire and is added to the club's roster.

Since joining MLS in 2009, Santos has been well-traveled. He entered the league with Chivas USA before going to Toronto FC during the following season. He split 2011 between Toronto and FC Dallas before signing with D.C. United during last year's offseason. He was a mainstay in Ben Olsen's starting XI for the opening portion of the season, scoring all seven of his goals by May 26. After that point he started six more times and did not register a tally.

The second stage of the Re-Entry Draft will be conducted next Friday, and more action is anticipated as has been the case in the past two years, since the draft's inception. Teams no longer have to exercise existing options on the available players. Those players who were not selected in the opening phase may negotiate with their current teams or can be traded up until next Thursday at 5 p.m. ET.

Draft-eligible players of note who may still be available next week include veterans Juan Pablo Angel, Conor Casey and Kevin Hartman, Canadian international Julian de Guzman and 2012 U.S. U-23 captain Ike Opara. Any player who goes unselected after next Friday's round will become a free agent.

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