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Explaining the New MLS Roster Rules

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MLS finalized roster rules and regulations on Friday. Here are the highlights of the big changes to Allocation and Discovery.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer completed a big step forward on Friday afternoon as they locked down certain roster rules and regulations for the 2015 season and going forward. After the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between players and ownership was agreed upon a few months ago, it was maintained that many of the details had yet to be worked out. Some of those details are in the books.

The league took the chance to iron out and streamline its Allocation and Discovery processes, while also eliminating the weighted lottery entirely. It would appear that mechanisms like the blind draw that generated such criticism in the past have gone the way of the Dodo.

Perhaps the biggest change in the Allocation process - and one that actually takes a step toward transparency - is the establishment of a fixed and public Allocation Player list. These players, made up of certain U.S. senior internationals, elite U.S. youth internationals, and players transferred out of MLS for more than $500,000, will be subject to the Allocation Order if they seek to return to the league. Those players are:

Player

Date of Birth

Current Club

Classification

Bedoya, Alejandro

4/25/1987

Nantes (FRA)

Senior USMNT

Guzan, Brad

9/9/1984

Aston Villa (ENG)

Senior USMNT

Howard, Tim

3/6/1979

Everton (ENG)

Senior USMNT

Johannsson, Aron

11/10/1990

AZ Alkmaar (NED)

Senior USMNT

Johnson, Fabian

12/11/1987

Hoffenheim (GER)

Senior USMNT

Anangono, Juan

4/13/1989

Club Universidad de Guadalajara (MEX)

Transfer

Brown, Deshorn

12/22/1990

Valerenga (NOR)

Transfer

Cameron, Geoff

7/11/1985

Stoke City (ENG)

Transfer

Gonzalez, Giancarlo

2/8/1988

Palermo (ITA)

Transfer

Henry, Doneil

4/20/1993

Apollon Limassol (CYP)

Transfer

Montero, Fredy

7/26/1987

Sporting Lisbon (POR)

Transfer

Najar, Andy

3/16/1993

Anderlecht (BEL)

Transfer

Ream, Tim

10/5/1987

Bolton (ENG)

Transfer

Rochat, Alain

2/1/1983

Young Boys (SWI)

Transfer

Rosell, Oriol

7/7/1992

Sporting Lisbon (POR)

Transfer

Sanchez, Richard

4/5/1994

Tigres UANL (MEX)

Transfer

Sanvezzo, Camilo

7/21/1988

Queretaro (MEX)

Transfer

Valencia, Jose Adolfo

12/18/1991

Rosario Central (ARG)

Transfer

Yedlin, DeAndre

7/9/1993

Tottenham (ENG)

Transfer

Flores, Junior

3/26/1996

B. Dortmund (GER)

Youth USMNT

Green, Julian

6/6/1995

Hamburg (GER)

Youth USMNT

Moore, Shaquell

11/2/1996

Unattached

Youth USMNT

Pelosi, Marc

6/17/1994

Liverpool (ENG)

Youth USMNT

Rubin, Rubio

3/1/1996

Utrecht (NED)

Youth USMNT

The above list will be made public on the league website and updated once per year, between the end of the regular season and MLS Cup. Additionally, the list will be updated when certain youth internationals turn 18, graduate from the Bradenton Residency academy, or when an MLS player is transferred out of the league for more than $500,000.

Discovery has also changed significantly, with the number of players a team may place on its list having been reduced from twelve to seven. The discovery process was used to acquire players not in MLS who are not subject to allocation, excepting: SuperDraft eligible players, Homegrown players, College Protected (i.e. drafted but unsigned) players, players whose rights are controlled by another club via some other process, and waived players.

Clubs that covet a player on another club's discovery list may force a move by offering that other club $50,000 in allocation money. The club that originally discovered the player must then either make an "objectively reasonable offer" to the player, or allow the other club to make a contract offer. This, coupled with the reduction in list size, prevents clubs from "camping" on players to keep other clubs from signing them.

These changes and more will be made public on the league website, but those are the major highlights. In addition, the league increased the salary cap by almost $400,000 and raised the maximum cap hit per player (so the cap hit the Revs are dealing with from Jermaine Jones, absent anything else) to $436,250. New England has the 14th spot in the Allocation Order and is unlikely to make any move on that front unless they execute some kind of trade with another club.