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MLS NEXT Pro announces roster guidelines

With the inaugural season set to begin in late March, MLS NEXT Pro has released the roster guidelines for clubs

Richmond Kickers v New England Revolution II Photo by Tim Bouwer/ISI Photos/Getty Images

After months of anticipation, MLS NEXT Pro finally announced roster guidelines ahead of their inaugural season, which kicks off in late March.

Every club’s roster will feature 35 players in total. Spots 1-24 filled by international players, domestic players, and players on loan.

Slots 25-35 are for “amateur players”. To be considered an amateur player, they must meet requirements set by MLS NEXT Pro. These requirements include that the player must be under 21-years-old when the season starts. The player must also have never competed for any college or universities soccer program. They must have never been recognized as a professional player defined by NCAA or FIFA. Finally, the player must be a current or former player for the club’s MLS NEXT academy, or a club that has documented affiliation with the club.

MLS NEXT Pro clubs have immense flexibility as the league has no age limits or salary caps for players signed to clubs.

MLS NEXT Pro will feature two separate transfer windows with the primary window set to run from February 10th, 2022 through May 4th, 2022. The secondary window will run from July 7th, 2022 through August 4th, 2022.

Ali Curtis, MLS NEXT Pro Vice President of Competition and Operations, said the inaugural roster guidelines “will help drive a professional league that delivers an exciting on-field competition while providing opportunities for amateur and seasoned professional players alike.”.

With today’s announcement, expect the Revolution II roster to slowly come to fruition ahead of their first MLS NEXT Pro season. One move expected is the addition of Botafogo U-20 midfielder Ryan Lima, who recently added Revolution and Revs II social tags to his Instagram bio but the club has yet to announce the move.

Revs II still has time to get their roster in order as MLS NEXT Pro clubs must comply with the roster guidelines by 8:00 PM ET on March 18th.