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MLS adds new roster spots and money for homegrown players

Goal.com logo Goal.com 28-02-2017

Major League Soccer has announced its roster rule changes for the 2017 season with a big focus on encouraging homegrown signings.

The league has added two off-budget roster spots specifically for homegrown players. In addition, teams are permitted to use up to $200,000 of their targeted allocation money to sign homegrown players to their initial professional deals.

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“Youth development continues to be a key strategic priority for MLS,” MLS Executive Vice President of Competition and Player Relations said Todd Durbin in a press release. “These two changes allow greater flexibility for our clubs, as the two additional roster spots give our clubs the ability to sign a greater number of promising young players, while the use of Targeted Allocation Money on new Homegrown Players gives them more financial resources to help retain that top talent.”

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The league also tweaked its interleague loan rules, allowing players who are loaned during the first MLS transfer window (Feb. 14- May 8) can be recalled during the secondary window (July 10- Aug. 9).

Other rule changes include:

—The Extreme Hardship threshold will include situations where a team has less than four available outfield substitutes.

—Targeted allocation funds can be used to sign Special Discovery Players, which are players whose transfer/loan fee and salary are spread out over the entirety of the contract.

The MLS cap for 2017 will be $3.845 million. That includes players who take up roster spots 1-20 on an MLS roster. Off-budget players roster spots 21-24 are required to be paid a minimum of $65,000 while spots 25-28 will make a minimum of $53,000.

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