MLS Adds Second DP Slot To Each Club

MLS Adds Second DP Slot To Each Club

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 1, 2010
  • 6 Comments
  • Designated Player

Some big breaking news this morning. Major League Soccer has announced they are adding a second Designated Players slot to each club. All 16 MLS clubs now have the opportunity to sign at least two Designated Players.

Under the new rules, the Designated Player Rule also gives clubs the option of “purchasing” a third DP slot for $250,000 that will be dispersed in the form of allocation money to all clubs that do not have three Designated Players. DP slots may be used to sign and retain existing MLS players, but they are no longer tradable.

Lots of changes there, did you get them?

From the press release here is an example of what it will run each club:

A club’s salary budget will be charged $335,000 for its first Designated Player under contract, $335,000 for its second Designated Player under contract and $335,000 if it signs a third Designated Player. If a Designated Player joins a club’s roster in the middle of the season, that club’s salary budget for the year will be charged $167,500.

Another press conference for the media has apparently been set up for today, which means we should get even more details on all the changes to this rule.

You have to believe with these changes we’ll see more movement from some clubs this summer. No doubt the LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC will go out and use this new rule to their advantage. Several other clubs may follow suit too.

I’m sure some clubs will still elect not to use their DP slots but now that DP’s cost a little less on each team’s salary cap you have to think it will get more clubs to use these slots. I like that change by the league.

When we get more details later today we’ll pass them along to you.

  • anonymous

    April Fools…MLS is too dumb to do something like that.

  • Not a joke, just poor timing on announcing it. This thing is real.

  • Kaiser

    I think its for real. I saw the news up on sports illustrated's site, too. If its a prank its sure fooled a lot of people.

    I think this is a huge deal for US national team fans who want to see Landon make the move overseas permanent. The Galaxy (and MLS) would be much more likely to let Landon leave after the World Cup if it meant they could bring a DP to replace him.

  • Baumer

    Is there still a maximum salary rule in the MLS? I couldn't find any evidence of it in the 2007 CBA and haven't heard it mentioned in this go 'round. If there is, it seems like that could have some interesting consequences on the use of the DP slot. Anyways it seems like a lot more players will now be considered DP's and open up a little more spending room under the cap for the clubs. Taylor Twellman, Sharlie Joseph, Brian McBride, and Dwayne DeRosario all made more than the $335k in 2009 and Landon's salary is no longer an exemption either. Many more players made around $300k last year and could be up near/above this number with salary increases for 2010. That said, the “new look” DP may not be all that different from current roster players rather than the Raul's and Henry's of the world.

    The next thing I wanted to look at was the feasibility of a team even carrying 3 DP's under the current salary cap of $2.55m in 2010 (v. $2.315m in 2009). I wondered if a team spent that much of its cap on three players might the talent of the rest of the squad suffer too much. The cap hit for 3 DP's will be somewhere between $700k-$1.255m depending on usage of mysterious allocation money. To test this I looked at the 3 highest salaries hits to each of the teams last season and was surprised that 10 of the 15 teams already fell within this range with DC, NE, & TOR all above the $1m mark. So it would seem that it is quite feasible (especially given that teams have $235k more to play with under the cap in 2010) and ultimately it becomes more of a question as to whether the investment in the excess salary above and beyond the salary cap is worth it. I suspect for LA, NY, DC, and SEA it will be an easy yes.

    If you are interested here are the numbers: CHI (Blanco,McBride,Mapp) $995k, CLB (GBS,Marshall,Gaven) $838k, Dal (Cunnigham,Ferreira, V.D.Bergh) $719, DC (Luciano,Gomez,Moreno) $1.02m, LA (Becks,Donovan,Klein) $990k, NE (Joseph,Twellman,Jankauskas) $1.05m, SEA (Ljundberg,Keller,Jaqua) $905k, SJ (Huckerby,Convey,Cannon) $763k, TOR (deGuzman,DeRosario,Guevara) $1.07m

  • Baumer

    I believe there is actually an error in the caluclation above with regards to the 3 DP cap hit range. I originally included the $250k that the teams have to pay for the 3rd DP in the cap hit. Upon further reflection, I believe this would be a non-cap event and just add to the outside salary expense of that 3rd DP. If this is correct the range would actually be $450k-$1.005m. So actually every team already spends more that $450k on their three most expensive players from a cap perspective.

    It is hard to say what the chances are that a team would have $550k in allocation money to get down to the $450k mark. Wikipedia defines the allocation amount as:
    “In Major League Soccer, an allocation represents an amount of money teams can use to sign players and/or allocate to their salaries to get under the salary cap. Allocations are given to teams that have missed the playoffs the previous seasons, given to expansion teams, or awarded as compensation for players lost. This can be when a player is sold to a foreign club (Brian McBride), left on a free transfer (Clint Mathis), or retired (Cobi Jones). Allocations can be split and/or traded.”

  • Baumer

    I believe there is actually an error in the caluclation above with regards to the 3 DP cap hit range. I originally included the $250k that the teams have to pay for the 3rd DP in the cap hit. Upon further reflection, I believe this would be a non-cap event and just add to the outside salary expense of that 3rd DP. If this is correct the range would actually be $450k-$1.005m. So actually every team already spends more that $450k on their three most expensive players from a cap perspective.

    It is hard to say what the chances are that a team would have $550k in allocation money to get down to the $450k mark. Wikipedia defines the allocation amount as:
    “In Major League Soccer, an allocation represents an amount of money teams can use to sign players and/or allocate to their salaries to get under the salary cap. Allocations are given to teams that have missed the playoffs the previous seasons, given to expansion teams, or awarded as compensation for players lost. This can be when a player is sold to a foreign club (Brian McBride), left on a free transfer (Clint Mathis), or retired (Cobi Jones). Allocations can be split and/or traded.”