Just as the summer transfer window closed with the news of Robbie Keane signing with the LA Galaxy, MLS has decided to set a press conference for tomorrow to make some changes to their Designated Player rule.
Don’t worry, this shouldn’t be a change to allow the Galaxy to have four DPs at once. No, this change or amendment as they are calling it will be about allowing clubs to sign younger players as DPs at a lower cost.
The new rule is meant to provide an incentive to teams to spend money acquiring younger players. We should see more small market clubs go after young players with this change in mind. The rule would not go into effect until next year and would likely apply to all DPs who fit the age criteria at that time, whether or not they were signed before the rule was adopted.
The league sent out a message about this today saying that of the 82 players signed this year (not including those out of college), the average age of these players was just a shade under 26-years old.
“This is already the largest and deepest group of players that MLS has ever added in a single year, and more could arrive before our Sept. 15 roster freeze,” MLS Executive Vice President Todd Durbin said in a league release. “During the past five years, the resources devoted to the on-field product have increased dramatically, and we’re seeing the fruits of that investment in the quality of play. We believe that our League is improving at an increasing rate and we plan to continue that progress until we are among the best in the world.”
Tomorrow’s change will be the third amendment to the DP rule, once known as the Beckham Rule.