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MLS 101: Roster Rules and Salaries

Nota Bene: the MLS roster rules change and so will the MLS 101 sections on Mount Royal Soccer. Our goal is to inform you and to keep you up-to-date on these changes. Many roster rules will obviously affect your Montreal Impact so bookmark this link. We will also post the MLS Soccer rules so you can devour as much data and details that you need.

Let's look at some important concepts before diving into salary cap and roster rules

Designated Player

The Designated Player Rule allows clubs to acquire up to three players whose salaries exceed their budget charges, with the club bearing financial responsibility for the amount of compensation above each player's budget charge. Designated Player slots may be used to acquire players new to MLS or to retain current MLS players, subject to League approval. The salary cap hit of a designated player differ depending on his age and ranges from 150,000$ to 350,000$.

A Designated Player over the age of 23 counts as $350,000 against the club's salary budget, unless the player joins his club in the middle of the season, in which case his budget charge will be $175,000.As the rule states, a Designated Player only means that an MLS club can pay tons of money towards a player. It is not a guarantee of getting a super star but in the same time, the spirit of the rule is to pay the big bucks to international stars or local stars.

==> With Marco Di Vaio coming to Montreal, a salary hit of $175,000 applies to the Montreal Impact's salary as he joins the team in mid-season. With a 18-month contract, the Italian striker cap hit will be at $350,000 in the 2013 MLS season.

Generation Adidas


What is Generation Adidas? Can I join and get free gear? not really...

Well Generation Adidas is a joint program between MLS and Adidas that is dedicated to developing exceptional domestic talent in a professional environment. Each year, a handful of top domestic underclassmen and youth national team players are signed to the league and placed in the SuperDraft through this program. Generation Adidas players also receive an educational stipend

All Generation adidas players are Off-Budget players and do not count on the cap but exceptions apply as we will see later. They also make a higher salary than the league minimum.

==> Andrew Wenger and Zarek Valentin are Generation Adidas players, respectively starting in 2012 and 2011.

Home Grown Players

A club may sign a player to his first professional contract without subjecting him to the MLS SuperDraft if the player has trained for at least one year in the club's youth development program and has met the League's Homegrown Player criteria. Players joining MLS through this mechanism are known as Homegrown Players.

There is no limit to the number of Homegrown Players a club may sign in a given year.

Salary Cap and Roster

An Major League Soccer club 1st team roster is made of a total of 30 players that are eligible to be part of the game-day roster of 18-players during the regular season and the playoffs. The 2012 MLS salary cap is set at $2,810,000 and only includes roster spots 1-20 out of the 30-players squad.

Some important Salary Cap/Roster considerations.

  • The maximum budget charge for a single player is $350,000.*
  • A Designated Player over the age of 23 counts as $350,000 against the club's salary budget, unless the player joins his club in the middle of the season, in which case his budget charge will be $175,000.
  • Clubs are responsible for all amounts above the budget charge for all Designated Players.
  • Players occupying roster spots 21-30 do not count against the club's salary budget, and are referred to collectively as the club's Off-Budget Players (maximum of 10 per team).
  • All Generation adidas players are Off-Budget players. (exceptions apply)
  • Players occupying roster spots 1-24 will earn at least $44,000 in 2012.
  • Players occupying roster spots 25-30 will earn at least $33,750 in 2012.
  • Clubs may elect to leave up to two of these roster spots (25-30) vacant and use $35,000 for each empty spot as allocation money.
  • Clubs may sign up to two Homegrown Players contracts above the minimum salary and similar to Generation adidas player contract amounts.

Here is the 2012 salary information for the Montreal Impact

* Available salary information is provided by the MLS Players Union

Name 2012 Base Salary 2012 Guaranteed Compensation
Brovsky Jeb 33,750.00 33,750.00
Bush Evan 44,000.00 44,000.00
Camara Hassoun 75,000.00 75,000.00
Corradi Bernardo 240,000.00 265,000.00
Di Vaio Marco 175,000.00 175,000.00
Ferrari Matteo 130,000.00 185,475.00
Garcia Gienir 33,750.00 33,750.00
Gardner Joshua 54,120.00 54,120.00
James Evan 33,750.00 33,750.00
Mallace Calum 44,000.00 59,000.00
Mapp Justin 210,000.00 218,333.33
Martins Felipe 120,000.00 120,000.00
Montano Miguel 44,000.00 44,000.00
Neagle Lamar 44,000.00 44,000.00
Nyassi Sanna 125,000.00 132,625.00
Ricketts Donovan 250,000.00 275,000.00
Rivas Nelson 50,000.00 50,000.00
Sebrango Eduardo 44,000.00 44,000.00
Sutton Greg 65,000.00 65,000.00
Thomas Shavar 80,000.00 94,666.67
Ubiparipovic Sinisa 55,000.00 55,000.00
Valentin Zarek 90,000.00 142,000.00
Wahl Tyson 65,000.00 86,086.67
Warner Collen 46,725.00 60,475.00
Wenger Andrew 100,000.00 202,000.00
Total Compensation 2,252,095.00 2,592,031.67