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New Major League Soccer Roster Rules and Chicago Fire Salary Cap Update

Major League Soccer finally got around to releasing new rules and regulations regarding the 30 man rosters that went into effect for this season.  The important roster rules are quoted as follows:

Salary & Budget:

  • Players occupying roster spots 1-20 count against the club’s 2011 salary budget of $2,675,000, and are referred to collectively as the club’s Salary Budget Players.
  • Roster spots 19 and 20 are not required to be filled, and teams may spread their salary budget across only 18 Salary Budget Players. A minimum salary budget charge will be imputed against a team’s salary budget for each unfilled senior roster slot below 18.
  • The maximum budget charge for a single player is $335,000.*
  • A Designated Player counts $335,000 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 $167,500.

* See section entitled Allocation Money below, under Player Acquisition Mechanisms, for details on buying down a player’s budget charge.

  • 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.
  • Players occupying roster spots 1-24 will earn at least $42,000 in 2011.
  • Players occupying roster spots 25-30 will earn at least $32,600 in 2011.
  • 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 Home Grown Players to Generation adidas contracts.

Age Designations:

  • Any player making $32,600 must be under the age 25 (does not turn 25 or older in 2011).
  • The Chicago Fire's current roster and salary cap situation and how the new rules effect every MLS team is after the break...

    Essentially each team now has a developmental roster of 10 guys that do not count against the cap.  The league does not clarify age requirements for slots 21-24.  Roster slots 25-30 players have to be under the age of 25 if making the minimum to use these roster spots.  My thought is that players who are considered developmental, regardless of age, can be placed in these roster spots.  I'd like to see further clarification on these roster spots and how they can be used from MLS. Right now it is a bit vague.

    More interestingly is the rule that allows two senior roster spots to go open thus allowing an 18 man senior squad for the $2.6 million dollar salary cap.  That's an average salary of $144,000 per player.  I could see teams using this plus their allocation money to beef up their starting squads.  Perhaps this might help to stem the tide of above average domestic players leaving to play in middle of the road leagues overseas. 

    These changes don't impact the Fire's situation as it currently stands.   Below I've taken my best guess at the roster and salaries.  I've included all Super Draft and Supplemental draft picks in the developmental roster slots.  Any rumored signings that aren't official have not been included.  There has been some late breaking news from Fire Confidential regarding Deris Umanzor going back to El Salvador on Tuesday of this week.  Until that rumor is confirmed as official, Deris will stay in the roster below.  I've left roster slots 16-20 open as that is where any potential signings will be slotted in at this moment.  

    Roster slot # Name Position Estimated 2011 Base Salary Estimated 2011 Cap #
    1 Mike Banner D,M 42000 42000
    2 Jon Conway G 60000 60000
    3 Calen Carr F 71250 71250
    4 Daniel Paladini M 80000 80000
    5 Andrew Dykstra G 42000 42000
    6 Baggio Husidic M 75000 75000
    7 Bratislav Ristic I M 42000 42000
    8 Steven Kinney D 42000 42000
    9 Patrick Nyarko M,F 80000 80000
    10 Marco Pappa I M 108000 108000
    11 Logan Pause M 160000 168000
    12 Dasan Robinson D 49200 49200
    13 Gonzalo Segares D 120000 120000
    14 Deris Umanzor I D,M 72000 72000
    15 Josip Mikulic I D 50000 50000





    21 Sean Johnson GA G 55000 0
    22 Kwame Watson-Siriboe  D 42000 0
    23 Victor Pineda HG M 42000 0
    24 Corben Bone GA M 75000 0
    25 Amani Walker F 32600 0
    26 Yannick Salmon M 32600 0
    27 Jason Herrick F 32600 0
    28 Davis Paul F 32600 0
    29 Sam Arthur F 32600 0
    30 Jalil Anibaba D 60000 0

    1530450 1101450

    Current estimation on available cap space: $1.573 Million

    'I' after players name denotes international player status.  'GA' denotes Generation adidas.  'HG' denotes homegrown.  There are 4 International roster spots being used which means we have 4 more open.  Homegrown roster signings are now unlimited but we only have one currently, Victor Pineda.