MLS increases roster size with emphasis on homegrown players

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Tuesday February 28th, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Soccer is increasing each team's roster size from 28 to 30 by creating two spots for homegrown players that have come up through a team's youth system.

Teams may spend up to $200,000 of their targeted allocation money to sign homegrown players to their first professional contracts, the league said Tuesday.

Under rules announced earlier in the month, each team's salary budget rises to $3,845,000 from $3.66 million. High-priced designated players—a maximum of three per team—count as a maximum $480,625 each against the budget. Teams can spend more from what the league calls general and targeted allocation money.

The minimum salary rises by $5,000 to $65,000 for the first 20 spots on each team, known as the senior roster and the only slots that count against a team's salary budget. A team does not have to fill slots 19 and 20.

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The supplemental roster, spots 21-24, also has a $65,000 minimum, and remaining slots a $53,000 minimum.

A team can dress 18 players for each game this season, which starts Friday when expansion Minnesota is at Portland.

Clubs must be in compliance with budget and roster rules by Wednesday, and the transfer window remains open until May 8. The secondary transfer window is from July 10-Aug. 9, and rosters will be frozen on Sept. 15.

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