MLS Allocation Process

Last update: December 23, 2016

The Allocation Process is the mechanism used to determine which MLS Club has first priority to acquire a player listed on the Allocation Ranking List (see below). The list will consist of (i) select U.S. Men’s National Team players, (ii) elite youth U.S. National Team players, or (iii) former MLS players returning to MLS after joining a non-MLS club for a transfer fee greater than $500,000. Generally, the Allocation Ranking List will be updated once a year on the day after the conclusion of the MLS regular season. The Allocation Ranking List will only be edited during the year if a player is transferred out of the league or if a top youth national team player is added to the list.

The Allocation Ranking Order is set by taking the reverse order of the club’s standings at the end of each MLS Season, taking playoff performance into account, with the new expansion clubs at the top of the order.

Once the club uses its allocation ranking to acquire a player, it drops to the bottom of the list. A ranking can be traded, provided that part of the compensation received in return is the other club’s ranking. At all times, each club is assigned one ranking. The rankings reset at the end of each MLS League season.

Allocation Ranking Order

  1. Atlanta United FC
  2. Minnesota United FC
  3. Houston Dynamo
  4. Columbus Crew SC
  5. San Jose Earthquakes
  6. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
  7. Orlando City SC
  8. New England Revolution
  9. Portland Timbers
  10. Philadelphia Union
  11. D.C. United
  12. Real Salt Lake
  13. Sporting Kansas City
  14. LA Galaxy
  15. New York City FC
  16. New York Red Bulls
  17. FC Dallas
  18. Montreal Impact
  19. Colorado Rapids
  20. Toronto FC
  21. Seattle Sounders
  22. Chicago Fire

2017 Allocation Ranking List

The Allocation Ranking List is comprised of players in the following categories:

  • Select U.S. Men’s National Team players.
  • Select elite U.S. Youth National Team players.
  • Players transferred outside of MLS garnering a transfer fee of at least $500,000 (USD).

The players who will be included on the Allocation Ranking List will be determined by Major League Soccer’s player personnel department and club technical staffs and will be updated once each year, during the time window between the end of the MLS regular season and MLS Cup. The Allocation Ranking List will only be updated during the season if an elite U.S. youth national team player turns 18 or graduates from the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, FL and is deemed eligible for the list. In addition, the Allocation Ranking List will be updated when a player is transferred out of MLS for more than $500,000.

Player Current club Classification
Juan Anangono Leones Negros (MEX) Transfer
Deshorn Brown Valerenga (NOR) Transfer
Geoff Cameron Stoke City (ENG) Transfer
Junior Flores Borussia Dortmund (GER) Youth USMNT
Giancarlo Gonzalez Palermo (ITA) Transfer
Omar Gonzalez Pachuca (MEX) Transfer
Julian Green Bayern Munich (GER) Youth USMNT
Brad Guzan Aston Villa (ENG) Core Senior USMNT
Doneil Henry West Ham Utd (ENG) Transfer
Aron Johannsson AZ Alkmaar (NED) Core Senior USMNT
Fabian Johnson Borussia Monchengladbach (GER) Core Senior USMNT
Obafemi Martins Shanghai Greenland Shenhua (CHN) Transfer
Matt Miazga Chelsea (ENG) Transfer
Fredy Montero Tianjin Teda (CHN) Transfer
Shaquell Moore Huracan (ESP) Youth USMNT
Andy Najar Anderlecht (BEL) Transfer
Krisztian Nemeth Al-Gharafa (QAR) Transfer
Kwadwo Poku Miami FC (NASL) Transfer
Christian Pulisic Borussia Dortmund (GER) Youth USMNT
Tim Ream Fulham (ENG) Transfer
Octavio Rivero Colo Colo (CHI) Transfer
Alain Rochat BSC Young Boys (SWI) Transfer
Mario Rodriguez Borussia Monchengladbach Youth USMNT
Oriol Rosell Sporting Clube (POR) Transfer
Rubio Rubin FC Utrecht (NED) Youth USMNT
Richard Sanchez UANL Tigres (MEX) Transfer
Camilo Sanvezzo Queretaro (MEX) Transfer
Jose Adolfo Valencia Once Caldas (COL) Transfer
Jorge Villafaña Santos Laguna (MEX) Transfer
DeAndre Yedlin Tottenham (ENG) Transfer

2017 Allocation Ranking Order Transactions

  • December 23: The Fire use No. 2 ranking in allocation order to acquire Juninho. The club secured the No. 2 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order in a trade with Minnesota United FC. The Union traded General Allocation Money, the No. 25 pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft Pick, and the No. 3 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order in exchange for the No. 2 spot. Atlanta United FC passed with the No. 1 spot.