MLS Allocation Process

Last update: January 4, 2021

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

2021 Allocation Ranking List

Last update: January 7, 2021

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
Adams, Tyler RB Leipzig (GER) Transfer
Almiron, Miguel Newcastle United (ENG) Transfer
Anangono, Juan River Plate Asunción (PAR) Transfer
Aranguiz, Pablo Universidad de Chile (CHI) Transfer
Cannon, Reggie Boavista FC (POR) Transfer
Carmona, Carlos Colo-Colo (CHI) Transfer
Davies, Alphonso Bayern Munich (GER) Transfer
Durkin, Chris Sint-Truiden (BEL) Transfer
Elis, Alberth Boavista FC (POR) Transfer
Gaber, Omar Pyramids FC (EGY) Transfer
Giovinco, Sebastian Al-Hilal Riyadh (SAU) Transfer
Harrison, Jack Leeds United (ENG) Transfer
Horta, Andre SC Braga (POR) Transfer
Hwang, InBeom Rubin Kazan (RUS) Transfer
Ibarra, Romario CF Pachuca (MEX) Transfer
Johnson, Fabian Without club Senior USMNT
Larin, Cyle Besiktas (TUR) Transfer
Martinez, Pity Al-Nassr FC (KSA) Transfer
Martins, Obafemi Wuhan Zall (CHN) Transfer
McKenzie, Mark KRC Genk (BEL) Transfer
Miazga, Matt RSC Anderlecht (BEL) Transfer
Murillo, Michael RSC Anderlecht (BEL) Transfer
Nedyalkov, Anton Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL) Transfer
Ondrasek, Zdenek FC Viktoria Plzen (CZE) Transfer
Perez, Manny Celtic (SCO) Youth USMNT
Poku, Kwadwo Without club Transfer
Pulisic, Christian Chelsea (ENG) Senior USMNT
Ream, Tim Fulham (ENG) Transfer
Richards, Chris Bayern Munich (GER) Transfer
Rivero, Octavio Santos Laguna (MEX) Transfer
Rochat, Alain Retired Transfer
Sanvezzo, Camilo Mazatlán FC (MEX) Transfer
Sargent, Josh Werder Bremen (GER) Senior USMNT
Savarino, Jefferson Clube Atlético Mineiro (BRA) Transfer
Silva, Alejandro Olimpia (PAR) Transfer
Steffen, Zack Manchester City (ENG) Transfer
Taider, Saphir Al-Ain (KSA) Transfer
Valencia, Jose Adolfo Delfín SC (ECU) Transfer
Vazquez, Victor Without club Transfer
Villalba, Hector Club Libertad(PAR) Transfer
Yedlin, DeAndre Newcastle United (ENG) Transfer
Yotun, Yoshi Cruz Azul (MEX) Transfer

2021 Allocation Ranking Order Transactions

  • Jan. 8, 2019: LAFC acquired the No. 2 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order in a 2019 trade with FC Cincinnati