MLS Allocation Process

Last update: August 7, 2019

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

2019 Allocation Ranking List

Last update: August 7, 2019

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 LDU Quito (ECU) Transfer
Cameron, Geoff Queens Park Rangers (ENG) Transfer
Carmona, Carlos Colo-Colo (CHI) Transfer
Castillo, Fabian Club Tijuana (MEX) Transfer
Davies, Alphonso Bayern Munich (GER) Transfer
Diaz, Mauro Shabab Al-Ahli (UAE) Transfer
Flores, Junior Out of contract Youth USMNT
Gaber, Omar Pyramids FC (EGY) Transfer
Giovinco, Sebastian Al-Hilal (SAU) Transfer
Green, Julian Greuther Furth (GER) Youth USMNT
Harrison, Jack Leeds United (ENG) Transfer
Horta, Andre Braga (POR) Transfer
Johannsson, Aron Werder Bremen (GER) Senior USMNT
Johnson, Fabian Borussia Monchengladbach (GER) Senior USMNT
Larin, Cyle Besiktas (TUR) Transfer
Martins, Obafemi Shanghai Greenland Shenhua (CHN) Transfer
Miazga, Matt FC Nantes (FRA) Transfer
Najar, Andy Anderlecht (BEL) Transfer
Nedyalkov, Anton Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL) Transfer
Perez, Manny Celtic (SCO) Youth USMNT
Poku, Kwadwo Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL) Transfer
Pulisic, Christian Chelsea (ENG) Senior USMNT
Ream, Tim Fulham (ENG) Transfer
Richards, Chris Bayern Munich (GER) Transfer
Rivero, Octavio Atlas (MEX) Transfer
Rochat, Alain Lausanne-Sport (SWI) Transfer
Rubin, Rubio Club Tijuana (MEX) Youth USMNT
Sanvezzo, Camilo Club Tijuana (MEX) Transfer
Sargent, Josh Werder Bremen (GER) Senior USMNT
Silva, Alejandro Olimpia (PAR) Transfer
Steffen, Zack Fortuna Dusseldorf (GER) Transfer
Torres, Erick Club Tijuana (MEX) Transfer
Valencia, Jose Adolfo Feirense (POR) Transfer
Vazquez, Victor Al-Arabi (QAT) Transfer
Yedlin, DeAndre Newcastle United (ENG) Transfer
Yotun, Yoshi Cruz Azul (MEX) Transfer

2019 Allocation Ranking Order Transactions

  • December 10: San Jose Earthquakes traded the No. 2 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order to Toronto FC in exchange for the No. 6 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order, $75,000 in General Allocation Money and $75,000 in Targeted Allocation Money.
  • December 27: FC Cincinnati traded the No. 1 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order to Toronto FC for the No. 2 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order and the 2019 Natural Second Round SuperDraft pick.
  • December 27: Toronto FC used No. 1 spot in Allocation Ranking Order to sign center back Laurent Ciman.
  • January 23: FC Cincinnati traded No. 1 spot in Allocation Ranking Order, $150,000 in 2019 General Allocation Money, $50,000 in 2020 General Allocation Money, $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money to Toronto FC for Nick Hagglund and the No. 24 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order.
  • April 11: Orlando traded the No. 2 spot in Allocation Ranking Order to the LA Galaxy for $300,000 in 2019 Targeted Allocation Money, $100,000 in 2020 Targeted Allocation Money and the No. 11 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order.
  • April 11: Toronto FC traded the No. 1 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order to the LA Galaxy for the Galaxy's natural first-round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft and the No. 2 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order.
  • April 11: LA Galaxy used No. 1 spot in Allocation Ranking Order to sign center back Giancarlo Gonzalez.
  • June 3: Toronto FC used No. 1 spot in Allocation Ranking Order to sign center back Omar Gonzalez.
  • August 7: Colorado Rapids traded the No. 1 spot in Allocation Ranking Order to D.C. United for $100,000 in 2019 General Allocation Money, $100,000 in 2020 General Allocation Money and the No. 11 spot in Allocation Ranking Order. D.C. United used No. 1 spot in Allocation Ranking Order to sign forward Ola Kamara.
  • August 7: Chicago Fire traded the No. 1 spot in Allocation Ranking Order and Jorge Corrales to the Montreal Impact for Micheal Azira, a 2020 second-round SuperDraft pick and the No. 6 spot in Allocation Ranking Order. Montreal used No. 1 spot in Allocation Ranking Order to sign winger Ballou Tabla.