MLS Allocation Process

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

2019 Allocation Ranking List

Last update: December 21, 2018

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
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
Gonzalez, Giancarlo Bologna (ITA) Transfer
Gonzalez, Omar Atlas (MEX) Transfer
Green, Julian Greuther Furth (GER) Youth USMNT
Harrison, Jack Leeds United (ENG) 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
Poku, Kwadwo Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL) Transfer
Pulisic, Christian Borussia Dortmund (GER) Senior USMNT
Ream, Tim Fulham (ENG) Transfer
Rivero, Octavio Atlas (MEX) Transfer
Rochat, Alain Lausanne-Sport (SWI) Transfer
Rubin, Rubio Club Tijuana (MEX) Youth USMNT
Sanvezzo, Camilo Queretaro (MEX) Transfer
Tabla, Ballou Jean-Yves FC Barcelona (ESP) Transfer
Torres, Erick Club Tijuana (MEX) Transfer
Valencia, Jose Adolfo Feirense (POR) Transfer
Yedlin, DeAndre Newcastle United (ENG) 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.