MLS Allocation Process

Last update: December 10, 2018

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

2019 Allocation Ranking List

Last update: December 10, 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
Anangono, Juan LDU Quito (ECU) Transfer
Cameron, Geoff Queens Park Rangers (ENG) Transfer
Castillo, Fabian Club Tijuana (MEX) Transfer
Flores, Junior Borussia Dortmund (GER) Youth USMNT
Gonzalez, Giancarlo Bologna (ITA) Transfer
Gonzalez, Omar Atlas (MEX) Transfer
Green, Julian Greuther Furth (GER) Youth USMNT
Johannsson, Aron Werder Bremen (GER) Core Senior USMNT
Johnson, Fabian Borussia Monchengladbach (GER) Core Senior USMNT
Martins, Obafemi Shanghai Greenland Shenhua (CHN) Transfer
Miazga, Matt FC Nantes (FRA) Transfer
Najar, Andy Anderlecht (BEL) Transfer
Poku, Kwadwo Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL) Transfer
Pulisic, Christian Borussia Dortmund (GER) Youth 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
Valencia, Jose Adolfo Feirense (POR) Transfer
Yedlin, DeAndre Newcastle United (ENG) Transfer

2019 Allocation Ranking Order Transactions