MLS Allocation Process

Last update: August 10, 2017

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

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
Anangono, Juan LDU Quito (ECU) Transfer
Cameron, Geoff Stoke City (ENG) Transfer
Castillo, Fabian Trabzonspor (TUR) Transfer
Flores, Junior Borussia Dortmund (GER) Youth USMNT
Gonzalez, Giancarlo Palermo (ITA) Transfer
Gonzalez, Omar Pachuca (MEX) Transfer
Green, Julian VfB Stuttgart (GER) Youth USMNT
Henry, Doneil West Ham Utd (ENG) Transfer
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 Chelsea (ENG) Transfer
Najar, Andy Anderlecht (BEL) Transfer
Poku, Kwadwo Miami FC (NASL) Transfer
Pulisic, Christian Borussia Dortmund (GER) Youth USMNT
Ream, Tim Fulham (ENG) Transfer
Rivero, Octavio Colo Colo (CHI) Transfer
Rochat, Alain BSC Young Boys (SWI) Transfer
Rosell, Oriol Sporting Clube (POR) Transfer
Rubin, Rubio FC Utrecht (NED) Youth USMNT
Sanchez, Richard UANL Tigres (MEX) Transfer
Sanvezzo, Camilo Queretaro (MEX) Transfer
Valencia, Jose Adolfo Santa Fe (COL) Transfer
Villafana, Jorge Santos Laguna (MEX) Transfer
Yedlin, DeAndre Newcastle (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.
  • January 26: Atlanta United use No. 1 spot in allocation order to sign GK Brad Guzan.
  • February 15: Vancouver Whitecaps FC trade $100,000 General Allocation Money in 2018, $125,000 in Targeted Allocation Money in 2018, and an international roster spot through 2017 to Minnesota United FC in exchange for the top spot in the MLS Allocation Ranking Order. Fredy Montero acquired as a Designated Player, using the top spot in the Allocation Ranking Order, on a one-year loan from Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda on February 15, 2017.
  • June 20: D.C. United trade $100,000 in General Allocation Money, $75,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, an international roster spot and the No. 9 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order to the Houston Dynamo in exchange for the top spot in the MLS Allocation Ranking Order. Deshorn Brown acquired, using the top spot in the Allocation Ranking Order, on transfer from the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
  • July 3: New England Revolution trade the No. 5 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order and $175,000 of General Allocation Money for San Jose Earthquakes' No. 2 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order and either $175,000 in Targeted Allocation Money or $100,000 in GAM and $75,000 in TAM to be received in January 2018.
  • August 10: Columbus Crew SC used their No. 1 ranking in the allocation order to acquire former Sporting Kansas City forward Krisztian Nemeth. Crew SC immediately traded him to the New England Revolution for $200,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) in 2018, $200,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) in 2018 and an international roster spot in 2017 and 2018.

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