MLS Allocation Process

Last update: July 31, 2020

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

2020 Allocation Ranking List

Last update: July 31, 2020

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
Gaber, Omar Pyramids FC (EGY) Transfer
Giovinco, Sebastian Al-Hilal (SAU) Transfer
Harrison, Jack Leeds United (ENG) Transfer
Horta, Andre Braga (POR) Transfer
Johnson, Fabian Borussia Monchengladbach (GER) Senior USMNT
Larin, Cyle Besiktas (TUR) Transfer
Lawrence, Kemar Anderlecht (BEL) Transfer
Martins, Obafemi Shanghai Greenland Shenhua (CHN) Transfer
Miazga, Matt FC Nantes (FRA) 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
Sanvezzo, Camilo Club Tijuana (MEX) Transfer
Sargent, Josh Werder Bremen (GER) Senior USMNT
Silva, Alejandro Olimpia (PAR) Transfer
Steffen, Zack Fortuna Dusseldorf (GER) Transfer
Valencia, Jose Adolfo Feirense (POR) Transfer
Vazquez, Victor Al-Arabi (QAT) Transfer
Villalba, Hector Club Libertad(PAR) Transfer
Yedlin, DeAndre Newcastle United (ENG) Transfer
Yotun, Yoshi Cruz Azul (MEX) Transfer

2020 Allocation Ranking Order Transactions

  • Nov. 12, 2019: Philadelphia Union acquired the No. 17 spot in the MLS Allocation Ranking from D.C. United in exchange for the No. 21 spot in the Allocation Ranking and the No. 21 overall pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, pres. by adidas.
  • Feb. 26: Nashville SC traded the No. 1 spot in the MLS Allocation Ranking to LAFC for $350,000 in General Allocation Money, LAFC's natural second-round selection in the 2022 SuperDraft and the No. 24 spot in the MLS Allocation Ranking.
  • June 17: LAFC use No. 1 spot in MLS Allocation Ranking to sign Andy Najar.
  • July 1: Inter Miami CF use No. 1 spot in MLS Allocation Ranking to sign Leandro Gonzalez Pirez.
  • July 31: Atlanta United use No. 21 spot in MLS Allocation Ranking to sign Erick "Cubo" Torres.