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2021 MLS Roster Notes
- A club's active roster is comprised of up to 30 players. All 30 players are eligible for selection to the game-day squad during the regular season and playoffs.
- SENIOR: Up to 20 players, occupying roster slots 1-20, count against the club's 2021 Salary Budget of $4,900,000 and are referred to collectively as the club's Senior Roster.
- SUPPLEMENTAL: The salaries of players on the Supplemental Roster (slots 21-30) do not count toward a club's Salary Budget.
- SLOTS 21-24: Slots 21-24 may be filled with (i) Senior Minimum Salary Players ($81,375 in 2021), which may include Homegrown Players, (ii) Generation adidas Players, (iii) any specifically designated players eligible for the MLS SuperDraft; or (iv) Homegrown Players earning more than the Senior Minimum Salary subject to the Homegrown Player Subsidy.
- SLOTS 25-28: Slots 25-28 may be filled with (i) players earning the Reserve Minimum Salary ($63,547 in 2021) or (ii) Homegrown Players earning more than the Reserve Minimum Salary subject to the Homegrown Player Subsidy. Reserve Minimum Salary Players must be 24 years or younger.
- SLOTS 29-20: Slots 29 and 30 must be filled with Homegrown Players and will follow the same roster and budget rules as Homegrown Players occupying roster slots 25-28.
- International: In 2021, a total of 216 international roster slots are divided among the 27 clubs. These spots are tradable, in full season increments, so some clubs may have more than eight and some clubs may have fewer than eight.
- Designated Player: The Designated Player Rule allows clubs to acquire up to three players whose total compensation and acquisition costs exceed the Maximum Salary Budget Charge, with the club bearing financial responsibility for the amount of compensation above each player's Salary Budget Charge. Designated Player slots are not tradable.
- Young Designated Player (U23): A Designated Player age 21-23 will carry the following Salary Budget Charge: $200,000
- Young Designated Player (U20): A Designated Player age 20 and younger will carry the following Salary Budget Charge: $150,000
- U22 Initiative: Each MLS team will have up to three U22 Initiative Slots that will each occupy one of the 20 existing Senior Roster Slots. The number of U22 Initiative Slots available to each team will be based on that team’s use of its third Designated Player slot. A player is eligible to occupy a U22 Initiative Slot if signing his first contract with MLS, provided that player meets age and compensation requirements, as either a Homegrown player, or, as an international or domestic player playing outside of MLS. Players occupying a U22 Initiative Slot will have a Salary Budget Charge that mirrors that of a Young Designated Player.
- Homegrown: A club may sign a player to a contract without subjecting him to the MLS SuperDraft if the player has been a member of that club's youth academy for at least one year and has met the necessary training and retention requirements. Players joining MLS through this mechanism are known as Homegrown Players.
- Generation adidas: Generation adidas (GA) is a joint programs between MLS and adidas that are dedicated to developing exceptional domestic talent in a professional environment. Until a player graduates from the program, Generation adidas players are on a club's Supplemental Roster.
- All roster rules and regulations