MLS Designated Players


The Designated Player Rule allows clubs to acquire up to three players whose total compensation and acquisition costs exceed the maximum budget charge, with the club bearing financial responsibility for the amount of compensation above each player's budget charge. Designated Players may be new players signed to MLS via the Allocation Ranking ListDiscovery Process or can be re-signed existing players on a team's roster.

A player's budget charge, and therefore Designated Player status, is determined by averaging all amounts payable over the guaranteed contract term excluding option years.

Option year compensation is not included in the budget charge calculation unless the option includes an automatic performance trigger whose terms would elevate a player's category from non-DP to Designated Player status. In such a case, the option year will be considered part of the guaranteed contract term.

Option year compensation is not included in the budget charge (in determining DP status) if the automatic trigger is based upon a performance target of at least 65% MLS League Season starts.

In 2018, a Designated Player who is 24 years old or older during the league year will carry the Maximum Budget Charge ($504,375) unless the player joins his club after the opening of the Secondary Transfer Window, in which case his budget charge will be $252,188.

A Designated Player who is 21 years old to 23 years old during the League Year will carry a budget charge of $200,000, while a Designated Player age 20 or younger will carry a budget charge of $150,000. If any Designated Player age 23 or younger joins his club after the opening of the Secondary Transfer Window, his budget charge will be $150,000. 

Designated Players as of March 8, 2018

RELATED: Former MLS Designated Players


Player Club
Miguel Almirón Atlanta United
Ezequiel Barco Atlanta United
Josef Martinez Atlanta United
Nemanja Nikolić Chicago Fire
Bastian Schweinsteiger Chicago Fire
Shkelzen Gashi Colorado Rapids
Tim Howard Colorado Rapids
Federico Higuain Columbus Crew SC
Pedro Santos Columbus Crew SC
Milton Valenzuela Columbus Crew SC
Paul Arriola D.C. United
Cristian Colmán FC Dallas
Carlos Gruezo FC Dallas
Santiago Mosquera FC Dallas
Alberth Elis Houston Dynamo
Tomas Martinez Houston Dynamo
Romain Alessandrini LA Galaxy
Giovani dos Santos LA Galaxy
Jonathan dos Santos LA Galaxy
Diego Rossi Los Angeles Football Club
Carlos Vela Los Angeles Football Club
Ignacio Piatti Montreal Impact
Saphir Taïder Montreal Impact
Claude Dielna New England Revolution
Jesus Medina New York City FC
Maximiliano Moralez New York City FC
David Villa New York City FC
Alejandro "Kaku" Romero Gamarra New York Red Bulls
Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls
Josué Colmán Orlando City SC
Dom Dwyer Orlando City SC
Sacha Kljestan Orlando City SC
Alejandro Bedoya Philadelphia Union
Bořek Dočkal Philadelphia Union
Fanendo Adi Portland Timbers
Sebastian Blanco Portland Timbers
Diego Valeri Portland Timbers
Albert Rusnak Real Salt Lake
Jefferson Savarino Real Salt Lake
Valeri Qazaishvili San Jose Earthquakes
Chris Wondolowski San Jose Earthquakes
Osvaldo Alonso Seattle Sounders FC
Clint Dempsey Seattle Sounders FC
Nicolas Lodeiro Seattle Sounders FC
Yohan Croizet Sporting Kansas City
Roger Espninoza Sporting Kansas City
Felipe Gutierrez Sporting Kansas City
Jozy Altidore Toronto FC
Michael Bradley Toronto FC
Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC
Brek Shea Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Kendall Waston Vancouver Whitecaps FC



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