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 2017, a Designated Player that is 24 years old or older during the league year will carry the Maximum Budget Charge ($480,625) unless the player joins his club after the opening of the Secondary Transfer Window, in which case his budget charge will be $240,312.

Designated Players as of August 25, 2017

Player Club
Miguel Almiron Atlanta United FC
Josef Martinez Atlanta United FC
Hector Villalba Atlanta United FC
David Accam Chicago Fire
Nemanja Nikolic Chicago Fire
Bastian Schweinsteiger Chicago Fire
Shkelzen Gashi Colorado Rapids
Tim Howard Colorado Rapids
Federico Higuaín Columbus Crew SC
Jonathan Mensah Columbus Crew SC
Pedro Santos Columbus Crew SC
Anibal Chala FC Dallas
Cristian Colman FC Dallas
Carlos Gruezo FC Dallas
Alberth Elis Houston Dynamo
Tomas Martinez Houston Dynamo
Erick Torres Houston Dynamo
Romain Alessandrini LA Galaxy
Giovani dos Santos LA Galaxy
Jonathan dos Santos LA Galaxy
Blerim Dzemaili Montreal Impact
Ignacio Piatti Montreal Impact
Claude Dielna New England Revolution
Kei Kamara New England Revolution
Xavier Kouassi New England Revolution
Maxi Moralez New York City FC
Andrea Pirlo New York City FC
David Villa New York City FC
Sacha Kljestan  New York Red Bulls
Gonzalo Veron New York Red Bulls
Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls
Giles Barnes Orlando City SC
Kaká Orlando City SC
Carlos Rivas Orlando City SC
Alejandro Bedoya Philadelphia Union
Maurice Edu Philadelphia Union
Fanendo Adi Portland Timbers
Sebastian Blanco Portland Timbers
Diego Valeri Portland Timbers
Yura Movsisyan Real Salt Lake
Albert Rusnak Real Salt Lake
Jefferson Savarino Real Salt Lake
Simon Dawkins San Jose Earthquakes
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
Roger Espinoza Sporting Kansas City
Gerso Fernandes Sporting Kansas City
Graham Zusi Sporting Kansas City
Jozy Altidore Toronto FC
Michael Bradley Toronto FC
Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC
Matias Laba Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Fredy Montero Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Brek Shea Vancouver Whitecaps FC


RELATED: Former MLS Designated Players

Series: 
Topics: 

Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.