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Updates to the 2023 MLS Roster Rules & Regulations

As part of the annual review of the MLS Roster Rules and Regulations, the following changes to Roster Rules and Regulations were approved ahead of the 2023 MLS season.

For the 2023 MLS Roster Rules & Regulations, click here.

Elimination of the Allocation Ranking List

The Allocation Ranking List and Order were eliminated during the 2022-23 offseason. Effective January 6, any players previously on the Allocation Ranking List will be assigned through the MLS Discovery Process. Future players transferred out of Major League Soccer will become discoverable one week from when the player’s International Transfer Certificate (ITC) is permanently transferred and the League has notified all clubs.

In lieu of holding the first position in the 2023 Allocation Ranking Order, St. Louis CITY SC has been provided the opportunity to retain right of first refusal over one player of their choosing who was on the Allocation Ranking List at the time of its dissolution.

Expansion of Intraleague Loans

Each MLS club is able to loan up to two players to another MLS club per season, an increase from the previous rule which allowed only one intraleague loan. A player on an intraleague loan will be eligible to compete against his former club.

Expansion of Player Buyout Policy

A club may buy out one Guaranteed Contract either in-season or during the offseason to make available the corresponding salary budget charge. Previously, clubs were only able to exercise their one buyout during the offseason and ahead of the Roster Compliance deadline.

Under the updated rule, the one buyout is in addition to the club’s ability to sign a player as a Season-Ending Injury Replacement.

If the buyout is conducted in-season, it must be concluded by the close of the Secondary Transfer Window of August 2, 2023.

Update to Season-Ending Injury Replacement Player Acquisitions

A club may replace an injured player that is on the Season-Ending Injury List with a replacement player in accordance with parameters below.

The club will remain responsible for the injured player's full Salary Budget Charge. Clubs are only able to receive Salary Budget relief (paid out of the club's own pocket) for a season-ending injury replacement under the following parameters:

  • The injured player must be formally placed on the Season-Ending Injury List prior to the opening of the Secondary Transfer Window (previously, teams were required to designate Season-Ending Injuries prior to the close of the Primary Transfer Window). The replacement player must be clearly designated as a Season-Ending Injury Replacement at the time the player is added to the club’s roster. The Season-Ending Injury Replacement Player must be acquired after the related injury occurred and must be added to the roster prior to the Roster Freeze date (Sept. 15, 2023).
  • The Salary Budget Charge of the replacement player may not be more than the player who suffered the season-ending injury. If the injured player placed on the Season-Ending Injury List is a Designated Player, the club may replace such player with a Designated Player, provided that his Salary Budget Charge is not more than the player he is replacing.
  • The replacement player’s charge will not be charged against the Club Salary Budget.
  • Clubs will only be allowed to sign one such replacement player per MLS League Season.

Update to Revenue Share from Transfers or Loans for Clubs

A club shall receive 95% of the corresponding transfer or loan fee revenue from any transaction, including those involving a Homegrown prayer or U22 Initiative player. If a Designated Player is transferred or loaned, the club will receive all amounts of the transfer or loan fee revenue after it has recouped all out-of-pocket cash payments made by the club in connection to that player (if applicable).