Ahead of the kickoff of the league’s 21st season on Sunday, MLS released a detailed outline of the roster and competition rules that will apply to the 2016 campaign.
2016 Roster Rules
For the first time, the roster rules break down specific budget categories for each club’s 28-man roster, which is divided into senior roster spots (spots 1-20), reserve roster spots (spots 21-24) and supplemental roster spots (spots 25-28). The parameters for these roster spots have not changed from the 2015 Roster Rules; they have been given separate titles for clarity and ease of reference.
The salaries of players in senior roster spots count against the club’s salary budget in 2016 ($3,660,000), while reserve and supplemental roster spots do not.
2016 Competition Rules
The new developments on the competition front show up in the area of discipline with the league revealing the guidelines used by the Disciplinary Committee to rule on cases of simulation and embellishment.
Also, the Good Behavior Initiative has been updated so that players who go five matches without a yellow card can have their yellow card accumulation totals deducted at any point during the regular season. Versions of the Good Behavior Initiative from past years only applied in specific instances.
MLS Executive Vice President of Competition & Player Relations, Todd Durbin will participate in a Q&A on Facebook live video on Thursday, March 10, at 1 pm ET, to answer questions from fans and media about the updated Roster Rules and Competition Guidelines. He will also be a guest on MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio that same day.