With an investment in MLS academies totaling hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decade, the league announced that its clubs will begin to assert training compensation claims as per FIFA regulations and seek FIFA-administered solidarity payments.
Participation in these two systems allows MLS clubs to continue to invest in elite training for domestic players and provide them opportunities for soccer development free of charge. Prior to this announcement, MLS had never participated in training compensation and solidarity payments since launching in 1996.
During the coming weeks, every MLS academy player and his parents or guardians will receive notice of this policy and have the opportunity to join informational sessions conducted by MLS club academies.
Additionally, each player and his parents or guardians will be required to sign an acknowledgement that if the player signs a contract to play professionally for a non-MLS club outside the U.S. or Canada, his MLS club academy will have the right to claim training compensation from that professional club (not from the player or his family) in accordance with the FIFA regulations.
"We have been making increasing investments in youth development, and that investment has accelerated over the past few years," MLS executive VP of player relations and competition Todd Durbin told ESPNFC. "We intend on continuing to make that investment and we want to grow that investment. But in the event that a player that we developed decides to sign overseas, we believe that we should be able to recoup the value of that investment."
Consistent with the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, MLS clubs will assert training compensation claims for any MLS academy product who signs his first professional contract with a non-MLS club outside the USA and Canada.
FIFA regulations only dictate that professional clubs pay training compensation when a player signs his first professional contract in a country other than the one in which he was trained. Since FIFA regulations don't mandate domestic payments, MLS clubs will not seek training compensation for players who sign their first professional contract with non-MLS teams in the U.S. or Canada.
MLS clubs will seek solidarity payments when players developed in MLS club academies are transferred, for a fee, between two clubs belonging to different international federations.