Designated Player Rule

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David Beckham was the league's first Designated Player, with the rule being nicknamed the "Beckham Rule".

The Designated Player Rule, nicknamed the Beckham Rule, allows Major League Soccer franchises to sign up to three players that would be considered outside their salary cap (either by offering the player higher wages or by paying a transfer fee for the player). The rule, which was adopted ahead of the 2007 MLS season, enables teams to compete for star players in the international football market. The rule is one of two mechanisms by which MLS teams may exceed their salary cap, the other being allocation money. As of December 2019, there have been 209 Designated Players in league history.

The rule is informally named after David Beckham, in anticipation of MLS teams signing lucrative deals with internationally recognized players, after Beckham entered into negotiations to join the league.[1][2] Beckham was the first player signed under this rule, signing a five-year contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007 with a guaranteed annual salary of $6.5 million.[3][4]


The team salary cap was estimated to be around US$1.9 million in 2006,[5] was $2.1 million in 2007, and was raised to $2.3 million for the 2008 season.[6][7] As part of the 2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLS and the MLS Players' Union, the 2010 salary cap was $2.55 million, with an automatic five percent increase each year until the expiration of the agreement at the end of the 2014 season.

Under the 2007 rule:

  • The rule expires at the end of the 2009 season, and must be renewed then or allowed to lapse.
  • For each Designated Player, $400,000[7][8] of his salary is charged to the salary cap and paid by the league, with any remaining salary being paid by the team's owner. This value was increased for the 2009 season to $415,000.
  • Prior to the 2007 season, there were three players whose salary exceeded $400,000. These players were Landon Donovan, Carlos Ruiz, and Eddie Johnson. According to the rule, these players were grandfathered in for the 2007 season, and the exemption was extended after the 2007 season, with the league planning to review the issue at a future date. It was possible that the league would be required to renegotiate these players' contracts or consider them Designated Players. However, prior to the start of the 2008 season, Johnson moved to Fulham of the Premier League,[9] while following Dwayne De Rosario's signing by Toronto FC in January 2009, Ruiz was released by the club and left MLS to play for Olimpia Asunción. This left Donovan as the lone player whose 2009 salary remained grandfathered under the exemption provision. However, there were several more players whose guaranteed salary exceeded the Designated Player amount, but whose salary cap expense was actually lower than their true salary due to the allocation rule. These players include Shalrie Joseph ($450,000), Christian Gomez ($430,000), Dwayne De Rosario ($425,750), and Taylor Twellman ($420,000).
  • Each team initially had one Designated Player spot, but could trade their Designated Spot to another team; teams were allowed a maximum of two Designated Players.
  • Only $325,000 of a team's second Designated Player counted against the salary cap, which was increased to $335,000 in 2009.[7]

The 2010 changes:[10]

  • The rule has no expiration date.
  • For each Designated Player, $335,000 of his salary is charged to the salary cap and paid by the league ($167,500 for DP players joining during the MLS summer transfer window), with any remaining salary being paid by the team's owner. This amount is halved for Designated Players signed in the middle of the season. The salary cap value of Designated Players can also be reduced using allocation money. Finally, teams whose Designated Players transfer abroad in the middle of a season can recoup part of the Designated Players' salary cap value.
  • Landon Donovan is no longer grandfathered into the rule and must be considered a Designated Player.
  • Each team is allowed two Designated Player spots, and they can no longer trade their Designated Player spots. The New York Red Bulls will receive $70,000 in allocation money in return for the nullification of their 2007 trade with Chivas USA for an additional Designated Player spot. This means that both New York and Chivas USA will have two Designated Player spots for the 2010 season.
  • Teams can pay a $250,000 "luxury tax" for the right to sign a third Designated Player. This $250,000 would be distributed equally to all MLS teams that have not signed a third Designated Player in the form of allocation money.

The 2012 changes:[11]

Starting with the 2012 season, the rule was changed with respect to younger players. MLS announced the changes in August 2011 after clubs expressed concern about signing young international players with no guarantees that they would develop into stars.

  • Designated Players over the age of 23 will carry a salary budget charge of $350,000, unless the player joins his club in the middle of the season, in which case his budget charge will be $175,000.
  • Designated Players 21–23 years old count as $200,000 against the club's salary budget.
  • Designated Players 20 years old or younger count as $150,000 against the club's salary budget.
  • The budget charge for the midseason signing of a young Designated Player (23 years old and younger) is $150,000 and this amount cannot be lowered with allocation funds.
  • Clubs will not have to buy the third DP roster slot to accommodate Designated Players 23 years old and younger.
  • Age of player is determined by year (not date) of birth.

The maximum budget charge for Designated Players over age 23 was increased to $368,750 for 2013, $387,500 in 2014, $436,250 in 2015, $457,500 in 2016, and $480,625 in 2017. The budget charge for those who join during the midseason transfer window has remained at one-half of the full-season cap charge since the inception of the rule. The budget charges for younger players have not changed since 2012.[12]


The rule is informally named after David Beckham, in anticipation of MLS teams signing lucrative deals with internationally recognized players of Beckham's caliber.[1][2] Beckham was the first player to be signed under this rule, signing a lucrative contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy worth up to $250 million over five years, with direct guaranteed compensation from MLS and Galaxy at $6.5 million a year.[3]

Current Designated Players[edit]

As of February 8, 2024[13]
Year signed
as DP
Player Nation­ality Current club 2023 guaranteed compensation[14]
2017 Albert Rusnák Slovakia Seattle Sounders $1,871,667
2018 Raúl Ruidíaz Peru Seattle Sounders $3,201,120
2019 Johnny Russell Scotland Sporting Kansas City $1,000,000
2019 Carles Gil Spain New England Revolution $3,545,833
2020 Hany Mukhtar Germany Nashville SC $3,188,750
2020 Darlington Nagbe United States Columbus Crew $1,800,000
2020 Alan Pulido Mexico Sporting Kansas City $2,200,000
2020 Cristian Espinoza Argentina San Jose Earthquakes $1,265,000
2020 Victor Wanyama Kenya CF Montréal $1,800,000
2020 Emanuel Reynoso Argentina Minnesota United $2,151,200
2021 Luciano Acosta Argentina FC Cincinnati $2,166,983
2021 Kévin Cabral France Colorado Rapids $1,800,000
2021 Talles Magno Brazil New York City FC $1,198,000
2021 Sebastián Driussi Argentina Austin FC $6,022,500
2021 Ryan Gauld Scotland Vancouver Whitecaps FC $2,505,000
2022 Alexander Ring Finland Austin FC $1,640,000
2022 Julián Carranza Argentina Philadelphia Union $950,000
2022 Sebastián Ferreira Paraguay Houston Dynamo $2,130,200
2022 Jesús Ferreira United States FC Dallas $1,852,000
2022 Facundo Torres Uruguay Orlando City $993,200
2022 Mikael Uhre Denmark Philadelphia Union $1,940,000
2022 Alan Velasco Argentina FC Dallas $1,401,000
2022 Thiago Martins Brazil New York City FC $2,112,000
2022 Thiago Almada Argentina Atlanta United $2,332,000
2022 Xherdan Shaqiri Switzerland Chicago Fire $8,153,000
2022 Obinna Nwobodo Nigeria FC Cincinnati $1,289,400
2022 Andrés Cubas Paraguay Vancouver Whitecaps FC $900,000
2022 Walker Zimmerman United States Nashville SC $2,056,979
2022 Héctor Herrera Mexico Houston Dynamo $5,246,875
2022 Cucho Hernández Colombia Columbus Crew $2,886,000
2022 Lorenzo Insigne Italy Toronto FC $15,400,000
2022 Giacomo Vrioni Albania New England Revolution $1,847,500
2022 Federico Bernardeschi Italy Toronto FC $6,295,381
2022 Emiliano Rigoni Argentina Austin FC $2,047,996
2022 Christian Benteke Belgium D.C. United $4,432,778
2022 Denis Bouanga Gabon Los Angeles FC $2,083,333
2023 João Klauss Brazil St. Louis City SC $1,370,284
2023 Eduard Löwen Germany St. Louis City SC $1,344,250
2023 Evander Brazil Portland Timbers $2,230,000
2023 Dániel Gazdag Hungary Philadelphia Union $1,355,000
2023 Martín Ojeda Argentina Orlando City $912,600
2023 Enzo Copetti Argentina Charlotte FC $1,142,250
2023 Mateusz Klich Poland D.C. United $2,093,588
2023 Leonardo Campana Ecuador Inter Miami $601,680
2023 Carlos Gruezo Ecuador San Jose Earthquakes $1,571,086
2023 Dante Vanzeir Belgium New York Red Bulls $1,459,767
2023 Giorgos Giakoumakis Greece Atlanta United $1,748,728
2023 Riqui Puig Spain LA Galaxy $1,732,500
2023 Santiago Rodríguez Uruguay New York City FC $1,331,333
2023 Jonathan Osorio Canada Toronto FC $1,400,000
2023 Cristian Arango Colombia Real Salt Lake $2,088,746
2023 Aaron Boupendza Gabon FC Cincinnati $1,127,600
2023 Teemu Pukki Finland Minnesota United $3,550,000
2023 Rafael Navarro Brazil Colorado Rapids $1,427,708
2023 Lionel Messi Argentina Inter Miami $20,446,667
2023 Sergio Busquets Spain Inter Miami $1,775,000
2023 Sam Surridge England Nashville SC $2,907,639
2023 Saba Lobzhanidze Georgia (country) Atlanta United $2,150,750
2023 Diego Rossi Uruguay Columbus Crew $2,677,000
2024 Tomás Chancalay Argentina New England Revolution $n/a
2024 Emil Forsberg Sweden New York Red Bulls $n/a
2024 Djordje Mihailovic United States Colorado Rapids $n/a
2024 Pedro de la Vega Argentina Seattle Sounders $n/a
2024 Gabriel Pec Brazil LA Galaxy $n/a
2024 Petar Musa Croatia FC Dallas $n/a
2024 Matti Peltola Finland D.C. United $n/a
2024 Hugo Cuypers Belgium Chicago Fire $n/a
2024 Luis Muriel Colombia Orlando City $n/a
2024 Joseph Paintsil Ghana LA Galaxy $n/a
2024 Liel Abada Israel Charlotte FC $n/a
2024 Jonathan Rodríguez Uruguay Portland Timbers $n/a


  • Chart indicates when players signed their current Designated Player contract, not necessarily their first year in MLS.
  • Other players in MLS may also be paid a salary that takes them above the Designated Player threshold, but they have had their salary reduced against the salary cap using General or Targeted Allocation Money.[15]
  • Player salaries may be below the Designated Player threshold, but their transfer fee might mean the total compensation takes them above the threshold.
  • Player salaries include compensation from their MLS contract, not including any bonuses or compensation from contracts with individual teams or their affiliates.

Club DP history[edit]

As of February 8, 2024[16]


  • The below list indicates players who have had their contract assigned as a Designated Player (DP) contract during their time in MLS. Players may have not always have had a DP contract, or have later had their contract negotiated below a DP level. Similarly, some players have been in MLS whose salary has been at a DP level, but the club has opted to bring their salary below the DP threshold using General Allocation Money or Targeted Allocation Money. Their listed "Years as DP" indicates what seasons they were active as a DP for that club only. Players in bold are currently signed to a DP contract by their club.
  • Former MLS sides Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny were dissolved before the introduction of the Designated Player Rule.

Atlanta United FC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Paraguay Héctor Villalba Argentina San Lorenzo 2017
Paraguay Miguel Almirón Argentina Lanús 2017–2018
Venezuela Josef Martínez Italy Torino 2017–2022
Argentina Esequiel Barco Argentina Independiente 2018–2021
Argentina Pity Martínez Argentina River Plate 2019–2020
Argentina Marcelino Moreno Argentina Lanús 2020
Argentina Alan Franco Argentina Independiente 2021
Brazil Luiz Araújo France Lille 2021–2023
Argentina Thiago Almada Argentina Vélez Sarsfield 2022–
Greece Giorgos Giakoumakis Scotland Celtic 2023–
Georgia (country) Saba Lobzhanidze Turkey Hatayspor 2023–

Austin FC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Paraguay Cecilio Domínguez Argentina Independiente 2021–2022
Argentina Tomás Pochettino Argentina Talleres 2021
Argentina Sebastián Driussi Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg 2021–
Finland Alexander Ring United States New York City FC 2022–
Argentina Emiliano Rigoni Brazil São Paulo 2022–

Charlotte FC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Ecuador Jordy Alcívar Ecuador L.D.U. Quito 2022
Poland Karol Świderski Greece PAOK 2022–2023
Poland Kamil Jóźwiak England Derby County 2022–2023
Argentina Enzo Copetti Argentina Racing Club 2023–
Israel Liel Abada Scotland Celtic 2024–

Chicago Fire FC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Mexico Cuauhtémoc Blanco Mexico América 2007–2009
Sweden Freddie Ljungberg United States Seattle Sounders FC 2010
Mexico Nery Castillo Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk 2010
Uruguay Álvaro Fernández United States Seattle Sounders FC 2012–2013
Netherlands Sherjill MacDonald Belgium Germinal Beerschot 2012–2013
Uruguay Federico Puppo Uruguay Danubio 2012–2014
Uruguay Egidio Arévalo Ríos Mexico Tijuana 2013
Ecuador Juan Luis Anangonó Ecuador El Nacional 2013–2014
Brazil Gilberto Canada Toronto FC 2015–2016
Ghana David Accam Sweden Helsingborg 2015–2017
Scotland Shaun Maloney England Wigan Athletic 2015
Nigeria Kennedy Igboananike Sweden AIK 2015–2016
Hungary Nemanja Nikolić Poland Legia Warsaw 2017–2019
Germany Bastian Schweinsteiger England Manchester United 2017–2019
Serbia Aleksandar Katai Spain Alavés 2019
Slovenia Robert Berić France Saint-Étienne 2020–2021
Argentina Ignacio Aliseda Argentina Defensa y Justicia 2020–2021
Paraguay Gastón Giménez Argentina Vélez Sarsfield 2020–2022
Switzerland Xherdan Shaqiri France Lyon 2022–
Mexico Jairo Torres Mexico Atlas 2022–2023
Ivory Coast Ousmane Doumbia Switzerland Lugano 2023
Belgium Hugo Cuypers Belgium Gent 2024–

Chivas USA (defunct)[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Colombia Juan Pablo Ángel United States LA Galaxy 2011–2012
Ecuador Oswaldo Minda Ecuador Deportivo Quito 2012–2014
Grenada Shalrie Joseph United States New England Revolution 2012
Mexico Erick Torres Mexico Guadalajara 2013–2014
Argentina Mauro Rosales United States Seattle Sounders FC 2014

FC Cincinnati[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Nigeria Fanendo Adi United States Portland Timbers 2019
Costa Rica Allan Cruz Costa Rica Herediano 2019–2020
Japan Yuya Kubo Belgium Gent 2020, 2021–2022
Netherlands Jürgen Locadia England Brighton & Hove Albion 2020–2021
Brazil Brenner Brazil São Paulo 2021–2023
Argentina Luciano Acosta Mexico Atlas 2021–
Nigeria Obinna Nwobodo Turkey Göztepe 2022–
Gabon Aaron Boupendza Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab 2023–

Colorado Rapids[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Panama Gabriel Torres Venezuela Zamora 2013–2015
Argentina Juan Edgardo Ramírez Argentina Argentinos Juniors 2015–2017
Republic of Ireland Kevin Doyle England Wolverhampton Wanderers 2015–2016
Albania Shkëlzen Gashi Switzerland Basel 2016–2018
United States Tim Howard England Everton 2016–2019
Denmark Younes Namli Russia Krasnodar 2020–2021
United States Gyasi Zardes United States Columbus Crew 2022
France Kévin Cabral United States LA Galaxy 2023–
Denmark Andreas Maxsø Denmark Brøndby 2023
Brazil Rafael Navarro Brazil Palmeiras 2023–
United States Djordje Mihailovic Netherlands AZ 2023–

Columbus Crew[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Argentina Guillermo Barros Schelotto Argentina Boca Juniors 2009–2010
Peru Andrés Mendoza Turkey Diyarbakırspor 2010–2011
Argentina Federico Higuaín Argentina Colón 2012–2019
Sierra Leone Kei Kamara England Middlesbrough 2016
Ghana Jonathan Mensah Russia Anzhi Makhachkala 2017
Portugal Pedro Santos Portugal Braga 2017–2019
United States Gyasi Zardes United States LA Galaxy 2019–2022
United States Darlington Nagbe United States Atlanta United 2020–
Armenia Lucas Zelarayán Mexico UANL 2020–2023
Colombia Cucho Hernández England Watford 2022–
Uruguay Diego Rossi Turkey Fenerbahçe 2023–

FC Dallas[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Brazil Denílson Saudi Arabia Al-Nassr 2007
Colombia David Ferreira Brazil Atlético Paranaense 2009–2013
Colombia Fabián Castillo Colombia Deportivo Cali 2011–2015
Canada Julian de Guzman Canada Toronto FC 2012
France Eric Hassli Canada Toronto FC 2013
Argentina Mauro Díaz Argentina River Plate 2013–2016
Colombia Andrés Escobar Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv 2014
Uruguay David Texeira Netherlands Groningen 2014–2015
Ecuador Carlos Gruezo Germany VfB Stuttgart 2016–2018
Ecuador Aníbal Chalá Ecuador El Nacional 2017
Paraguay Cristian Colmán Paraguay Nacional Asunción 2017–2018
Colombia Santiago Mosquera Colombia Millonarios 2018–2020
Honduras Bryan Acosta Spain Tenerife 2019–2021
Chile Pablo Aránguiz Chile Unión Española 2019
Argentina Franco Jara Mexico Pachuca 2020–2022
United States Jesús Ferreira United States FC Dallas Academy 2022–
Argentina Alan Velasco Argentina Independiente 2022–
Croatia Petar Musa Portugal Benfica 2024–

D.C. United[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Brazil Luciano Emílio Honduras Olimpia 2008–2009
Argentina Marcelo Gallardo France Paris Saint-Germain 2008
Montenegro Branko Bošković Austria Rapid Wien 2010–2012
Canada Dwayne De Rosario United States New York Red Bulls 2011–2013
Albania Hamdi Salihi Austria Rapid Wien 2012
Brazil Rafael Brazil Bahia 2013
United States Eddie Johnson United States Seattle Sounders FC 2014–2015
Argentina Fabián Espíndola United States New York Red Bulls 2015–2016
United States Paul Arriola Mexico Tijuana 2017–2021
England Wayne Rooney England Everton 2018–2019
Argentina Lucas Rodríguez Argentina Estudiantes 2019
Peru Edison Flores Mexico Morelia 2020–2022
Greece Taxiarchis Fountas Austria Rapid Wien 2022–2023
Iceland Victor Pálsson Germany Schalke 04 2022
Belgium Christian Benteke England Crystal Palace 2022–
Poland Mateusz Klich England Leeds United 2023–
Finland Matti Peltola Finland HJK 2024–

Houston Dynamo FC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Mexico Luis Ángel Landín Mexico Morelia 2009–2010
Honduras Boniek García Honduras Olimpia 2012–2014
Jamaica Giles Barnes England Doncaster Rovers 2012–2016
Honduras Alexander López Honduras Olimpia 2013–2014
United States DaMarcus Beasley Mexico Puebla 2014–2016
Colombia Mauro Manotas Colombia Uniautónoma 2015–2016, 2020
Mexico Erick Torres Mexico Guadalajara 2015–2017
Honduras Alberth Elis Mexico Monterrey 2017–2020
Argentina Tomás Martínez Portugal Braga 2017–2019
Colombia Darwin Quintero United States Minnesota United 2020–2021
Zimbabwe Teenage Hadebe Turkey Yeni Malatyaspor 2021–2023
Paraguay Sebastián Ferreira Paraguay Libertad 2022–
Mexico Héctor Herrera Spain Atlético Madrid 2022–

Inter Miami CF[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Argentina Matías Pellegrini Argentina Estudiantes 2020
Mexico Rodolfo Pizarro Mexico Monterrey 2020–2023
Argentina Gonzalo Higuaín Italy Juventus 2020–2022
France Blaise Matuidi Italy Juventus 2021
Brazil Gregore Brazil Bahia 2021–2023
Spain Alejandro Pozuelo Canada Toronto FC 2022
Ecuador Leonardo Campana England Wolverhampton Wanderers 2023–
Argentina Lionel Messi France Paris Saint-Germain 2023–
Spain Sergio Busquets Spain Barcelona 2023–

Sporting Kansas City[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Argentina Claudio López Argentina Racing Club 2008
Mexico Omar Bravo Mexico Guadalajara 2011
Brazil Jéferson Brazil Vasco da Gama 2011
Argentina Claudio Bieler Ecuador Liga de Quito 2013–2014
United States Matt Besler United States University of Notre Dame 2014–2016
United States Graham Zusi United States University of Maryland 2014–2017
Honduras Roger Espinoza England Wigan Athletic 2015–2018
Chile Diego Rubio Spain Valladolid 2016
Guinea-Bissau Gerso Fernandes Portugal Belenenses 2017
France Yohan Croizet Belgium KV Mechelen 2018–2019
Chile Felipe Gutiérrez Spain Real Betis 2018–2020
Scotland Johnny Russell England Derby County 2019–
Mexico Alan Pulido Mexico Guadalajara 2020–
Israel Gadi Kinda Israel Beitar Jerusalem 2021–2023

LA Galaxy[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
England David Beckham Spain Real Madrid 2007–2012
United States Landon Donovan Germany Bayer Leverkusen 2010–2014
Colombia Juan Pablo Ángel United States New York Red Bulls 2011
Republic of Ireland Robbie Keane England Tottenham Hotspur 2011–2016
United States Omar Gonzalez United States University of Maryland 2013–2015
England Steven Gerrard England Liverpool 2015–2016
Mexico Giovani dos Santos Spain Villarreal 2015–2018
Belgium Jelle Van Damme Belgium Standard Liège 2016–2017[17]
France Romain Alessandrini France Marseille 2017–2019
Mexico Jonathan dos Santos Spain Villarreal 2017–2021
Sweden Zlatan Ibrahimović England Manchester United 2019
Argentina Cristian Pavón Argentina Boca Juniors 2020
Mexico Javier Hernández Spain Sevilla 2020–2023
France Kévin Cabral France Valenciennes 2021–2022
Brazil Douglas Costa Italy Juventus 2022–2023
Spain Riqui Puig Spain Barcelona 2023–
Brazil Gabriel Pec Brazil Vasco da Gama 2024–
Ghana Joseph Paintsil Belgium Genk 2024–

Los Angeles FC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Mexico Carlos Vela Spain Real Sociedad 2018–2023
Uruguay Diego Rossi Uruguay Peñarol 2018–2021
Portugal André Horta Portugal Benfica 2018–2019
Uruguay Brian Rodríguez Uruguay Peñarol 2019–2021
Gabon Denis Bouanga France Saint-Étienne 2022–

Minnesota United FC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Colombia Darwin Quintero Mexico América 2018–2019
Colombia Ángelo Rodríguez Colombia Deportes Tolima 2018–2019
Slovakia Ján Greguš Denmark Copenhagen 2019–2021
Uruguay Thomás Chacón Uruguay Danubio 2019–2020
Argentina Emanuel Reynoso Argentina Boca Juniors 2020–
France Adrien Hunou France Rennes 2021–2022
Paraguay Luis Amarilla Argentina Vélez Sarsfield 2022–2023
Colombia Ménder García Colombia Once Caldas 2022–2023
Finland Teemu Pukki England Norwich City 2023–

CF Montréal[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Italy Marco Di Vaio Italy Bologna 2012–2014
Argentina Hernán Bernardello Spain Almería 2013–2014
Argentina Ignacio Piatti Argentina San Lorenzo 2014–2019
Ivory Coast Didier Drogba England Chelsea 2015–2016
Argentina Lucas Ontivero Turkey Galatasaray 2016
Switzerland Blerim Džemaili Italy Bologna 2017
Algeria Saphir Taïder Italy Bologna 2018–2020
Kenya Victor Wanyama England Tottenham Hotspur 2020–
Slovenia Aljaž Struna United States Houston Dynamo 2021
United States Djordje Mihailovic United States Chicago Fire 2021

Nashville SC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Germany Hany Mukhtar[18] Denmark Brøndby IF 2020–
Costa Rica Randall Leal Costa Rica Saprissa 2020–2021
Venezuela Jhonder Cádiz Portugal Benfica 2020–2021
Ivory Coast Aké Loba Mexico Monterrey 2021–2023
United States Walker Zimmerman United States Los Angeles FC 2022–
England Sam Surridge England Nottingham Forest 2023–

New England Revolution[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Argentina Milton Caraglio Argentina Rosario Central 2011
Grenada Shalrie Joseph United States New York Freedom 2012
Honduras Jerry Bengtson Honduras Motagua 2012–2014
United States Jermaine Jones Turkey Beşiktaş 2014–2015
Portugal José Gonçalves Switzerland Sion 2016
Ivory Coast Xavier Kouassi Switzerland Sion 2016–2017
Sierra Leone Kei Kamara United States Columbus Crew SC 2016–2017
France Claude Dielna England Sheffield Wednesday 2018
Spain Carles Gil Spain Deportivo La Coruña 2019–
Argentina Gustavo Bou Mexico Tijuana 2019–2023
Poland Adam Buksa Poland Pogoń Szczecin 2020–2022
Albania Giacomo Vrioni Italy Juventus 2022–
Argentina Tomás Chancalay Argentina Racing Club 2024–

New York City FC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Spain David Villa Spain Atlético Madrid 2014–2018
England Frank Lampard England Manchester City 2015–2016
Italy Andrea Pirlo Italy Juventus 2015–2017
Argentina Maximiliano Moralez Mexico León 2017–2021
Paraguay Jesús Medina Paraguay Libertad 2018–2021
Romania Alexandru Mitriță Romania Universitatea Craiova 2019–2020
Brazil Talles Magno Brazil Vasco da Gama 2021–
Brazil Thiago Martins Japan Yokohama F. Marinos 2022–
Uruguay Santiago Rodríguez Uruguay Montevideo City 2023–

New York Red Bulls[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
United States Claudio Reyna England Manchester City 2007–2008
Colombia Juan Pablo Ángel England Aston Villa 2007–2010
France Thierry Henry Spain Barcelona 2010–2014
Mexico Rafael Márquez Spain Barcelona 2010–2012
Germany Frank Rost Germany Hamburger SV 2011
Australia Tim Cahill England Everton 2012–2014
England Bradley Wright-Phillips England Charlton Athletic 2015–2016, 2017–2019
Argentina Gonzalo Verón Argentina San Lorenzo 2015–2017
United States Sacha Kljestan Belgium Anderlecht 2016–2017
Israel Omer Damari Germany RB Leipzig 2016
Paraguay Alejandro Romero Gamarra Argentina Huracán 2018–2021
England Josh Sims England Southampton 2019–2020
England Dru Yearwood England Brentford 2020–2021
Poland Patryk Klimala Scotland Celtic 2021–2022
Brazil Luquinhas Poland Legia Warsaw 2022–2023
Belgium Dante Vanzeir Belgium Union SG 2023–
Sweden Emil Forsberg Germany RB Leipzig 2024–

Orlando City SC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Brazil Kaká Italy Milan 2014–2017
Colombia Carlos Rivas Colombia Deportivo Cali 2015–2017
Honduras Bryan Róchez Honduras Real España 2015–2016
Argentina Matías Pérez García United States San Jose Earthquakes 2016–2017
Jamaica Giles Barnes Canada Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2017
Peru Yoshimar Yotún Sweden Malmö FF 2017
United States Dom Dwyer United States Sporting Kansas City 2018–2020
United States Sacha Kljestan United States New York Red Bulls 2018
Paraguay Josué Colmán Paraguay Cerro Porteño 2018–2019
Portugal Nani Portugal Sporting CP 2019–2021
Uruguay Mauricio Pereyra Russia Krasnodar 2019–2022
Uruguay Facundo Torres Uruguay Peñarol 2022–
Austria Ercan Kara Austria Rapid Wien 2022–2023
Argentina Martín Ojeda Argentina Godoy Cruz 2023–
Colombia Luis Muriel Italy Atalanta 2024–

Philadelphia Union[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
United States Freddy Adu Portugal Benfica 2011–2012
Brazil Kléberson Brazil Bahia 2013
Argentina Cristian Maidana Chile Rangers de Talca 2014–2015
United States Maurice Edu England Stoke City 2014–2017
Venezuela Fernando Aristeguieta France Nantes 2015
United States Alejandro Bedoya France Nantes 2016–2019
Czech Republic Bořek Dočkal China Henan Jianye 2018
Mexico Marco Fabián Germany Eintracht Frankfurt 2019
Cape Verde Jamiro Monteiro France Metz 2020–2021
Argentina Julián Carranza United States Inter Miami 2022–
Denmark Mikael Uhre Denmark Brøndby 2022–
Hungary Dániel Gazdag Hungary Budapest Honvéd 2023–

Portland Timbers[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Colombia Diego Chará Colombia Deportes Tolima 2011–2013
Scotland Kris Boyd Turkey Eskişehirspor 2012
Argentina Diego Valeri Argentina Lanús 2013–2019
Nigeria Fanendo Adi Denmark Copenhagen 2014–2015, 2016–2018
England Liam Ridgewell England West Bromwich Albion 2014–2016
Argentina Lucas Melano Argentina Lanús 2015–2016, 2019
Argentina Sebastián Blanco Argentina San Lorenzo 2017–2023
Argentina Brian Fernández Mexico Necaxa 2019
Colombia Yimmi Chará Brazil Atlético Mineiro 2020–2023
Poland Jarosław Niezgoda Poland Legia Warsaw 2020–2023
Brazil Evander Denmark Midtjylland 2023–
Uruguay Jonathan Rodríguez Mexico América 2024–

Real Salt Lake[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Costa Rica Álvaro Saborío Switzerland Sion 2011–2015
Argentina Javier Morales Spain Vecindario 2011–2015
United States Kyle Beckerman United States Colorado Rapids 2015
Ecuador Joao Plata Canada Toronto FC 2015–2016
Chile Sebastián Jaime Chile Unión Española 2014–2015
Argentina Juan Manuel Martínez Argentina Boca Juniors 2015–2016
Armenia Yura Movsisyan Russia Spartak Moscow 2016–2017
Slovakia Albert Rusnák Netherlands Groningen 2017–2021
Venezuela Jefferson Savarino Venezuela Zulia
Brazil Atlético Mineiro
Liberia Sam Johnson Norway Vålerenga 2019–2020
Venezuela Jeizon Ramírez Venezuela Deportivo Táchira 2020–2021
Croatia Damir Kreilach Germany Union Berlin 2020–2023
Colombia Cristian Arango Mexico Pachuca 2023–

St. Louis City SC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Brazil João Klauss Germany TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2023–
Germany Eduard Löwen Germany Hertha BSC 2023–

San Jose Earthquakes[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Brazil Geovanni England Hull City 2010
United States Chris Wondolowski United States Houston Dynamo 2013–2019
Argentina Matías Pérez García Argentina Tigre 2014–2016
Switzerland Innocent Emeghara Azerbaijan Qarabağ 2015–2016
Jamaica Simon Dawkins England Derby County 2016–2017
Georgia (country) Valeri Qazaishvili Netherlands Vitesse 2017–2020
Sweden Magnus Eriksson Sweden Djurgårdens IF 2018
Argentina Cristian Espinoza Spain Villarreal 2020–
Mexico Javier Eduardo López Mexico Guadalajara 2021–2022
Cape Verde Jamiro Monteiro United States Philadelphia Union 2022–2023
Ecuador Carlos Gruezo Germany FC Augsburg 2023–

Seattle Sounders FC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Sweden Freddie Ljungberg England West Ham United 2009–2010
Uruguay Álvaro Fernández Uruguay Nacional 2010–2012
Switzerland Blaise Nkufo Netherlands Twente 2010
Colombia Fredy Montero Colombia Deportivo Cali 2011-2012
Argentina Mauro Rosales Argentina River Plate 2011–2013
Germany Christian Tiffert Germany 1. FC Kaiserslautern 2012–2013
Grenada Shalrie Joseph United States Chivas USA 2013
Nigeria Obafemi Martins Spain Levante 2013–2015
United States Clint Dempsey England Tottenham Hotspur 2013–2018
Cuba Osvaldo Alonso United States Charleston Battery 2014–2018
Paraguay Nelson Valdez Germany Eintracht Frankfurt 2015–2016
Uruguay Nicolás Lodeiro Argentina Boca Juniors 2016–2023
Peru Raúl Ruidíaz Mexico Morelia 2018–
Spain Víctor Rodríguez Spain Sporting Gijón 2019
Ecuador Xavier Arreaga Ecuador Barcelona SC 2019
Brazil João Paulo Brazil Botafogo 2020–2021
Slovakia Albert Rusnák United States Real Salt Lake 2022–
Argentina Pedro de la Vega Argentina Lanús 2024–

Toronto FC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
Canada Julian de Guzman Spain Deportivo La Coruña 2009–2012
Spain Mista Spain Deportivo La Coruña 2010
Netherlands Danny Koevermans Netherlands PSV Eindhoven 2011–2013
Germany Torsten Frings Germany Werder Bremen 2011–2012
France Eric Hassli Canada Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2012
Argentina Matías Laba Argentina Argentinos Juniors 2013
Brazil Gilberto Brazil Internacional 2014
United States Michael Bradley Italy Roma 2014–2019
England Jermain Defoe England Tottenham Hotspur 2014–2015
Italy Sebastian Giovinco Italy Juventus 2015–2018
United States Jozy Altidore England Sunderland 2015–2021
Spain Alejandro Pozuelo Belgium Genk 2019–2022
Argentina Pablo Piatti Spain Espanyol 2020
Venezuela Yeferson Soteldo Brazil Santos 2021
Mexico Carlos Salcedo Mexico UANL 2022
Italy Lorenzo Insigne Italy Napoli 2022–
Italy Federico Bernardeschi Italy Juventus 2022–
Canada Jonathan Osorio Canada SC Toronto 2023–

Vancouver Whitecaps FC[edit]

Player Previous club Years as DP
France Eric Hassli Switzerland Zürich 2011–2012
The Gambia Mustapha Jarju Belgium R.A.E.C. Mons 2011
Scotland Barry Robson England Middlesbrough 2012
Scotland Kenny Miller Wales Cardiff City 2012–2014
Argentina Matías Laba Canada Toronto FC 2014–2017
Argentina Mauro Rosales United States Chivas USA 2014
Chile Pedro Morales Spain Málaga 2014–2016
Uruguay Octavio Rivero Chile O'Higgins 2015–2016
Colombia Fredy Montero China Tianjin TEDA
Portugal Sporting CP
United States Brek Shea United States Orlando City 2017–2018
Costa Rica Kendall Waston Costa Rica Saprissa 2018
South Korea Hwang In-beom South Korea Daejeon Citizen 2019–2020
Uruguay Joaquín Ardaiz Switzerland Chiasso 2019
Iraq Ali Adnan Italy Udinese 2019–2021
Canada Lucas Cavallini Mexico Puebla 2020–2022
Scotland Ryan Gauld Portugal Farense 2021–
Paraguay Andrés Cubas France Nîmes 2022–
Venezuela Sergio Córdova Germany FC Augsburg 2023

Past and present Designated Players by country[edit]

Number Country Players
53 Argentina Argentina Luciano Acosta, Ignacio Aliseda, Thiago Almada, Esequiel Barco, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Hernán Bernardello, Claudio Bieler, Sebastián Blanco, Gustavo Bou, Milton Caraglio, Julián Carranza, Tomás Chancalay, Enzo Copetti, Pedro de la Vega, Mauro Díaz, Sebastián Driussi, Fabián Espíndola, Cristian Espinoza, Brian Fernández, Alan Franco, Marcelo Gallardo, Federico Higuaín, Gonzalo Higuaín, Sebastián Jaime, Franco Jara, Matías Laba, Claudio López, Cristian Maidana, Juan Manuel Martínez, Pity Martínez, Tomás Martínez, Lucas Melano, Lionel Messi, Javier Morales, Maximiliano Moralez, Marcelino Moreno, Martín Ojeda, Lucas Ontivero, Cristian Pavón, Matías Pellegrini, Matías Pérez García, Ignacio Piatti, Pablo Piatti, Tomás Pochettino, Juan Edgardo Ramírez, Emanuel Reynoso, Emiliano Rigoni, Lucas Rodríguez, Mauro Rosales, Diego Valeri, Gonzalo Verón, Milton Valenzuela, Alan Velasco
25 United States United States Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, Paul Arriola, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Dom Dwyer, Maurice Edu, Jesús Ferreira, Omar Gonzalez, Tim Howard, Eddie Johnson, Jermaine Jones, Djordje Mihailovic, Darlington Nagbe, Claudio Reyna, Brek Shea, Chris Wondolowski, Gyasi Zardes, Walker Zimmerman, Graham Zusi
19 Brazil Brazil Luiz Araújo, Brenner, Douglas Costa, Denílson, Luciano Emílio, Evander, Geovanni, Gilberto, Jéferson, Kaká, João Klauss, Kléberson, Luquinhas, Talles Magno, Thiago Martins, Rafael Navarro, João Paulo, Gabriel Pec, Rafael
17 Mexico Mexico Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Omar Bravo, Nery Castillo, Marco Fabián, Javier Hernández, Héctor Herrera, Luis Ángel Landín, Javier Eduardo López, Rafael Márquez, Rodolfo Pizarro, Alan Pulido, Carlos Salcedo, Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos, Erick Torres, Jairo Torres, Carlos Vela
15 Colombia Colombia Juan Pablo Ángel, Cristian Arango, Fabián Castillo, Diego Chará, Yimmi Chará, Andrés Ramiro Escobar, David Ferreira, Ménder García, Cucho Hernández, Mauro Manotas, Fredy Montero, Santiago Mosquera, Luis Muriel, Darwin Quintero, Ángelo Rodríguez
14 Uruguay Uruguay Joaquín Ardaiz, Thomás Chacón, Álvaro Fernández, Nicolás Lodeiro, Mauricio Pereyra, Federico Puppo, Egidio Arévalo Rios, Octavio Rivero, Brian Rodríguez, Jonathan Rodríguez, Santiago Rodríguez, Diego Rossi, David Texeira, Facundo Torres
12 Paraguay Paraguay Miguel Almirón, Luis Amarilla, Cristian Colmán, Josué Colmán, Andrés Cubas, Cecilio Domínguez, Sebastián Ferreira, Alejandro Romero Gamarra, Gastón Giménez, Jesús Medina, Nelson Valdez, Héctor Villalba
10 England England David Beckham, Jermain Defoe, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Liam Ridgewell, Wayne Rooney, Josh Sims, Sam Surridge, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Dru Yearwood
8 Ecuador Ecuador Jordy Alcívar, Juan Luis Anangonó, Xavier Arreaga, Leonardo Campana, Aníbal Chalá, Carlos Gruezo, Oswaldo Minda, Joao Plata
8 France France Romain Alessandrini, Kévin Cabral, Yohan Croizet, Claude Dielna, Eric Hassli, Thierry Henry, Adrien Hunou, Blaise Matuidi
7 Honduras Honduras Bryan Acosta, Jerry Bengtson, Alberth Elis, Roger Espinoza, Boniek García, Alexander López, Bryan Róchez
7 Spain Spain Sergio Busquets, Carles Gil, Mista, Alejandro Pozuelo, Riqui Puig, Víctor Rodríguez, David Villa
7 Venezuela Venezuela Fernando Aristeguieta, Jhonder Cádiz, Sergio Córdova, Josef Martínez, Jeizon Ramírez, Jefferson Savarino, Yeferson Soteldo
6 Germany Germany Torsten Frings, Eduard Löwen, Hany Mukhtar, Frank Rost, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Christian Tiffert
6 Poland Poland Adam Buksa, Kamil Jóźwiak, Mateusz Klich, Patryk Klimala, Jarosław Niezgoda, Karol Świderski
6 Scotland Scotland Kris Boyd, Ryan Gauld, Shaun Maloney, Kenny Miller, Barry Robson, Johnny Russell
5 Costa Rica Costa Rica Allan Cruz, Luis Díaz, Randall Leal, Álvaro Saborío, Kendall Waston
5 Italy Italy Federico Bernardeschi, Marco Di Vaio, Sebastian Giovinco, Lorenzo Insigne, Andrea Pirlo
4 Belgium Belgium Christian Benteke, Hugo Cuypers, Jelle Van Damme, Dante Vanzeir
4 Canada Canada Lucas Cavallini, Julian de Guzman, Dwayne De Rosario, Jonathan Osorio
4 Chile Chile Pablo Aránguiz, Felipe Gutiérrez, Pedro Morales, Diego Rubio
4 Ivory Coast Ivory Coast Ousmane Doumbia, Didier Drogba, Xavier Kouassi, Aké Loba
4 Nigeria Nigeria Fanendo Adi, Kennedy Igboananike, Obafemi Martins, Obinna Nwobodo
4 Peru Peru Edison Flores, Andrés Mendoza, Raúl Ruidíaz, Yoshimar Yotún
4 Portugal Portugal José Gonçalves, André Horta, Nani, Pedro Santos
4 Sweden Sweden Magnus Eriksson, Emil Forsberg, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Freddie Ljungberg
4 Switzerland Switzerland Blerim Džemaili, Innocent Emeghara, Blaise Nkufo, Xherdan Shaqiri
3 Albania Albania Shkëlzen Gashi, Hamdi Salihi, Giacomo Vrioni
3 Denmark Denmark Andreas Maxsø, Younes Namli, Mikael Uhre
3 Finland Finland Matti Peltola, Teemu Pukki, Alexander Ring
3 Ghana Ghana David Accam, Jonathan Mensah, Joseph Paintsil
3 Israel Israel Liel Abada, Omer Damari, Gadi Kinda
3 Netherlands Netherlands Danny Koevermans, Jürgen Locadia, Sherjill MacDonald
2 Armenia Armenia Yura Movsisyan, Lucas Zelarayán
2 Croatia Croatia Damir Kreilach, Petar Musa
2 Gabon Gabon Denis Bouanga, Aaron Boupendza
2 Georgia (country) Georgia Saba Lobzhanidze, Valeri Qazaishvili
2 Greece Greece Taxiarchis Fountas, Giorgos Giakoumakis
2 Hungary Hungary Dániel Gazdag, Nemanja Nikolić
2 Republic of Ireland Ireland Kevin Doyle, Robbie Keane
2 Jamaica Jamaica Giles Barnes, Simon Dawkins
2 Slovakia Slovakia Ján Greguš, Albert Rusnák
2 Slovenia Slovenia Robert Berić, Aljaž Struna
1 Algeria Algeria Saphir Taïder
1 Australia Australia Tim Cahill
1 Austria Austria Ercan Kara
1 Cape Verde Cape Verde Jamiro Monteiro
1 Cuba Cuba Osvaldo Alonso
1 Czech Republic Czech Republic Bořek Dočkal
1 The Gambia Gambia Mustapha Jarju
1 Grenada Grenada Shalrie Joseph
1 Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau Gerso Fernandes
1 Iceland Iceland Victor Pálsson
1 Iraq Iraq Ali Adnan
1 Japan Japan Yuya Kubo
1 Kenya Kenya Victor Wanyama
1 Liberia Liberia Sam Johnson
1 Montenegro Montenegro Branko Bošković
1 Panama Panama Gabriel Torres
1 Romania Romania Alexandru Mitriță
1 Serbia Serbia Aleksandar Katai
1 Sierra Leone Sierra Leone Kei Kamara
1 South Korea South Korea Hwang In-beom
1 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Teenage Hadebe

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wahl, Grant (November 28, 2011). "Hollywood Ending: If this was indeed David Beckham's final game in MLS, he went out in style, carrying the Galaxy to a championship and affirming the value of star power in America". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 25, 2011. In the first four seasons of MLS's Beckham Rule, which allowed clubs to sign up to three designated players outside the salary cap, ....
  2. ^ a b Lansley, Pete (April 13, 2007). "Becks could be the next American idol". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on April 14, 2006. Retrieved December 1, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "PlayersUnion". Archived from the original on May 11, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  4. ^ "Beckham hopes to make US history". BBC. January 12, 2007. Retrieved December 1, 2007.
  5. ^ Goff, Steven (April 26, 2006). "Palencia Has Richest MLS Salary". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 1, 2007.
  6. ^ Mickle, Tripp (November 26, 2007). "Debate highlights MLS salary cap split". Sports Business Journal. Archived from the original on August 13, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c Bell, Jack (March 18, 2009). "In M.L.S., Designated Players Do Not Guarantee Great Expectations". The New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
  8. ^ "Galaxy, Milan, Inter wait on Becks". CNN. February 24, 2009. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  9. ^ "Fulham complete Johnson signing". BBC Sport. January 23, 2008. Archived from the original on January 27, 2008.
  10. ^ Mayers, Joshua (April 1, 2010). "Major League Soccer adds second DP slot, can purchase a third (league release)". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
  11. ^ "2012 MLS Roster Rules". Archived from the original on February 20, 2012.
  12. ^ "Roster Rules and Regulations". Major League Soccer. Archived from the original on August 23, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  13. ^ "A Look into NYCFC's 2014 Payroll (or "David Villa is making k")". Empire of Soccer. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  14. ^ "2023 MLS Player Salaries". Major League Soccer Players Union.
  15. ^ "MLS Roster Rules and Regulations -". Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  16. ^ "Former MLS Designated Players". Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  17. ^ "Jelle van Damme completes exit from LA Galaxy and joins Royal Antwerp". ESPN. August 18, 2017. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  18. ^ "Roster | Nashville SC".

External links[edit]