MLS International Roster Slots

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MLS International Roster Slots are an important piece of roster composition in Major League Soccer. MLS employs a variety of mechanisms to promote parity and domestic player development which include player entry drafts, expansion drafts, allocation drafts, weighted lotteries, and a limit on the number of international roster slots available for each club. The limit on the number of international roster slots makes each slot a valuable commodity for clubs to utilize through player signings or trades with other clubs.

The MLS roster rules for 2017 state:

  • A total of 176 international roster spots are divided among the 22 clubs. These spots are tradable, such that some clubs may have more than eight and some clubs may have fewer than eight. There is no limit on the number of international roster spots on each club's roster. The remaining roster spots must be filled by domestic players.
  • For clubs based in the United States, a domestic player is either:
    • a U.S. Domestic Player:
      • a U.S. citizen;
      • a permanent resident (green card holder); or
      • the holder of other special status (e.g., has been granted refugee or asylum status); or
    • a player who qualifies under the Homegrown International Rule.
  • For clubs based in Canada, a domestic player is either:
    • a Canadian Domestic Player:
      • a Canadian citizen; or
      • the holder of certain other special status (e.g., has been granted refugee or asylum status); or
    • a player who qualifies under the Homegrown International Rule; or
    • a U.S. Domestic Player.
  • MLS clubs based in Canada are required to have a minimum of three Canadian Domestic Players on their rosters.
  • Homegrown International Rule: regardless of nationality, any player who meets the requirements to qualify as a Homegrown Player as a member of an MLS club academy, either in the U.S. or Canada, or has met similar requirements as a member of a Canadian Approved Youth Club, will count as a domestic player on both U.S. and Canadian club rosters provided that:
    • the player became a member of an MLS club academy, either in the U.S. or Canada, or a Canadian Approved Youth Club in the year prior to the year in which he turns 16; and
    • the player signs his first professional contract with MLS or an MLS club's USL affiliate.

Source:[1]

Current international roster slots by team[edit]

As of March 17, 2017 [2]
Team Total slots Open slots Players using international slots
Atlanta United FC 9 0 Almirón, Asad, Carmona, Gressel, Kratz, Martínez, Pírez, Villalba, Walkes; OtooL, WilliamsL
Chicago Fire 8 1 Arshakyan, Bava, de Leeuw, Kappelhof, Meira, Nikolić, Solignac; GoossensDL
Colorado Rapids 6 0 Badji, Adjei-Boateng, K. Doyle, Gashi, Sjöberg, Williams; CastilloL, RamirezL
Columbus Crew SC 8 0 Abu, Abubakar, Afful, Artur, Kamara, Mensah, Næss, Raitala; MartínezL
D.C. United 5 0 Acosta, Büscher, Kamara, Ortiz, Tissot
FC Dallas 8 1 Barrios, Cermeño, Colmán, Figueroa, Grana, Gruezo, Lamah; ChaláDL
Houston Dynamo 8 0 Agus, Cabezas, Elis, Holland, Machado, Manotas, Quioto, Torres; EscalanteL
LA Galaxy 8 0 Alessandrini, Boateng, Cole, Diallo, Diop, dos Santos, Pedro, Van Damme; MendiolaL
Minnesota United FC 10 0 Alvbåge, Calvo, Danladi, Demidov, Ibson, Kadrii, Saeid, Schüller, Thiesson, J. Venegas; AñorDL
Montreal Impact 10 1 Arregui, Bernardello, Cabrera, Ciman, Donadel, Mancosu, Oyongo, Piatti, Romero
New England Revolution 8 5 Angoua, Kouassi, Mlinar
New York City FC 10 1 Brillant, Callens, Camargo, Chanot, Herrera, Moralez, Pirlo, Ring, Villa; MenaL
New York Red Bulls 9 1 Collin, Gulbrandsen, Lawrence, Murillo, Ndam, Perrinelle, Royer, Verón; AbangL, BaahSEIL, LewisL
Orlando City SC 8 1 Aja, Kaká, Laryea, Nocerino, PC, Pérez García, Rivas; GarcíaL
Philadelphia Union 8 0 Alberg, Blake, Elliott, Herbers, Ilsinho, Medunjanin, Simpson, Wijnaldum; AyukL, A. JonesL, YaroDL
Portland Timbers 7 1 Andriuškevičius, Arboleda, Barmby, Blanco, Clarke, Guzmán; ArokoyoSEIL, MelanoL
Real Salt Lake 6 1 Hernández, Holness, Phillips, Rusnák, Sunday
San Jose Earthquakes 8 0 Cummings, Dawkins, Godoy, Hoesen, Hyka, Imperiale, Jungwirth, Ureña; BarreraL, SilvaL
Seattle Sounders FC 8 1 Delem, Fernández, Jones, Lodeiro, Svensson, Tolo, Torres
Sporting Kansas City 8 0 Blessing, Fernandes, Julião, Medranda, Mustivar, Pasher, Sallói, Sánchez; RubioDL
Toronto FC 8 2 Cheyrou, Cooper, Endoh, Giovinco, Mavinga, Vázquez
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 8 1 Bolaños, Laba, Mezquida, Ousted, Reyna, Techera, Waston; FloresL

+ For chart purposes, U.S.-born players with Canadian clubs are not considered foreign-born.
Key

  • DL - Player is on the disabled list (DL) and does not count as an international while on the DL
  • L - Player is away on loan and does not count as an international while out on loan
  • SEIL - Player is on the season-ending injury list (SEIL) and does not count as an international while on the SEIL
  • SS - Player is holder of "special status" granted to refugees or DACA protected residents and counts as a domestic, rather than international player

Active international roster slot trades[edit]

Trade date Slot acquired by For use through Acquired from Slot acquired in exchange for
June 29, 2005 Colorado Rapids Permanent Real Salt Lake For Adolfo Gregorio[3]
March 17, 2009 New York Red Bulls Permanent Houston Dynamo For allocation money[4]
November 24, 2010 Vancouver Whitecaps FC December 31, 2031 Colorado Rapids For Sanna Nyassi[5][6]
July 20, 2016 New York City FC December 31, 2017 D.C. United With general allocation money and targeted allocation money for Patrick Mullins[7]
March 14, 2016 Vancouver Whitecaps FC December 31, 2017 Portland Timbers With general allocation money and targeted allocation money for Darren Mattocks[8]
December 11, 2016 Atlanta United FC December 31, 2018 Colorado Rapids In exchange for a second-round selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft[9]
December 12, 2016 Portland Timbers December 31, 2017 D.C. United With Kennedy Igboananike in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft[10]
January 13, 2017 Houston Dynamo December 31, 2017 Portland Timbers With the #10 selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft and $100,000 in general allocation money in exchange for the #4 selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft[11]
February 3, 2017 Minnesota United FC December 31, 2017 Real Salt Lake In exchange for a third-round selection in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft and $50,000 in general allocation money[12]
February 10, 2017 New York City FC December 31, 2017 Colorado Rapids In exchange for $75,000 in general allocation money[13]
February 15, 2017 Minnesota United FC December 31, 2017 Vancouver Whitecaps FC With $100,000 General Allocation Money in 2018, $125,000 Targeted Allocation Money in 2018, and the #5 spot in the MLS Allocation Order in exchange for the #1 spot in the MLS Allocation Order[14]
February 22, 2017 Montreal Impact December 31, 2017 D.C. United In exchange for $75,000 in general allocation money[15]
March 1, 2017 Montreal Impact December 31, 2017 Vancouver Whitecaps FC In exchange for $75,000 in general allocation money[16]

Future international roster slot trades[edit]

Trade date Slot acquired by For use starting For use through Acquired from Slot acquired in exchange for

Expired international roster slot trades[edit]

Trade date Slot acquired by Reverted back on Acquired from Slot acquired in exchange For
March 16, 2016 New York City FC January 1, 2017 Sporting Kansas City For targeted allocation money[17]
January 14, 2005 New York Red Bulls Unknown Houston Dynamo1 With allocation money for Ricardo Clark[18]
January 15, 2015 Colorado Rapids Unknown Los Angeles Galaxy With Marcelo Sarvas and the No. 18 allocation ranking for allocation money and the No. 3 allocation ranking[19]
November 24, 2004 Chivas USA January 1, 2015 Real Salt Lake For Jeff Stewart;[20] This had been a permanent trade but the slot reverted back to RSL when Chivas USA was contracted after the 2014 season.
February 25, 2016 Colorado Rapids January 1, 2017 San Jose Earthquakes With targeted allocation money for general allocation money[21]
March 7, 2016 Seattle Sounders FC January 1, 2017 Toronto FC With targeted allocation money for general allocation money[22]
May 12, 2016 Columbus Crew SC January 1, 2017 New England Revolution With a first-round selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, a second-round selection in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, general allocation money, and targeted allocation money for Kei Kamara[23]
December 3, 2012 Vancouver Whitecaps FC January 1, 2017 Colorado Rapids For Atiba Harris[24]
December 8, 2014 Houston Dynamo January 1, 2017 Orlando City SC With allocation money for Tally Hall[25]
December 8, 2014 Orlando City SC January 1, 2017 D.C. United For allocation money[26]
December 8, 2014 New York City FC January 1, 2017 D.C. United For allocation money[27]
April 3, 2015 Vancouver Whitecaps FC January 1, 2017 New England Revolution For allocation money[28]
July 14, 2015 New York City FC January 1, 2017 Los Angeles Galaxy For allocation money[29]
July 23, 2015 Houston Dynamo January 1, 2017 Philadelphia Union With Sheanon Williams for allocation money and future considerations[30]
January 12, 2016 Montreal Impact January 1, 2017 Portland Timbers For the MLS rights to Zarek Valentin[31]
July 20, 2016 Montreal Impact January 1, 2017 Toronto FC For a second-round selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft[32]
August 3, 2016 Orlando City SC January 1, 2017 San Jose Earthquakes With Matías Pérez García for Darwin Cerén and salary budget space[33]
January 27, 2015 Montreal Impact January 1, 2016 New York Red Bulls With Ambroise Oyongo, Eric Alexander, allocation money and the No. 14 allocation ranking for Felipe and the No. 1 allocation ranking[34]
January 14, 2015 Orlando City SC January 1, 2016 D.C. United For Jairo Arrieta[35]
December 10, 2013 Montreal Impact January 1, 2016 D.C. United For Davy Arnaud[36]
August 6, 2015 D.C. United January 1, 2016 Portland Timbers With targeted allocation money and future considerations for Michael Seaton[37]
August 7, 2015 Colorado Rapids January 1, 2016 Sporting Kansas City For general allocation money[38]
January 16, 2014 Montreal Impact January 1, 2015 D.C. United For a second-round 2014 MLS SuperDraft pick[39]
January 21, 2014 Vancouver Whitecaps FC January 1, 2015 Columbus Crew For a third-round 2014 MLS SuperDraft pick[40]
January 21, 2014 Colorado Rapids January 1, 2015 Houston Dynamo For a 2014 season loan of Tony Cascio[41]
March 5, 2014 Vancouver Whitecaps FC January 1, 2015 Chicago Fire For Matt Watson[42]
August 12, 2014 New York Red Bulls January 1, 2015 New England Revolution With Saër Sène for Andre Akpan and allocation money[43]
January 16, 2014 FC Dallas January 1, 2015 Montreal Impact With the No. 10 selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and allocation money for the No. 5 selection in the 2014 SuperDraft[44]
January 20, 2012 Vancouver Whitecaps FC January 1, 2015 Colorado Rapids With a 2014 MLS SuperDraft Round 2 pick for allocation money[45]
January 27, 2013 Montreal Impact January 1, 2015 Seattle Sounders FC For Lamar Neagle[46]
June 17, 2013 Colorado Rapids January 1, 2015 Los Angeles Galaxy With a second-round 2014 MLS SuperDraft pick for Pablo Mastroeni and the MLS rights to Baggio Husidić[47]
July 1, 2013 Toronto FC January 1, 2015 Chivas USA With a first-round 2015 MLS SuperDraft pick and the No. 16 position in the MLS Allocation Order in exchange for the No. 1 position in the MLS Allocation Order.[48]
July 13, 2012 Montreal Impact January 1, 2015 Colorado Rapids For Tyson Wahl[49]
September 9, 2013 Portland Timbers January 1, 2014 Toronto FC With Maximiliano Urruti for Bright Dike, a first-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, and allocation money[50]
June 14, 2013 FC Dallas January 1, 2014 Columbus Crew For a fourth-round 2014 MLS Supplemental Draft pick[51]
December 12, 2012 Chivas USA January 1, 2014 Portland Timbers With the No. 3 position in the MLS Allocation Order in exchange for the No. 2 position in the MLS Allocation Order.[52]
December 14, 2012 Chivas USA January 1, 2014 Los Angeles Galaxy With a first-round 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft pick and the No. 19 position in Stage Two of the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft in exchange for the No. 2 position in Stage Two of the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft.[53]
January 4, 2013 New York Red Bulls January 1, 2014 Chicago Fire For Joel Lindpere[54]
January 16, 2013 Colorado Rapids January 1, 2014 Chicago Fire With a first-round 2013 MLS SuperDraft pick and allocation money for Jeff Larentowicz and a second-round 2013 MLS SuperDraft pick[55]
July 14, 2008 Toronto FC January 1, 2014 San Jose Earthquakes With allocation money for Darren Huckerby[56]
February 6, 2012 Portland Timbers January 1, 2014 D.C. United For allocation money[57]
July 20, 2012 Vancouver Whitecaps FC January 1, 2014 Toronto FC With a 2014 MLS SuperDraft Round 1 pick for Eric Hassli[58]
April 20, 2012 Montreal Impact January 1, 2014 Portland Timbers For Mike Fucito[59]
July 6, 2012 Montreal Impact January 1, 2014 Chivas USA For Bobby Burling[60]
July 30, 2012 New York Red Bulls January 1, 2014 San Jose Earthquakes With a 2013 MLS SuperDraft conditional pick for Mehdi Ballouchy[61]
August 16, 2012 D.C. United January 1, 2013 Philadelphia Union With Lionard Pajoy for Danny Cruz; slot reversion date unreported but confirmed[62]
July 5, 2012 Colorado Rapids January 1, 2013 Portland Timbers With allocation money for Kosuke Kimura[63]
February 1, 2012 Philadelphia Union January 1, 2013 Los Angeles Galaxy For Kyle Nakazawa and a 2013 MLS SuperDraft pick[64]
July 14, 2011 Toronto FC January 1, 2013 San Jose Earthquakes With allocation money and Ryan Johnson for Alan Gordon, Nana Attakora and Jacob Peterson[65]
February 17, 2011 Los Angeles Galaxy January 1, 2013 D.C. United For allocation money[66]
December 2, 2011 San Jose Earthquakes January 1, 2013 Sporting Kansas City For Bobby Convey[67]
November 22, 2010 Portland Timbers January 1, 2013 Los Angeles Galaxy For allocation money[68]
February 6, 2012 Montreal Impact January 1, 2013 Portland Timbers For a 2015 Supplemental Draft pick[69]
September 14, 2010 New York Red Bulls January 1, 2013 Colorado Rapids With Mehdi Ballouchy for Macoumba Kandji[70][71]
August 2, 2011 FC Dallas January 1, 2012 Toronto FC With Maicon Santos for Eric Avila[72]
July 21, 2011 Portland Timbers January 1, 2012 Houston Dynamo With Lovel Palmer and Mike Chabala for Adam Moffat and allocation money[73]
July 16, 2011 New York Red Bulls January 1, 2012 D.C. United For Austin da Luz[74]
January 13, 2011 Portland Timbers January 1, 2012 Seattle Sounders FC With a first-round 2011 MLS SuperDraft pick for allocation money and a second-round 2011 MLS SuperDraft pick[75]
November 24, 2010 Vancouver Whitecaps FC January 1, 2012 Chivas USA With allocation money for Alan Gordon and Alejandro Moreno[76]
February 3, 2010 Kansas City Wizards January 1, 2012 D.C. United For Adam Cristman[77]
February 23, 2010 Kansas City Wizards January 1, 2011 Real Salt Lake With a second-round 2011 MLS SuperDraft pick and possible financial considerations for Luis Gil[78]
August 14, 2009 San Jose Earthquakes January 1, 2011 Houston Dynamo For Ryan Cochrane[79]
June 30, 2009 New England Revolution January 1, 2011 Kansas City Wizards For a third-round 2010 MLS SuperDraft pick[80]
January 29, 2009 Toronto FC January 1, 2011 Houston Dynamo With the No. 10 allocation pick for the No. 3 allocation pick; Houston used the No. 3 pick to select Felix Garcia[81]
February 9, 2009 D.C. United January 1, 2011 Colorado Rapids With Christian Gómez, Mike Graczyk, and salary cap considerations for Iván Guerrero, a second-round 2010 MLS SuperDraft pick, and a Designated Player slot[82]
June 4, 2008 Toronto FC January 1, 2011 New England Revolution For Pat Phelan[83]
September 14, 2007 Real Salt Lake January 1, 2010 Kansas City Wizards With Yura Movsisyan for a third-round 2009 MLS SuperDraft pick, a first-round 2009 MLS Supplemental Draft pick, and allocation money[84]
September 12, 2008 D.C. United January 1, 2010 Colorado Rapids For a fourth-round 2009 MLS SuperDraft pick[85]
March 2, 2009 New York Red Bulls January 1, 2010 San Jose Earthquakes With allocation money for Chris Leitch[86]
July 18, 2008 FC Dallas January 1, 2009 Kansas City Wizards For a fourth-round 2009 MLS SuperDraft pick[87]
July 18, 2008 FC Dallas January 1, 2009 Columbus Crew For a first-round 2009 MLS Supplemental Draft pick[88]
February 14, 2006 FC Dallas January 1, 2007 Colorado Rapids For a third-round 2007 MLS SuperDraft pick and a third-round 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft pick[89]
January 23, 2006 Real Salt Lake January 1, 2007 Kansas City Wizards With Chris Klein for allocation money[90]
January 14, 2005 New York Red Bulls January 1, 2007 Real Salt Lake For a second-round 2006 MLS SuperDraft pick[91]
April 26, 2005 FC Dallas January 1, 2006 Columbus Crew With a second-round 2006 MLS SuperDraft pick for Cornell Glen[92]
1 Franchise was based in San Jose at the time of the trade.

References[edit]

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