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MLS Making It Clearer How Players are Designated

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The league's roster rules and regulations were released today, and the highlights included changes made tp the much maligned allocation system.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Micheal Bradley is one of the three Toronto FC designated players, but how exactly he ended up in Toronto, and with Toronto FC is confusing. Today with the release of their 2015 roster rules and regulations, Major League Soccer is trying to make the league's allocation and discovery processes clearer.

This means that the "weighted lottery rule" i.e the one Toronto FC reportedly used to acquire Michael Bradley, and the Seattle Sounders used to acquire Clint Dempsey, is no longer being used. This may affect the league's elite teams, but in theory should be better for the transparency of a generally translucent Major League Soccer.

Now it will be clear which players qualify for allocation order, as MLS will keep and update a public list of those who are eligible. These players will be selected through the allocation draft, the same draft Toronto FC used to acquire Jozy Altidore.

Here is the current allocation ranking list of players that, should they return to MLS, would be allocated to a new club through the draft. The list will be updated once each year and will be available on the league's website. Players who are eligible for the list include select US national team and US youth team players, and those who earned a transfer fee of a minimum $500,000 (USD).

The list includes Canadian, and former Toronto FC defender, Doneil Henry, who is curiously still listed as an Apollon Limassol player. A league staffer has told Waking the Red that this is likely a mistake. It has since been corrected on the MLS website.

Player

Date of Birth

Current Club

Classification

Bedoya, Alejandro

4/25/1987

Nantes (FRA)

Senior USMNT

Guzan, Brad

9/9/1984

Aston Villa (ENG)

Senior USMNT

Howard, Tim

3/6/1979

Everton (ENG)

Senior USMNT

Johannsson, Aron

11/10/1990

AZ Alkmaar (NED)

Senior USMNT

Johnson, Fabian

12/11/1987

Hoffenheim (GER)

Senior USMNT

Anangono, Juan

4/13/1989

Club Universidad de Guadalajara (MEX)

Transfer

Brown, Deshorn

12/22/1990

Valerenga (NOR)

Transfer

Cameron, Geoff

7/11/1985

Stoke City (ENG)

Transfer

Gonzalez, Giancarlo

2/8/1988

Palermo (ITA)

Transfer

Henry, Doneil

4/20/1993

Apollon Limassol (CYP)

Transfer

Montero, Fredy

7/26/1987

Sporting Lisbon (POR)

Transfer

Najar, Andy

3/16/1993

Anderlecht (BEL)

Transfer

Ream, Tim

10/5/1987

Bolton (ENG)

Transfer

Rochat, Alain

2/1/1983

Young Boys (SWI)

Transfer

Rosell, Oriol

7/7/1992

Sporting Lisbon (POR)

Transfer

Sanchez, Richard

4/5/1994

Tigres UANL (MEX)

Transfer

Sanvezzo, Camilo

7/21/1988

Queretaro (MEX)

Transfer

Valencia, Jose Adolfo

12/18/1991

Rosario Central (ARG)

Transfer

Yedlin, DeAndre

7/9/1993

Tottenham (ENG)

Transfer

Flores, Junior

3/26/1996

B. Dortmund (GER)

Youth USMNT

Green, Julian

6/6/1995

Hamburg (GER)

Youth USMNT

Moore, Shaquell

11/2/1996

Unattached

Youth USMNT

Pelosi, Marc

6/17/1994

Liverpool (ENG)

Youth USMNT

Rubin, Rubio

3/1/1996

Utrecht (NED)

Youth USMNT

As for the allocation draft rankings, the San Jose Earthquake's currently occupy the top spot. They are followed by the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chicago Fire. Toronto FC sits in the 17th spot after using their pick to acquire Altidore. Should any of the above players choose to return to Major League Soccer they will follow this draft order.

Aside from signing a designated player off their own roster, teams can also use the discovery process to bring in new players. Each MLS team has a "discovery list" to protect players they are hoping to recruit and sign from outside of MLS. They are allowed to list seven players, which is down from 12 last year.

This list will evidently not be published. A team can acquire someone from another club's discovery list by offering $50,000 in allocation money. From here the two teams can negotiate.

The following types of players are exempt from the discovery process: SuperDraft Eligible Players, Homegrown Players, College Protected Players, Waived Players and players whose teams were unable to re-sign as their contract expired. This is otherwise known as "right of first refusal".

If more than one club tries to put the same player on their discovery list it will be the club that filed first that gets primary rights to sign the player. If two teams file for a player on the same day, the club with less points per game in the current MLS regular season will get the first chance to sign the player.

While this process may not be any more straight forward than it was before, at least it is all on the table. Hopefully this is a small step in the right direction for the end of MLS secrecy. The more supporters understand about the currently confusing league, the better.

The full release is available here.