Here’s an interesting footnote to wacky world of MLS roster rules for the 2017 season.
According to Jonathan Tannenwald of philly.com, the league is set to allow teams to sign 30 players rather than 28 this year - provided the two extra places are used on homegrown players.
That could be useful news for Toronto FC, who apparently plan to carry 18 senior players against the salary cap this season instead of the full 20 permitted. Extra space on the reserve roster could give them a bit more depth as a result, though whether they end up using all of the youngsters they sign to the first team is another matter.
As things stand, you would expect Alex Bono, Sergio Camargo, Jordan Hamilton, Tsubasa Endoh, Brandon Aubrey and Mo Babouli to be on the supplemental and reserve lists. If we account for Raheem Edwards as a likely addition, that leaves the Reds with one spot remaining under the current rules but three under the new ones.
It might be easier to take a flyer on a young backup right-back, or a trialist such as Aikim Andrews, as a result of the added flexibility. Camargo, Hamilton and Edwards would all qualify to occupy the new homegrown slots, so the extra players would not necessarily have to be from TFC’s own academy.
As mentioned, the extra spots would be on the reserve roster, which is for players under the age of 24 on the reserve minimum salary ($51,500 in 2016) and homegrown players earning more than that.