Over the last couple weeks I have taken a look at the 2012 Real Salt Lake roster by position (Part 1 and Part 2), today I am going to look at the rules and how they impact the choices RSL has and will continue to make, You can take a look at the full list of roster rules and regulations on the MLS website or just enjoy my summary and opinions below (I know that is a dangerous thing).
So MLS has made some adjustments to the roster rules for 2012, as they do most years, perhaps the biggest change is the increase in the Salary Cap (the amount each team is allowed to spend on their 20 man Salary Budget Players). That amount this year is $2,810,000, teams may elect to only have 18 players on their Salary Budget Players list, but anything less than 18 and the team gets charged for empty spots.
Beyond those twenty slots are 10 additional "Off-Budget Players" slots, which include any Generation Adidas players, any Home Grown Players, the rules about how much these players must make are fairly detailed:
- Players occupying roster spots 1-24 will earn at least $44,000 in 2012.
- Players occupying roster spots 25-30 will earn at least $33,750 in 2012.
- Any player making $33,750 must be under the age 25 (does not turn 25 or older in 2012).
- Clubs may elect to leave up to two of these roster spots (25-30) vacant and use $35,000 for each empty spot as allocation money.
- Clubs may sign up to two Homegrown Players contracts above the minimum salary and similar to Generation adidas player contract amounts.
Now there were other changes to the roster rules for 2012, most of the changes impact Designated Players and include the new structure for younger players counting less against the salary cap:
- A Designated Player over the age of 23 counts as $350,000 against the club's salary budget, unless the player joins his club in the middle of the season, in which case his budget charge will be $175,000.
- A Designated Player 20 years old or younger** (referred to as Young Designated Players or Young DPs) to counts as $150,000 against the club's salary budget
- A Designated Player 21-23 years old** counts as $200,000 against the club's salary budget.
- The budget charge for the midseason signing of a Young DP 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 a Young Designated Player whereas clubs are normally required to buy that slot for a one-time fee of $250,000.
- Clubs are responsible for all amounts above the budget charge for all Designated Players.