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New "core player" MLS rule set for rollout ahead of transfer window

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Reports that MLS was considering implementing what was variously called a "core player" roster designation have been floating around for some time now, but that speculation seems to be solidifying into something more definite.

Orlando Sentinel's Paul Tenorio weighed in near the beginning of the month, reporting that there was internal debate over such a designation. At the time, Tenorio's reports specified that several options were being floated, including a $1.8 million fund for each team to be used signing a player from outside MLS, or a fund that could be used to retain MLS players in contract years.

That has now morphed into what Ives Galarcep is reporting as a roster spot, but details are light — sources told him that it would effectively function as a fourth designated player spot. But whatever form it takes — a fund or a roster designation — the impact would be significant.

Speculation has been mounting over what this sort of thing would look like over the last month, and some of the discussion circles around the collective bargaining agreement, negotiation of which concluded just before the 2015 season started.

Seattle Times reporter Matt Pentz tweeted earlier today that Garth Lagerwey, Seattle Sounders general manager, said that there would be a league-wide conference call to "explain the mechanisms of a new rule."

The U.S. transfer window opens on July 7, so this new rule would come in before that — giving teams new mechanisms by which to adjust their rosters.

And if you needed a little bit of incitement around all of this, this is being paired with a move for Mexican national team player Giovanni dos Santos to LA Galaxy, according to reports that have been spreading around MLS news sources like wildfire. That move might be the first to end up that way — but if that rumored Yura Movsisyan-to-RSL move does play out, maybe it would be right on the bleeding edge of the rule.