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2013 MLS salary and roster rules
February 28th, 2013 9:55PM

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TAGS:  mls, soccer business


[BY THE NUMBERS] French star Thierry Henry blasted MLS's salary cap, blaming it for the New York Red Bulls having to unload teammate Kenny Cooper to FC Dallas, and saying it must be changed if MLS wants to be compared to the big leagues of Europe.

Just what is the salary cap for 2013? What are Designated Player salary charges? And minimum salaries?

Here is a look at key elements of MLS's 2013 roster rules ...

$2.95 million. The 2013 salary cap, up from $2.81 million in 2011.

1-20. The cap only counts against players designated as salary budget players occupying spots 1-20.

21-30. Players occupying roster spots 21-30 are designated as off-budget players. They include homegrown players and Generations Adidas signings and players on minimum salaries.

$46,500. The minimum salary for for players in spots 1-24 must be $46,500, up from $44,000 in 2011.

$35,125. The minimum salary for for players in spots 25-30 must be $35,125, up from $33,000 in 2011.

$368,750. The Designated Player charge, ie the maximum amount a Designated Player's salary counts against a club's salary cap. (The charge is $175,000 for a mid-season acquisition.)

$200,000. A Designated Player 21-23 years old counts as $200,000 ($150,000 for a player 20 years old or younger) against the club’s salary cap.

152. There are 152 international slots divided among the 19 clubs, eight per team. They are tradable and there is no limit on the number of international slots on each club’s roster. The designation of international refers to a player's residency status, not his national team status. Americans (citizens, permanent residents or the holders of other special status) are considered non-international players on the three Canadian teams, though they are required to have a minimum of three Canadian domestic players.

1. A club may buy out one guaranteed player (including a DP’s) contract and free up the corresponding budget space. But the club must pay for the buyout itself and do it before the season starts.

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