MLS clubs will keep all moneys they receive for Training Compensation and Solidarity Payments. In the case of Training Compensation, the amounts involved may also have the effect of dissuading some European clubs from paying Solidarity Payments for players who are otherwise free agents, reducing the competition MLS clubs face for retaining these young stars.
Solidarity Payments total five percent of the transfer fee and are also divided proportionally among clubs involved in a player’s training. They only cover transactions between clubs in two different federations where a transfer fee is involved, so MLS clubs will only occasionally be able to seek payments.
Dating back to a consent decree involving U.S. Soccer in the player lawsuit Fraser vs. MLS decided in 2002, MLS has not participated in FIFA's RSTP. More recently, U.S. Soccer has change its position, taking a neutral position on RSTP transactions. The MLS Players Association has opposed the implementation of the system.
U.S. youth clubs sought claims for solidarity payments in recent years in transactions involving Clint Dempsey's move to the Seattle Sounders in 2013 and Michael Bradley's move to Toronto FC in 2014, but FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber recently turned them down. A claim by Crossfire Premier for solidarity payments involving DeAndre Yedlin's transfer from the Sounders to Tottenham in 2015 has yet to be decided by the Dispute Resolution Chamber.
Going forward, MLS clubs will only seek its own percentage of the transfer fee for years in which players were in their academies, clearing the way for youth clubs to make claims of their own.
Paying claims for Training Compensation
and Solidarity Payments is something relatively new for MLS clubs. Until recently, they did not sign many young players from foreign clubs, triggering a potential Training Compensation, and they
rarely paid transfer fees.
Paying claims for Training Compensation and Solidarity Payments will present a whole new set of issues based on the unique nature of MLS:
-- Teams will have to include them in a player's salary budget charge on top of salary, bonuses and acquisition costs;
-- MLS will have to resolve issues related to moves from clubs in the United States and Canada. That will likely mean a player trained at a club in Canada and signed by an MLS club (or vice versa) will require the MLS club to pay a claim for Training Compensation. It will not allow MLS clubs to require clubs in the USL or new CPL to pay Training Compensation claims;
-- Foreign players -- which would include Americans draft by Canadian teams (and vice versa) -- signed by MLS clubs in the SuperDraft could potentially trigger claims for Training Compensation and Solidarity Payments from the clubs they played for before entering college.