Jan 3, 2010
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I dont know if this is the right place for this, but can somone simply explain how the MLS transfer system works?

Never quite understood it myself but did a quick google, hope this explains it. Took a snippet about it from an article.

Squads (or Rosters)

Major League Soccer, following in the footsteps of American leagues such as the NBA and NFL, have a salary cap. What this means is that each club can only pay their players a certain amount of combined money. For example, if the salary cap was set at $3 million, I could pay three players $1 million, or I could pay one player $2 million and the other two half a million.

The new Designated Player Rule (known affectionately as the Beckham rule) allows each MLS club to pay two players as much as they want. Obviously, this is named after David Beckham because of his gigantic deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy that pays him between 4 and 5 million dollars a year until 2011.

There are many small rules about team rosters that are not worth going into because they never affect the game being played. However, one more rule to take note of is this: each team is allowed eight international players (or non-US citizens). Toronto FC, because of their Canadian location, have been given two extra international roster spots that may only be used on US nationals.

The SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft are also carried over from other domestic sports leagues, where clubs can acquire former college players and young players that are members of Generation adidas – a special program for gifted younger players.

Read more: http://soccerlens.com/how-the-mls-system-works/6235/#ixzz2hjqrtOmF
Had a quick browse, and found a thread on SI that thoroughly explains it -

The Draft system's

There are two types of drafts each season the first is called the super draft its where each team gets draft picks to pick players that are coming out of collage. There are 4 rounds in the super draft total.The 2nd type of draft is called a wavier draft before the season starts each team will have to place players on waivers.The waivers draft is random you can use your pick or save it but if there is a player you really want i suggest you use it .

The Playoff Rules

WHO QUALIFIES: Eight teams qualify for the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs. Playoff berths will be determined by points in the standings upon the completion of the regular season. All 18 teams will have played 34 games.

* The top two teams in each conference qualify and are seeded 1 & 2 in respective four-team playoff conference brackets.
* The four MLS teams with the next most points, regardless of conference, receive “wild card” berths.
* The four wild card teams will be seeded according to conference first.
* If more than four teams qualify from one conference, the team finishing lower than fourth in its conference will shift over to the other conference bracket.
* A team switching conference brackets will be seeded below all other teams in its new conference playoff bracket.

PLAYOFF FORMAT: Conference Semifinal series are conducted in a home-and-home, aggregate-goal format. The lower seeded team in the Conference Semifinal hosts the first game. The winners of those four series advance to single-game Conference Championships that will determine the MLS Cup finalists.

The team that scores the most goals in the home-and-home series advances to the single elimination Conference Championship. If the teams are tied after 180 minutes in the Conference Semifinal series, a 30-minute extra time period (divided into two 15-minute periods) will be played followed by kicks from the penalty mark, if necessary. The team with the higher seed between the two Conference finalists will host the Conference Championship game.

In the case of ties after 90 minutes of regulation in the Eastern and Western Conference Championship games and MLS Cup, 30 minutes of extra time (divided into two 15-minute periods) is played followed by kicks from the penalty mark, if necessary, to determine the winners.


The team awarded the highest position in the MLS standings will be the team with the greatest number of points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss). In the event that two teams finish the regular season with an equal number of points, the following system will be used to break the tie:

1. The highest position shall be awarded to the team with the better win/loss record in current regular season games against all other teams equal in points. (head-to-head competition)
2. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team with the greater goal difference against all other teams during the regular season. (goal differential)
3. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team scoring the greatest number of total goals against all other teams during the regular season. (total goals for)
4. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the procedures described in this section shall be applied only to games played on the road by each team against all other teams during the regular season. (road 1-3)
5. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the procedures described in this section shall be applied only to games played at home by each team against all other teams during the regular season. (home 1-3)
6. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team with the fewest team disciplinary points in the League Fair Play table during the regular season.
7. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position in the standings shall be determined by the toss of a coin.
8. The first tiebreaker in a three-way tie is also head-to-head, but it is determined via points-per-game versus the other two teams. If two teams are tied in points-per-game head-to-head, the next tie breaker is goal difference.

NOTE: If two clubs remain tied after another club with the same number of points advances during any step, the tie breaker reverts to step 1 of the two-club format.

The Designated Player or (DP)

The Designated Player Rule, nicknamed the Beckham Rule, was adopted as part of the salary cap regulations of Major League Soccer for the 2007 season. The rule allowed each MLS franchise to sign one player that would be considered outside of the team's salary cap, allowing MLS teams to compete for star players in the international soccer market. The rule was revised for the 2010 season.

For each Designated Player, $335,000 of his salary is charged to the salary cap and paid by the league, with any remaining salary being paid by the team's owner. This amount is halved for Designated Players signed in the middle of the season. The salary cap value of Designated Players can also be reduced using allocation money. Finally, teams whose Designated Players transfer abroad in the middle of a season can recoup part of the Designated Players' salary cap value.
Each team is allowed two Designated Player spots, and they can no longer trade their Designated Player spots.Teams can pay a $250,000 "luxury tax" for the right to sign a third Designated Player. This $250,000 would be distributed equally to all MLS teams that have not signed a third Designated Player in the form of allocation money.

Generation Adidas or (GA)

Generation Adidas is a joint venture between Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer aimed at raising the level of young soccer talent in the United States. The program, sponsored by adidas, encourages early entry (without college graduation) of American players into MLS. Until 2005, the program was sponsored by Nike and was called Project-40

Generation adidas players do not count against the MLS senior roster and usually earn a much higher salary than the league minimum . Entering into the program automatically classifies a player as professional and thus, disqualifies them from playing college soccer. As a result, Generation Adidas players are also guaranteed scholarships to continue their college education should their professional career not pan out.

(from such thread in the SI forums)
A bit off-topic but did Freddy Adu enter the MLS through this Generation adidas programme?
It says he got picked by D.C United in the 2004 superdraft at the age of 14. No mention of Adidas.


oh ok tks anyways

On-Topic: I could never really stick to managing an MLS team due to the complexity of the rules, although some of them are fun such as the draft system, for me it was confusing at the best of times when I would sign a player then for some reason he could not play for my team
The draft and playoff formats are very common for all sports here in the US (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB)...but yeah all our sports have a salary cap except MLB (this is how the Yankees have the money to buy the best players every year) it is meant to give all teams a fair shake...that is one thing I enjoy most about playing FM, the formats for leagues and tournaments is so much different...instead of the best team playing the worst, the random draws for the EC and ECL as well as all the individual country's tournaments makes for much more excitement IMO.

Also my home team (Green Bay Packers) just made it to the Super Bowl!!!!!

With regards to transfers I think that they all have to be player for player swaps, or you can use your draft picks as bargaining chips. For example you could trade your right to a pick in the first round of the draft for a player, you now have the player and the other team now has two picks in the first round of the draft, if that makes sense. I don't believe it is possible to make cash transfers, so drafting, swaping and maybe free transfers are the only ways to get players I think. Not entirely sure....

Also my home team (Green Bay Packers) just made it to the Super Bowl!!!!!


PS, I'm rooting for you boys to win it because my team, the Patriots, choked hard, and Aaron Rogers has been brilliant and really deserves this. Not to mention Roethlisberger is a douche/rapist.