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plinie19's Difinitive Guide to the MLS

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Plinie19’s Definitive MLS Guide




Introduction

Founded in 1993 as part of the United State’s World Cup bid in 1994, Major League Soccer is the top tier of American soccer [football]. Comprised of 18 teams, 16 based in the USA and two based in Canada, the MLS is a growing league that is starting to attract some top players in the world. The MLS season is 34 games long and typically runs from March to November, and the league is split into the Western and Eastern Conferences. In typical American fashion, the team with the most points does not win the title of MLS Champion. Instead, the top 10 teams qualify for the MLS playoffs, with the top two teams from each conference automatically qualifying and the next 6 teams qualifying based on final league position. What this means is that one season you could see a playoff scenario with 8 teams from a single conference make the playoff, though that would mean that the other conference had an extremely poor season.

Squad Rules

Unlike European leagues the MLS operates with distinctly different squad rules which includes a hard salary cap enforced by the league. Team must register a minimum of 14 players; a maximum of 25 may be registered. Any player not registered may not participate in league games, but may participate in cup games. The default number of international players allowed to be registered is 7, however, teams may trade away the rights to an international player for 2-5 years or a permanent spot. The starting salary cap is $49,038 p/wk [£30,541 or €35,930]. This can also fluctuate based on how you set up your budget and the exchange of allocation money [transfer budget]. Also, MLS has a Roster Guarantee Day. On this day, July 1st, 2010, anyone who has not been waived has a guaranteed contract, thus if you release anyone after July 1st you are obliged to pay the duration of their contract unless they sign for another team. The MLS uses a waiver wire. This means that when you release a player prior to the July 1st deadline he will be offered to other teams, if someone wants him they can sign him otherwise he clears waivers and is released. Note that if a player clears waivers, his right could still be held by another club, meaning you would have to negotiate terms of exchange with his club in order to sign him, Ray Burse an American GK is a good example of this.

Contract Types

There are 3 types of major contracts in FM for the MLS.
1) Senior: These are your bog standard full-time professional contracts. They are hard capped by the league at how much you may offer a player p/wk at $5,750 [£3,580 or €4,214]. Any player can sign this kind of contract, but obviously it will be hard to offer this kind of contract to a large reputation player.


2) Designated Player: DP in the FM world, this is the cream of the crop type player, David Beckham and Thierry Henry type players. As of this year each team is allowed 3 DP on their roster. This contract is again capped by club and is set around $13,000 [£8,088 or €9,521] *this is for a team with a tight budget, Seattle. Richer clubs can offer more money for DP contracts.


3) Generation Adidas: These are the future superstars. In real life they are college underclassmen, not yet in their final year of college but good enough to warrant a high draft pick. These players are highly sought after because their contracts do not count towards your salary cap. Thus you can register a lot of them and remain in the positive for your weekly wages. You cannot offer GA contracts to Free Agents. The players who get this GA label can be found in the MLS SuperDraft at the end of the season and usually go in the top 5-8 picks. However, there are many players in the game on MLS teams that are on GA contracts so you can exchange players, draft picks, allocation funds, or International roster spots for them. The down side is that at age 23 these contracts run up and they must be offered a Senior contract at that time.


Drafts

There are two drafts throughout the MLS season, the SuperDraft and the Waiver Draft.
1) Waiver Draft: this is where any player who is not registered as of July 1st, or so, is put into a pool and each team gets to pick from then. This is a two round draft with the order based on the standings from the previous season. You can participate in this or elect not to, however if you pass on your first round pick you cannot select a player in the second round. This also comes without the luxury of being able to scout the players before the draft so it may help if you have a decent background on players in the MLS. Players picked in this draft must be given a contract with their new club, so if you pick someone make sure you have room for them otherwise they just sit on your bench and can cause disharmony.


2) MLS SuperDraft: This is the end of the year draft where teams can pick players from the regen pool, and from the unattached current USA players, i.e. Vincenzo Bernardo, Matthew Luzuranis, or Omar Salgado (the 1st overall pick in this past January’s SuperDraft). Prior to the Draft you can scout the players in the pool by attending the pre-draft Combine [think trial squads in Europe]. Here you can scout players on each team and get a feel of who could be a star, and who is overvalued. This is a 4 round draft where the team with the fewest points from the recently ended season gets to pick first and the reigning MLS Champion picks last. (Remember you could theoretically finish 8th overall and pick 16th in the SuperDraft) Teams have the right to exchange draft picks for players throughout the season and in the weeks before the SuperDraft, so if you can get draft picks it may be helpful. A decent strategy is to scout the players who are GA, remember they don’t count towards your salary, and try to get them in the first 2 rounds, they usually don’t last past then.



Staff

Staff in the MLS is pretty standard except for one thing. You are not allowed any scouts. I have no idea why it is like this but in my experience even as the game progresses you aren’t allowed any on your staff, therefore it would be wise to hire coaches who also have high JPA/JPP ratings so they can act as scouts especially before the SuperDraft.



This should help you fully understand the awkwardness of the American league, if you have any questions feel free to post them here or PM me.
 
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sounds.. complicated haa. but at the same time quite intersting. may have to try it. nice work.
 
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Nice work bud. I always load up USA as it is different to all the other leagues.
 
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Tidy round up of a complicated system!

I'm wondering if you might know anyway to use the FM editor to change the ~$49,000 salary cap?
 
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Nice work bud. I always load up USA as it is different to all the other leagues.
Yeah, another good thing about it is that since most European leagues start after the MLS the regen date passes for the USA if you start in June or July. I always like to look for regens with EU passports early in games, especially when I'm playing as a team on a tight budget.

---------- Post added at 05:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:34 PM ----------

Tidy round up of a complicated system!

I'm wondering if you might know anyway to use the FM editor to change the ~$49,000 salary cap?
I've tried and it usually messes up the system. It seems to be hard coded or I just didn't do it right, lol. Either way, it is easy to manipulate by signing younger players and GA contracts
 
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Yeah, another good thing about it is that since most European leagues start after the MLS the regen date passes for the USA if you start in June or July. I always like to look for regens with EU passports early in games, especially when I'm playing as a team on a tight budget.

---------- Post added at 05:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:34 PM ----------



I've tried and it usually messes up the system. It seems to be hard coded or I just didn't do it right, lol. Either way, it is easy to manipulate by signing younger players and GA contracts
****, that's too bad. it's not like i want to bring in messi or somebody absurd - just my favorites from the championship. oh well, thanks for the words!
 
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I played with Redbull New York, but I couldn't sell any players. Does anybody know why I couldn't sell them?
thx
 
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You can sell players you just cannot offer players to clubs. Annoying, I know. This is because of the salary cap. Under its rule every club pays part of every player's salary thus you cannot offer him to other clubs because of this. The easiest way to off load a player is to list him manually and wait it out, or just not include him in your Team Registration and let him fall through waivers
 
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Sweet, there is a guide for this. I always tell myself I will start a save with Toronto FC but when I do the whole set up the MLS ****** me off and I quit during the preseason.

I don't get why they had to set up the league just like every other American sport. They try to link it with Europe with transfers but its difficult since the systems are so different. Like the league pays Henry's and Beckham's contracts, just so the playing field stays level.
 
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"You are not allowed any scouts. "

i've got scouts at LA galaxy, four of them actually. didnt start with any though, but was allowed to hire up to six.
 
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With the 11.3 patch they fixed the issues with scouts for MLS Teams.
 
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I've always wanted to give the MLS ago, but was put off with how different it is from the rest of the world.

Is it easy to get players from Europe to come over? And what about players from South America?
 
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It really depends on which team you are. Teams like L.A. and New York obviously have higher reps and can attract better players. However, just as in Europe, you can grow your reputation to impress better players.
 
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imo, the whole draft system (and maybe the generation adidas contracts thing) can be improved a lot from how it is currently
 
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The draft system is a staple in American sports. All professional sports leagues depend on the draft to replenish the players that they lose to retirement, injury, and turnover each year. Unlike Europe, The United States does not use a youth system to produce talent on a year by year basis, even though baseball uses a farm system. Players do not grow up through club systems like they do in Europe.

Do I think that the MLS could use some major changes, yes, but where it is now is very good for the future
 
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no...i meant, the draft system in the game can be improved...sorry for the misunderstanding :)

i mean, i've hardly ever found a gem with the potential to become really good, even if only in the MLS...even the top draft picks..although that just might be because i've only ever played a couple of years at most in USA
 
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I agree, it should be like in pre-season in Europe where your ***. man. suggest players to scout from the trialist teams. Instead you have to go through and manually scout each player.
 
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Is there a way to sign academy players? Also how do you offer Designated Player Contracts? Or are all of these broken in 11.3?
 
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I have not figured out the academy contract issue. also you must send your ***. man to scout for DP players
 
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