Major League Soccer

MLS announces new intra-league loan system

Omar Salgado


MLS teams with young players they need to find playing time for have a new mechanism in place to help players potentially play important minutes, albeit for other teams in Major League Soccer.

MLS revealed on Friday that a mechanism was put in place during the off-season that allows loans between MLS teams.

The mechanism is designed specifically for young players, with only players 24 and younger eligible for the loans. Teams can loan players to other MLS teams, with the loans lasting the duration of the MLS season. Teams have until the close of the main MLS transfer window (May 6th).

So what players could benefit from the new rule? Vancouver’s Omar Salgado, New York Red Bulls defender Connor Lade, FC Dallas centerback Walker Zimmerman, Seattle forward/defender Eriq Zavaleta are just some of the players who could benefit from a move in 2013 to seek more playing time.

The tricky part for MLS teams will be to want to avoid helping out teams they are competing with for playoff spots, meaning it seems highly unlikely you will see teams from the same conference making deals.

Who is the leading candidate for a loan? Vancouver’s Salgado, the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLS Draft, hasn’t been playing and is too talented a player to keep letting waste away on the bench. with the Whitecaps also featuring rookie forward Erik Hurtado and Kekuta Manneh, Salgado doesn’t look like a part of the plan in Vancouver.

What do you think of this development? Who would you like to see loaned out from your team? Who would you like to see your team try and land on loan?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Danny

    I think extending the rule to nasl teams would be good. Benefit both team and young player.


      • JeffreyG

        Pretty sure nothing prevents a team from making a loan deal with NASL. It would just be on a team by team basis, no formal relationship like USL.


  • Northzax

    Hmm. An eastern conference team that desperately needs an attacker…nope, can’t think of one #dcu


    • Jason

      That’s up to the two parties to come to terms with. Team A could say they will take on his salary so long as the player sees significant playing time from Team B. Or some % salary deals.


    • Ives Galarcep

      That is worked out in the loan deal. There’s no set rule on how much salary each side is responsible. Both teams have to reach a deal on that.


  • Mark

    Omar isn’t healthy yet, but if whitecaps dont give him time once he is match fit then I agree. Although I could see a lot of benefit to him ripping up USL Pro or NASL


  • Johnny

    “Vancouver’s Salgado… hasn’t been playing and is too talented a player to keep letting waste away on the bench.”

    He’s been injured for nearly a year…


    • Ives Galarcep

      Not really. He’s been healthy for a while from what I’m told. Team standing by the “he’s not ready” line in order to justify not playing him.


  • Jim

    He has been medically cleared for 5 months but Vancouver has held him back. Us soccer doctors cleared him per an interview his father did.


    • sly

      RBNY would take Salgado play him wide for width. Sit one of their pretend wingers. Immediate improvement. Perhaps arrange a trade while he auditions.


  • Jay Duke

    Omar WAS cleared. Aggravated the injury. Just coming back to fitness in reserve league action.

    He will likely get some first team minutes in the coming weeks.


  • Victor Aguilar

    this is good for teams in the Champions League, hopefully they can add some depth in their squads when they compete this fall


  • Beto

    They really dont do this already? I guess mls’ no loan w/buy option blocked even intra league loans


  • Dean Stell

    I’m not opposed to this, but can’t imagine it getting used that much. This isn’t like Manchester United loaning a player to Sunderland. In that case, you KNOW those two clubs are competing at all. In MLS, there is so much parity that it’s hard to identify many hopeless clubs by early May. Like, Galaxy have lots of young forwards, but they’re not going to loan them to Seattle.


  • Old School

    I don’t see this being utilized.

    He’s YOUR player because you rate him to some degree. Obviously, you feel like said youth player may not be able to contribute. However, unlike other leagues, MLS is a parity driven league.

    Why on Earth would another MLS team, give an asset to a competitor? It’s not as if we have a Top 4, or top half of the league that loans out players to lesser teams/lesser talented clubs to develop their own talent.

    I like the idea but in a parity driven league, I don’t see this being implemented…at all, unless it was a short term thing (i.e. 3 month loan, etc).


    • T-lover

      You wont see the same conference team do loans, however you will see a lot of east and west teams do loans, which is good.


      • 39

        Perhaps a team that needs a different role filled and they need some salary space, but also foresee a future with the loaned player. I don’t see a lot of these deals being made but there could be some.


  • Rafa Flores

    Teams should do what those in Europe do, which is insert a clause that says said player can’t play against his own team when his team and the team he is loaned to play one another. I don’t understand why MLS complicates things.


    • scottishkyle

      I have always thought the European rule was bad. What you get is that the lending team increases the capability of the receiving team to compete against everyone but themselves. How is that right.


    • Gerald

      I agree in fact I don’t think any will be made, we will see in the next 2 weeks


  • wilyboy

    I’d like to know what steps it would take to make the moves permanent after one year. If there was an option-to-buy clause, it could be very good for young players careers. You know, to play for a club that is actually going to use them.

    Also, any Western Conference young forward to DC. Now.


  • beachbum

    we’ll see what happens here. if I had a player who couldn’t crack my 18 but was great on the reserve squad, why not loan to some lower tiered team where the prospect was reasonable to get developmental minutes? that would provide an evaluation for me on this player we own as well. couldn’t teams pinching pennies use this possibly too?


  • SD

    I don’t see why salgado isn’t just loaned to usl so he can get some games…granted i don’t understand the usl deal completely but i certainly hate that this talented kid isn’t playing….assuming he isn’t injured….


  • cjayzz

    I like the idea, but don’t see teams using this so much with our playoff system. It benefits the player in that if they get time on the field both teams have an opportunity to determine do we want trade him or keep next season. But you have to have teams with a starting 18 that is weaker than the 12 players on the loaning team’s reserve squad. I think this works better with USL and NASL teams. Sounders have benefited from Neagle and Caskey time with Charleston Battery. Neither made the Sounders the first year, but returned the next year and made the team and have contributed. These were not loans, but wouldn’t it be nice for the staff to have players that your sending off on loan for development purposes. It is sad to see a player like Omar Salgado who everyone claims has so much talent who is heading down the path of MLS failure most likely because of lake of playing time.


  • WorldCitizen

    Garber and MLS up to their usual tricks. They could do something right the first time, but that would be far too easy and sensible, so instead they get it wrong and screw things up (often several times over) before pulling their heads out and doing what could (and should) have been done in the first place. This ridiculous loan scheme, as noted by several other posters, has more obvious holes in it than Swiss cheese. And all of them are avoidable with some simple tweaks to the policy. But again, that would make sense, so of course it ain’t likely to happen.


  • el paso tx-we love soccer

    Salgado is from El Paso, Texas 🙂 EL Paso pride- only if el paso had a NASL or MLS team, he would come here and play. Actually El Paso is a soccer city and soccer hotbed, too bad MLS teams and division teams dont come here and recruit high school players and most of them go down to Mexico like Edgar Castillo and many more.


  • Sean

    So a player that can’t get playing time will be loaned out to another team and then play ahead of their starters who have earned their spots and reserves who are struggling for playing time?

    Yeah, this rule will pay dividends.


  • Chuck D

    I’m assuming that the loanee will not be allowed to play vs. his mother squad, correct?


    • Johnny

      Thats what I am wondering. Is it like everywhere else that allows loans, where the player can’t play against its parent team?


  • jw7

    MLS just can’t seem to get their number right. First they wanted a reserve league, then they drop the whole league, then they say that was a mistake and start another one, then they pillage their own reserve league and come up with a plan where all a team has to do is create an affiliation with a USL Pro team and they get to completely drop all the rest of their expensive reserve team. Now they want to loan players to each other…

    The long term player development program at MLS is a mess because their really is no money in MLS player development single entity ownership business plan. The only real advantage is for the team to develop players for their own team to beat the salary cap limits. The league wants to develop players to sell to other leagues in Europe and South America (some of the only teams in the world that pay players more than their worth in MLS) but the teams really don’t do all that well in those deals unless the player someday comes back to play in MLS. The whole system is a mess and now this development is needed because they have an unbalanced number of non starting players with no where to go. The problem is compounded because they are also at the same time trying to keep any other league (NASL) from signing any new young players.

    Just like many other parts of current American culture some might just be a little to greedy for their own good at the moment.

    Kinda reminds me of Homer Simpson at the buffet table…


  • Catamount

    The Galaxy have used their development system and the reserve league very effectively. All the young players get the playing time they need and when the youngsters are inserted into the first team, they do very well. Perhaps the MLS has already put in place the system necessary for youth development. Maybe it is the clubs that are falling short.

    The Galaxy have invested a great deal of time and resources into their development system. RSL has done the same. This “loan deal” strikes me as a concession to the clubs and owners who haven’t committed themselves to a quality development program. Perhaps it is a step backward in youth development. Interesting that none of the young Galaxy players are mentioned as benefitting from the loan program. If the Galaxy use this at all, I think it will be for older players (23-24) that haven’t been able to crack the lineup and can’t play for the U-20 team.


Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer