Major League Soccer

Report: MLS to significantly increase targeted allocation money per team


Good news for MLS teams looking to add to their roster this offseason as the league is set to announce a massive increase to the targeted allocation money given to each team.

MLS is expected to announce an increase of $8.8 million dollars in targeted allocation money over what had previously been budgeted for 2017, Sports Illustrated reports. The increase breaks down to a boost of roughly $400,000 per team to bring each team’s total to around $1.2 million dollars in TAM. The resource helps teams add or retain players that would otherwise have their salaries rise above the DP threshold.

Recent recipients of TAM include LA Galaxy defended Jelle Van Damme, Columbus Crew forward Ola Kamara, D.C. United midfielder Luciano Acosta, as well as New York Red Bulls forward and MLS golden boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips. The rule was introduced with the intent on building the top-level talent of MLS rosters outside of the three allowed DP slots.

The rise in TAM could allow players to buy down current DPs to allow for new signings of that caliber, or used to sign new players while keeping those signings below the DP cap themselves. This is particularly useful for teams with players on the fringe of DP status as it could potentially lead to massive new DP signings.

Players that could be affected include names such as the Chicago Fire’s David Accam, the Columbus Crew’s Federico Higuain, the Montreal Impact’s Laurent Ciman, and the Portland Timbers’ Fanendo Adi and Lucas Melano, as well as others who’s base salaries sit just above the league’s DP threshold.

What do you think of the increase in TAM available? Are there any moves you’d like to see your team make with the additional funds?

Share your thoughts below.

  • stephen healy

    good move MLS now my Fire need to use this as well as their GAM to improve the team


    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

      Keep the faith Stephen H.

      Don’t let it get you down that you are the only one with faith.


  • Beto

    more the better. my question is if all the contracts are with the central office why dont they just raise the salary cap?


    • quozzel

      TAM is, well, a more useful tool for targeted purchases, and it’s designed with low-level DP’s in mind. The idea with TAM is, OK, you’re a low-level DP making, say, $700K…now, with TAM, we’re going to pay your annual contract down to below whatever the DP threshold is, and hey, you no longer count as a DP.

      That in turn frees your team to go out and buy another DP.

      The whole point is, it gives teams that want to spend another tool with which to do so, while giving teams that need to control costs another asset they can trade or sell. Because TAM can be traded or sold outright like any other commodity, so if a team doesn’t care to spend, you can sell that TAM for actual hard cash with which you can then pay your bills, which makes it a useful commodity for small-market teams, or if you need players you can trade for future draft picks.

      I like the idea because it’s a much more flexible commodity than just adding dollars into the salary cap. Because all that would happen then is, you’d see existing players just get paid more. Granted, that needs to happen at some point – the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ in MLS locker rooms is far too extreme and the guys at the bottom need some bumps up – but TAM encourages more $500K-to-$1 million DP signings in a way just raising the cap would not and really adds to the depth and quality of MLS rosters, which is exactly the point.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beto

        Good points. TAM is very useful in getting more midlevel dps – the players that make mls more exciting and competitive. And the tradability is interesting.

        I guess the dp/tam level players bring in the revenue that years later lead to increasing the cap.


    • bottlcaps

      Because it’s where the money come from. While the salary cap is funded now through TV rights and revenue streams that are fairly stable, the TAM money comes from other sources, from what I was told, the previous TAM money came from foreign TV rights. This revenue stream was not plugged , or a part of, the revenue stream only three years prior and it unexpectedly bigger than they thought. So it was plugged back into players salary pool, but because of the transient nature of the revenue (differing amount of years, differing amount of money) not as a standard salary pool amount, i.e., raising the cap, but in a more pointed yet temporary way. While the last three years have seen a good increase in this pool, it could also go down, depending on future contracts.

      What others seem to forget that as shareholders of SUM, the MLS owners get a substantial amount of off-MLS revenue,.e., revenue not from the MLS in the friendlies and other promotions that SUM does. As SUM even markets and co-produces Mexican friendlies, the owners and the MLS get a share of that money too. My contentions and looking at the operating costs of team, very few or maybe even NO teams lost money in the MLS last year, but because of accounting practices, the revenue from SUM did not go to the team, but to the owners. There was a percentage of money from the SUM pool earmarked for MLS and I be that money is funding a big portion of the TAM increase. Let’s not forget that the wildly successful Centenario, was co-promoted by SUM, so we are probably seeing some of that money going into the TAM.


    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

      Less risk. Very easy answer. It is an option, that can be revoked, rather than set in stone, needs to be negotiated.

      Plus from my view increased salary cap raises all player’s boats, which is good, but probably not that necessary for MLS. What is necessary for MLS is to compete with other leagues keeping a Perry Kitchen type. Not that they have to keep 100%, or him specifically, or they aren’t doing a great job so far, but that they can do well going forward. The league keeps improving in leaps and bounds, eventually money is a bigger and bigger part of that.


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