Geoff Cameron, Kemar Lawrence and Fabian Castillo were all standout players in Major League Soccer in the early stages of their pro careers, and all three have now had the road to potential returns to MLS made much more clear.
Cameron, Lawrence and Castillo were all players who had their names on the MLS Allocation Ranking list, the list of former MLS players sold via transfer as well as U.S. Men’s National Team players, but changes in the recent Collective Bargain Agreement have led to all three former MLS standouts being eligible to have the free agent-type freedom to choose their next MLS destination if they choose to return to MLS.
All three players meet the new criteria for MLS free agency, which is being at least 24 years old with five years of MLS service time, and that has led to all three being part of a group of players who have had their names removed from the Allocation Rankings list, sources confirmed to SBI. This means they are free to join any team in MLS they want to (once an agreement is reached between their current teams and potential future MLS team).
That trio is also joined by former FC Dallas standout Mauro Diaz, who is currently with Argentinian side Estudiantes. Diaz, 29, spent six seasons with FC Dallas before leaving via transfer to the United Arab Emirates in 2018.
Cameron, 35, spent five seasons with the Houston Dynamo before joining Stoke City in a $2.7 million transfer in 2012. He has spent the past eight years playing in England, and is currently with League Championship side Queens Park Rangers.
Lawrence left MLS after the 2019, ending a five-year stint with the New York Red Bulls and forcing a move to Belgian side Anderlecht. The Jamaican left back would be an attractive target for any MLS team in need of an upgrade at left back, but while he is considered a free agent within MLS, a team would need to negotiate a transfer fee with Anderlecht to secure the 28-year-old’s services.
Castillo, 28, left MLS in 2016 after a transfer from FC Dallas to Turkish side Trabzonspor. The Colombia winger is currently with Club Tijuana, but has been linked to a return to MLS since 2019, and his free agent status within MLS could make a return easier for him.