Todd Durbin sat down with the media this afternoon (Eastern Time) to discuss some changes to the Designated Player rule and the recent acquisitions. He led off the chat saying that Eddie Johnson is going to return to MLS, which means he'll go through the Allocation Process. Interesting timing, with Chivas USA supposedly taking on Juan Pablo Angel and holding the top Allocation spot. It's hard to predict where exactly the returning striker will fall.
Then it came to the new DP rule, which deals with the salary cap hit young players have on MLS clubs. As I mentioned in my Fun With Charts post, a DP normally counts for $335, 000 against the budget, unless he's brought in midseason, at which point his budget hit is $167,500. That list bit will be important in a moment.
With the new DP rule, 20 and younger DP's will count for $150,000 against the Salary Cap. Players aged 21-23 will count for $200,000. The hope is this will encourage MLS clubs to consider young international stars as well as the old stars that we've seen so far.
Speaking of older international stars, Robbie Keane! His salary hit will be the $167,500 midseason DP, though next year he'll count for the full amount. When the Galaxy unload Juan Pablo Angel's salary, it should be an even swap so far as the budget is concerned.
How the transfer fee was handled also came up, and it was confirmed that the entire sum is considered when calculating a player's salary hit. So when you read reports that Keane is getting $9 million over 2 years, that includes whatever the Galaxy payed in transfer fees, which The Guardian reported at about 3.5 million pounds, or 5.7 million dollars. His salary is likely then in the 2 million dollar range for next year, with a million for this half year.
One important thing to note about the aforementioned DP rule change, is that it can't be used on players currently in MLS who are not DPs. The idea is that it's a discovery incentive. Which means if hypothetically MLS were to allow for four DPs next year, the Galaxy couldn't sign Juninho at a reduced rate.