Early today it was reported that sources inside Major League Soccer have confirmed that Giovani dos Santos has signed with the LA Galaxy.
While the buzz around the possibility of this move being made has refused to settle over the last few weeks, a major stumbling block on the way to believing it was possible was the state of the current MLS roster rules. However, the league announced today that a new mechanism would go into effect, allowing teams added flexibility in their personnel related decisions.
Today, Major League Soccer announced that clubs will be given $500,000 in "targeted allocation money" to spend on players in addition to their $3.49 million salary budget. This paves the way for clubs to add more high-earning players, play around with low-end Designated Player contracts, or build depth with a few solid players who aren't necessarily DP level earners.
While not exactly the fourth DP rule, or "Core Player" rule that just about everyone was expecting, this mechanism does add a good amount of flexibility to a club's decision making process regarding new personnel.
Perhaps even better than a designated "Core Player" spot, this new mechanism allows teams to buy down low-end DP contracts with a greater effect than before, which could free up a DP slot for plenty of clubs should they choose to use the money that way.
Major League Soccer has added $10 million to the player pool, meaning that the rule goes into effect immediately. Now that the transfer window is open for MLS clubs, front offices around the league have some big decisions to make in terms of their current personnel as well as any new additions they could now be freed to make by way of the new rule.
If a club chooses not to use the money this year, they have to either use it next year or trade it. That's right, it's tradeable. And what MLS team couldn't use an extra $500k to spend on players? Remember how Adrian Heath talked about how he'd like to see Dom Dwyer playing for Orlando City SC? It probably isn't imminent, but it sure doesn't seem so far fetched anymore.
As far as it relates to the LA Galaxy, well, this rule might as well have been made for them. Actually, since this is Major League Soccer, it might really have been made for them.
What it does is allow the Galaxy to put that $500k against the contract of Omar Gonzalez. The Galaxy will most likely then have to trade for around $100k more to buy Omar out of the DP range, freeing up a slot for Gio.