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MLS unveils roster and player rules

NEW YORK – Fans can now follow every transaction made by their club in 2011 afer the league released of the full set of MLS player and roster rules on Friday.


The document outlines the current MLS roster structure and the mechanisms by which players can be acquired and released.

When it comes to incoming players, the newest feature of the player rules is the Re-Entry Draft, which was held for the first time in league history in December.

“One fundamental change from 2010 was the Re-Entry process,” MLS executive vice president of player relations and competition Todd Durbin told “It gave players increased rights, it gave teams new ways to build their rosters and it helped make the offseason significantly more interesting.”

Of the dozen methods that can be used to acquire a player, the new Home Grown player rules have left the biggest impact.

“It’s gone incredibly well and we are ahead of schedule in terms of the numbers of players that we are signing,” Durbin said. “Our teams continue to demonstrate a significant commitment to this initiative and I believe 10 to 15 years from now that the face of the league in terms of quality will forever be impacted by this initiative.”

The rules allow MLS teams to sign an unlimited number of home grown players to their rosters.

“You can build an entire roster of home grown players,” Durbin said. “Teams can sign an unlimited number of these players to their senior roster or the off-budget roster. That is up to the team.”

Other highlights of the rules include: a total of 144 international slots available to clubs league wide, a roster freeze date of Sept. 15 and the two international transfer windows (Jan. 21 through April 15 and July 15 through August 14).