i know this makes MLS roster rules even MORE convoluted than they already are but this is a huge step in MLS' intention to be a selling league
- no limits on transfer/loan fees, salaries will be capped at the maximum salary budget charge ($612,500 in 2021). these u22 players will hit the cap at $150,000 or $200,000
- players must be younger than 23 at the end of their first season in the league to qualify. once signed, a player can maintain his status as U-22 signing until the season in which he turns 25
- teams will be allowed to sign either one or up to three players under the U-22 initiative, depending on the number and age of their current DPs.
- teams that have three DPs who are all over the age of 23 and ineligible to be bought off DP status with TAM will only be allowed to sign one player under the U-22 initiative; teams with at least one DP who is 23 or younger or one of any age who can be bought down with TAM will be able to sign up to three players under the U-22 initiative.
- essentially, clubs that are all-in on bringing in high-priced, older DPs won’t be able to take as much advantage of the U-22 initiative as clubs that have already sprinkled at least one younger or cheaper DP into the mix
- sources expect that current MLS players will be allowed to be grandfathered into the designation as long as they meet the qualifications for eligibility
- homegrown players and SuperDraft selections will be eligible for the U-22 tag