Homegrown Player Short Definition:
A player who has been a member of a club’s youth academy for at least one year and has met the necessary training and retention requirements. Subject to details below.
Explanation of the Rule
The Homegrown Player Rule is a Major League Soccer program that allows MLS teams to sign local players from their own development academies directly to MLS first team rosters.
Prior to the existence of the rule in 2006, every player entering Major League Soccer would have to be assigned through one of the existing MLS player allocation processes, such as the MLS SuperDraft.
To be eligible as a Homegrown Player, the player must:
1) Reside in a team’s “Home Territory” and Participate in the club’s youth development system for at least one year prior to being added to the team’s Home grown Player List.
2) Players must be added to an MLS team’s Home grown Player List prior to entering a four-year college, but can maintain their Home grown Player status during college if registered before entering that institution.
3) Members of the U17, U20, and U23 U.S. National Teams cannot be added to an MLS team’s Home grown Player List, but a player already on a Home grown Player List can maintain that status if selected for a US National team at a later date.
4) Meet other unspecified league requirements.
How Many Homegrown Players Can A Club Sign?
There is no limit to the number of Homegrown Players a club can sign each year.
What Roster Spots Can Homegrown Players Occupy?
Homegrown Players may occupy a spot on the Senior, Supplemental, or Reserve Roster. Where they are placed on the roster can affect their salary budget charge.
Roster Spots 29 and 30 may only be occupied by Homegrown Players.
Salary Budget Charge Considerations
Players signed as Homegrowns who occupy a Supplemental (Roster Spots 21-24) or Reserve roster spot (Roster Spots 25-30) are not counted against the team’s salary budget.
Those who occupy a spot on a club’s Senior Roster (Roster Spots 1-20) do count against the club’s salary budget.
There is, however, supplementary salary budget made available by MLS only for homegrown players that are registered using senior roster slots called homegrown player funds.
Homegrown Player Subsidy / Income Limitations For Homegrowns on Supplemental or Reserve Roster
Homegrown Players on either the Supplemental Roster or the Reserve Roster may earn (including achievable bonuses) in aggregate each year up to US$125,000 above the Reserve Minimum Salary (US$54,500 in 2018) or the Senior Minimum Salary (US$67,500 in 2018).
Certain Restrictions Apply
If a Homegrown Player is initially added to a club’s Supplemental Roster or Reserve Roster and subsequently moved to the Senior Roster, he cannot be moved back to the Supplemental Roster or Reserve Roster except if he is earning either (i) the Senior Minimum Salary or (ii) Reserve Minimum Salary.