Targeted Allocation Money

The objective of Targeted Allocation Money is to allow Major League Soccer to continue to invest in player acquisition and retention.

What Is Targeted Allocation Money?

Targeted Allocation Money (hereinafter referred to as “TAM”) is a strategic investment that provides every team with increased resources to add, or retain players who will make an immediate impact on the pitch.

Through TAM, teams have the opportunity to strengthen the depth of their rosters with top domestic and international talent.

When Was TAM First Implemented?

TAM was first announced in 2015.

Who Has Authority To Approve TAM?

The Board of Governors of Major League Soccer approves the amount, which is set for each season.

Annual Allotments of TAM

2015 MLS season: each club received an allotment of $100,000 dollars of TAM.

2016 MLS season: each club received an allotment of $800,000 dollars of TAM.

2017 MLS season: each club received an allotment of $1.2 million dollars of TAM.

2018 MLS season: all 23 MLS teams to receive $1.2 million of TAM. MLS clubs were permitted to pull forward and use immediately the $1.2 million of TAM designated for 2019.

2019 MLS season: all 24 MLS teams to receive $1.2 million of TAM.

Discretionary TAM

MLS clubs also will have the flexibility to spend up to an additional $2.8 million of TAM, on a discretionary basis funded by the team, per year in both 2018 and 2019, to further enhance the quality of play across the league.

Regulations Concerning Use Of TAM

• The minimum salary budget hit for a player who is bought down with TAM is $150,000.

• Discretionary TAM cannot be traded.

• Targeted Allocation Money may be used to sign new or re-sign existing players whose salary and acquisition costs are more than the maximum salary budget charge but less than $1.5 million.

• Clubs may use up to $200,000 of their currently available Targeted Allocation Money to sign new Homegrown Players to their first MLS contract, subject to League review and approval.

• Targeted Allocation Money cannot be used on a Homegrown Player previously signed to MLS. 

• Targeted Allocation Money may be used to convert a current Designated Player to a non-Designated Player by buying down, on a prorated basis, his salary budget charge to at, or below, the maximum salary budget charge.  If Targeted Allocation Money is used to free up a Designated Player slot, the club must simultaneously sign a new Designated Player at an investment equal to or greater than the player he is replacing.

• Targeted Allocation Money and General Allocation Money cannot be used in combination when signing or re-signing a player, or when buying down the budget charge of a Designated Player.  

Note: While both TAM and GAM cannot be used in combination to sign a player, it is permissible for a club to use GAM to acquire the rights to a player whose MLS rights are owned by another MLS club, and subsequently use TAM to lower that player’s salary budget charge if they are successful in signing him. For an example of this read this article.

• Either Targeted Allocation Money or General Allocation Money may be used on a player in a single season, not both.

Link to Roster Regulations Guide on this site: 2018 MLS rules and regulations of rosters

What players have been signed using TAM?

Examples include impact players such as 2017 MLS Cup Finalist and Best XI selection Victor Vazquez of Toronto FC; 2016 MLS Cup hero, 2017 Cup Finalist and the man who helped put Panama through to the 2018 World Cup, Roman Torres of Seattle Sounders FC; Columbus Crew SC stars Ola Kamara and Wil Trapp, who led their side to the 2017 MLS Eastern Conference Championship game, and Houston Dynamo attacking winger Romell Quioto.

2018 Season:

As of the 2018 MLS Roster Freeze in mid-September, TAM had been used to sign 127 players. Additionally, 10 Homegrown Players have been signed or retained with TAM.

A complete list of players acquired or retained using Targeted Allocation Money during the 2018 season is available by Clicking Here. The list also reflects TAM players who signed following Roster Compliance on March 1, 2018. (denoted with an *)

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