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The MLS - Where Stars Go To End Their Career

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Major League Soccer (MLS) is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer). The league comprises 18 teams, of which 16 are in the U.S. and 2 in Canada. MLS represents the top tier of the American and Canadian soccer pyramids.

Major League Soccer was founded in 1993 as part of the United States' bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Unusual for a major sports league in Canada and the United States, MLS operates under a single-entity structure, where each team is owned and operated by the league. The first season took place in 1996 beginning with 10 teams. Seasons typically run from March to November, with each team scheduled to play 34 games in the 2011 regular season. Ten teams will compete in the 2011 postseason MLS Cup Playoffs culminating in the championship game, MLS Cup.

Competition format

Major League Soccer's regular season runs from March to October with its 18 teams playing 34 games in a double round-robin system in which each team both hosts and visits every other team once.

Teams are divided into the Eastern and Western Conference. Midway through the season, teams break for the annual All-Star Game, a friendly game between the league's finest players and a major club from a different league. At the end of the regular season, the team with the highest point total is awarded the Supporters' Shield. The regular season is followed by the 10-team MLS Cup Playoffs ending with the MLS Cup championship final.

MLS has three automatic berths in the CONCACAF Champions League for its American clubs with an additional spot available via the U.S. Open Cup; Canadian clubs can qualify for a single berth via the Canadian Championship. For the 2011–12 CONCACAF Champions League, the qualifying clubs are MLS Cup 2010 champion Colorado Rapids, Supporters' Shield winner Los Angeles Galaxy, MLS Cup runner-up FC Dallas, and 2010 U.S. Open Cup champion Seattle Sounders FC. Toronto FC also qualified as winner of the 2011 Canadian Championship.

MLS Cup 180px-Philip_F._Anschutz_Trophy.jpg

Teams

The 18 MLS clubs are equally divided among the Eastern and Western Conference. Each club is allowed up to 30 players on its first team roster. All 30 players are eligible for selection to each 18-player game-day squad during the regular season and playoffs.

Before its maiden season and inaugural draft, MLS allocated four marquee players across the initial ten teams. These inaugural allocations consisted of key U.S. national team and international players such as Eric Wynalda and Hugo Sánchez. By the 1998 season, the league added its first two expansion teams while the 2000 season saw the league reorganize from two conferences into three divisions: the Eastern, Western, and Central Division.

However, following the 2001 season, MLS contracted its two Florida franchises and returned to ten teams in two conferences. The league waited three more seasons before it continued its growth. Since the 2005 season, MLS has expanded by eight new clubs. This period of expansion saw Los Angeles become the first two-team market, the league's push into Canada, a renewed interest in NASL-era names, and a growing national presence. Expansion continues in 2012 when the Montreal Impact join MLS as the 19th team.[42] League executives are currently entertaining expansion offers for a 20th team in the near future.[43]

As of 2010, MLS has seen eighteen different clubs over the years with nine having won at least one MLS Cup, and eight winning at least one Supporters' Shield. Of the league's fifteen seasons, only five have seen the same club win both the Supporters' Shield and the MLS Cup.

Eastern Conference

Chicago Fire

Columbus Crew

D.C United

Houston Dynamo

New England Revolution

New York Redbulls

Phillidelphia Union

Sporting Kansas City

Toronto FC

Western Conference

C.D. Chivas U.S.A

Colorado Rapids

FC Dallas

Los Angeles Galaxy

Portland Timbers

Real Salt Lake

San Jose Earthquakes

Seattle Sounders

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

The eastern conference is the most competitive with the western having two dominante forces of LA and Seattle with some tough away trips to Chivas and Dallas but a good chance to build a squad and string some play-off appearances together.

The Contracts

The Designated Player Rule, nicknamed the Beckham Rule, was adopted as part of the salary cap regulations of Major League Soccer for the 2007 season. The rule allows each MLS franchise to sign players that would be considered outside of the team's salary cap, allowing MLS teams to compete for star players in the international soccer market.

The 2010 changes:

The rule has no expiration date.

For each Designated Player, $335,000 of his salary is charged to the salary cap and paid by the league, with any remaining salary being paid by the team's owner.

This amount is halved for Designated Players signed in the middle of the season.

The salary cap value of Designated Players can also be reduced using allocation money.

Finally, teams whose Designated Players transfer abroad in the middle of a season can recoup part of the Designated Players' salary cap value.

Landon Donovan is no longer grandfathered into the rule and must be considered a Designated Player.

Each team is allowed two Designated Player spots, and they can no longer trade their Designated Player spots. The New York Red Bulls will receive $70,000 in allocation money in return for the nullification of their 2007 trade with Chivas USA for an additional Designated Player spot. This means that both New York and Chivas USA will have two Designated Player spots for the 2010 season.

Teams can pay a $250,000 "luxury tax" for the right to sign a third Designated Player. This $250,000 would be distributed equally to all MLS teams that have not signed a third Designated Player in the form of allocation money.

Current Designated Players

Year Signed Player Current club 2011 Guaranteed Compensation

2007 - David Beckham - Los Angeles Galaxy - $6,500,000

2007 - Juan Pablo Ángel - Chivas USA - $1,250,000

2009 - Julian de Guzman - Toronto FC - $1,910,746

2010 - Landon Donovan - Los Angeles Galaxy - $2,300,000

2010 - Branko Bošković - D.C. United - $525,367

2010 - Thierry Henry - New York Red Bulls - $5,600,000

2010 - Álvaro Fernández - Seattle Sounders FC - $366,667

2010 - Rafael Márquez - New York Red Bulls - $4,600,000

2010 - Omar Bravo - Sporting Kansas City - $170,000

2010 - Álvaro Saborío - Real Salt Lake - $305,625

2010 - Fredy Montero - Seattle Sounders FC - $636,000

2011 - Eric Hassli - Vancouver Whitecaps FC - $900,000

2011 - David Ferreira - FC Dallas - $705,000

2011 - Andrés Mendoza - Columbus Crew - $595,000

2011 - Fabián Castillo - FC Dallas - $42,000

2011 - Diego Chará - Portland Timbers - $143,758

2011 - Torsten Frings - Toronto FC - $1,113,662

2011 - Danny Koevermans - Toronto FC - $1,413,319

2011 - Mustapha Jarju - Vancouver Whitecaps FC - $426,883

2011 - Rost - New York Red Bulls - $545,460

2011 - Jéferson - Sporting Kansas City - $484,996

2011 - Milton Caraglio - New England Revolution - $54,000

2011 - Robbie Keane - Los Angeles Galaxy - $3,417,243

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Senior Contracts

These are your bog standard full-time professional contracts. They are hard capped by the league at how much you may offer a player p/wk at $5,750 [£3,580 or €4,214]. Any player can sign this kind of contract, but obviously it will be hard to offer this kind of contract to a large reputation player.

Generation Adidas

These are the future superstars. In real life they are college underclassmen, not yet in their final year of college but good enough to warrant a high draft pick. These players are highly sought after because their contracts do not count towards your salary cap. Thus you can register a lot of them and remain in the positive for your weekly wages. You cannot offer GA contracts to Free Agents. The players who get this GA label can be found in the MLS SuperDraft at the end of the season and usually go in the top 5-8 picks. However, there are many players in the game on MLS teams that are on GA contracts so you can exchange players, draft picks, allocation funds, or International roster spots for them. The down side is that at age 23 these contracts run up and they must be offered a Senior contract at that time.

Drafts

There are two drafts throughout the MLS season, the SuperDraft and the Waiver Draft.

Waiver Draft

this is where any player who is not registered as of July 1st, or so, is put into a pool and each team gets to pick from then. This is a two round draft with the order based on the standings from the previous season. You can participate in this or elect not to, however if you pass on your first round pick you cannot select a player in the second round. This also comes without the luxury of being able to scout the players before the draft so it may help if you have a decent background on players in the MLS. Players picked in this draft must be given a contract with their new club, so if you pick someone make sure you have room for them otherwise they just sit on your bench and can cause disharmony.

MLS SuperDraft

This is the end of the year draft where teams can pick players from the regen pool, and from the unattached current USA players, i.e. Vincenzo Bernardo, Matthew Luzuranis, or Omar Salgado (the 1st overall pick in this past January’s SuperDraft). Prior to the Draft you can scout the players in the pool by attending the pre-draft Combine [think trial squads in Europe]. Here you can scout players on each team and get a feel of who could be a star, and who is overvalued. This is a 4 round draft where the team with the fewest points from the recently ended season gets to pick first and the reigning MLS Champion picks last. (Remember you could theoretically finish 8th overall and pick 16th in the SuperDraft) Teams have the right to exchange draft picks for players throughout the season and in the weeks before the SuperDraft, so if you can get draft picks it may be helpful. A decent strategy is to scout the players who are GA, remember they don’t count towards your salary, and try to get them in the first 2 rounds, they usually don’t last past then.

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Started a journeyman career that has started at the extremley poor Sporting Kansas City, who were in a dire state when i took over, but through solid draft picks and the free agent market including the cou of Eddie Gaven and Landon Rickets i was able to build up a fairly strong squad, then i used the key area of every side the designated player spot, I already had Jeferson on loan from Vasco a top top player and i used the last spot to acquire Mate Dugandzic, an australian from Melbourne Heart FC who i cannot recommend highly enough, playing in the Poacher position. i now lie 1st in the eastern conference with 20 played and 6 points clear.

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I am so glad to see my hometown Dynamo getting so much love! I may run through a save with them soon as an alternate to my Athletic Club save.

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I am so glad to see my hometown Dynamo getting so much love! I may run through a save with them soon as an alternate to my Athletic Club save.

Niceeeee i liked Houston since the day they came into the MLS, and because of Kineear and Holden :)

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Nice introduction to the MLS mate and glad you explained the contract & squad situation a bit more over there :thup:

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This might not be the ideal place to ask, but it does relate to the MLS to an extent, so I would rather ask here than start a new thread...

Hoping to get through some decent Canadian players in one of my games, I started the game with the MLS playable and all players from both the US and Canada loaded. Some of the small amateur clubs throughout the US and Canada got some first-day regens and a few were quite immense. Quite a few of them seemed to be from African nations, which I found odd. One 17 year old American DC got a 4.5 star grade from my scout. There is no option to make offers or try to sign these players, so I assume its because they would have to be drafted into the MLS, and then could be purchased from the club that drafts them? Would that be correct?

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You can sign anyone from outside America/Canada, are these players maybe greyed out which means u cant sign them just scout?

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Apologies, I should have been more clear. I'm not playing as an MLS club, but as a European club. The players are not ghost/grey players, but newgens the game created at the very start. I actually found them using FMRTE and searching for regens. The DC is at a club called "Brooklyn Knights" or something similar. He has a CA of 110 and PA of 198 and has the perfect stats for a young DC. He could pretty much walk into most sides and start. The game allowed me to scout him, but the buttons to buy or sign (if he's not on a pro contract) just don't appear.

I assumed he would have to go through the draft before I could bring him over and that was why no buttons appeared to try to buy the kid...?

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its the american league system they have a lot of laws protecting their own talent being 'poached' by european teams, i dont think they can move abroad until they are 21, making them 'draft eligible' at which point yeah you will have to purchase from their new MLS club

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its the american league system they have a lot of laws protecting their own talent being 'poached' by european teams, i dont think they can move abroad until they are 21, making them 'draft eligible' at which point yeah you will have to purchase from their new MLS club

Not really true. For one, many of the better American prospects often opt to go to European clubs instead of making themselves eligible for the MLS draft (i.e. Stuart Holden, who went with Sunderland before returning to America; and Charlie Davies). Then you also need to remember players like Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore have left well before turning 21.

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I would like to manage in the MLS but maaaannn have you seen the rules? Too much thinking involved for my liking

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Not really true. For one, many of the better American prospects often opt to go to European clubs instead of making themselves eligible for the MLS draft (i.e. Stuart Holden, who went with Sunderland before returning to America; and Charlie Davies). Then you also need to remember players like Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore have left well before turning 21.

They don have to be 'be drafted' they have to be of age, in the case of Freddy Adu he was drafted number 1 overall by D.C United in 2004

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I would like to manage in the MLS but maaaannn have you seen the rules? Too much thinking involved for my liking

There are a few rules but not too many, its just the salary cap, after 1 season its like 2nd nature

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There are a few rules but not too many, its just the salary cap, after 1 season its like 2nd nature

it worth starting a save then? and what is this salary cap in simple terms, the OP went right over my head

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yeah they are top saves, because any team can be turned around in one off-season. Pretty simple every side has around $34k a week to spend on wages, however supserstar players beckham, henry etc, only count at as $4k to the salary cap rather than their $120k a week real salary, plus young stars with a GA tag, dont cost anything towards the cap

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Thanks for the explanations! I have the MLS loaded and hope to end up there in a couple of seasons, sounds like a typical American "anyone can win, we love the underdog" type of league. Found some really great players there already in my current save (Mainly Colombians?)

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yeah they are top saves, because any team can be turned around in one off-season. Pretty simple every side has around $34k a week to spend on wages, however supserstar players beckham, henry etc, only count at as $4k to the salary cap rather than their $120k a week real salary, plus young stars with a GA tag, dont cost anything towards the cap

That is relatively easy to understand when put like that. How easy it to sign world class players though? I presume they need to be pretty old.

I may do same as previous post and end up in MLS

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usually the superstars come under the DP, likes of Marquez,Henry,Beckham,Keane, use the designated player to sign a player who u think will go to USA.

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is there like a specific option to sign a player as a DP? Sorry about all the questions im just interested in the MLS :p

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yes there is, if the playerss reputation warrants it, you can send your assistant to find designated players that the club deems would be viable, in FM2012 the biggest coup ive got is gareth barry

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wow, barry is **** IRL but i'm sure in MLS he would be class. How much did you pay for him transfer wise? or do they just come at end of contracts

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I always play a MLS save with the team i support Sporting KC AKA Kansas City Wizards i love playing that save because it means something to me. I don't know if they kept the league rep in fm2012 yet because i haven't started my saves but if they did in about 10 seasons played your league rep will be at the same level as the epl liga and serie A .

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About to start a journeyman save- my first club will be Houston.

[video=youtube;GIgDTTMFIM0]

Man u looking forward to the playoffs? a few months ago i was calling for Kinnears head due to away form, but wow how things have changed over the months, a new stadium soon aswell.

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Man u looking forward to the playoffs? a few months ago i was calling for Kinnears head due to away form, but wow how things have changed over the months, a new stadium soon aswell.

Oh yeah I am, and I am pumped about the new stadium- too bad I don't live in Houston anymore :(

Kinnear is the man.

The Dynamo and Artmedia Petrzalka in Slovakia are the only professional soccer teams whose stadiums I have been to games at.

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Would love to travel over to Houston maybe one day :), a real real chance of actually winning the MLS on this form, Adam Moffat i just love the lad :D. And kool are Artmedia in the Slovakian main league?

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Would love to travel over to Houston maybe one day :), a real real chance of actually winning the MLS on this form, Adam Moffat i just love the lad :D. And kool are Artmedia in the Slovakian main league?

They were- they got relegated the year after I was there :lol:

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Youve convinced me to start a MLS game after my current save. Great info in the OP - thanks

Same :) depending when this current save ends, going to be a long one me thinks :/

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Amazingly complicated. Why can't Americans have simple rules? And it's quite ironic that the gods of capitalism and liberal economy put salary caps on their sports teams..

Whatever, great thread. Thanks so much!

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hahaa, cheers lads :) if you need any help with your saves just ask i know a bit on what can help in the league, may do a run down of each team in the OP, good to see theres some support for the MLS is great on FM after a few years where you get old 'stars' picked up for free who were decent PL players but can really help your MLS side e.g. darron gibson haha

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Just got Materazzi in for Colorado can't wait to get the season started. Any suggestions on who else to sign as a DP? Could do with a central midfielder preferably, was going to bring in Lucho Figueroa but I'm quite spoilt in the attacking department what with Casey, Cummings and Folan seriously debating playing 4-3-3

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i quality signing is to try and trade for de guzman, there wont be much talent in the first draft, so id trafe a 1st in the super and 2nd in the supplemental for de guzman and maybe a cbit of allocation

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Brought in a lot of project players with many draft picks this year, after having the rookie of the year last year I'm hoping there are some gems through the draft. Due to this I've given up a kings ransom to bring in a few star players from the MLS who fit into the system and know the league, gave up a 1st in the super and sup for fredy montero with 3rd rounders in both as well. Also brought in Julian de Guzman and a.j soares barley any draft picks but a chance for continental glory and a few project lads

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Amazingly complicated. Why can't Americans have simple rules? And it's quite ironic that the gods of capitalism and liberal economy put salary caps on their sports teams..

Whatever, great thread. Thanks so much!

Salary caps, collective bargaining, high draft picks to lower-placed teams...

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The MLS is fun to manage in. I was contemplating starting my new game in the MLS, but decided against it. This thread makes me curious to see how it is in FM12. Just think of the golden oldies you could sign!

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Great thread Ollie lad,

I decided to have a go with New York. Don't really know what i am doing, but finding playing Henry in a Messi type role is working really well,

Looking forward to getting to the end of season to see what happens with all these useless players i am stuck with...

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Great thread Ollie lad,

I decided to have a go with New York. Don't really know what i am doing, but finding playing Henry in a Messi type role is working really well,

Looking forward to getting to the end of season to see what happens with all these useless players i am stuck with...

cheers mate, youre not 'the' dale Jennings are you? haha yeah the end of the seaso is good cos you can completley re-shape your squad so easily, i like New York, Henry is far too good for the league so you HAVE to get some continental success in the first two years as to build a reputaion to be able to bring in a quality replacement.

oh and everyone BUY MATE DUGANDZIC

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cheers mate, youre not 'the' dale Jennings are you? haha yeah the end of the seaso is good cos you can completley re-shape your squad so easily, i like New York, Henry is far too good for the league so you HAVE to get some continental success in the first two years as to build a reputaion to be able to bring in a quality replacement.

oh and everyone BUY MATE DUGANDZIC

Lol nah not the real Jennings, just a Tranmere fan, so hold him in high regard.

Yer, deffo thinking that continental sucess is a must. Looking forward to Frank Rost leaving at the end of season also, so can get another high profile in, Is there many quality youngsters i would be able to get to sign a 5 year contract? As i say, not so sure about how it works with these marque players etc...Looking forward to finding out tho.

Will check out this Mate Dugandzic too!

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dam this thread is dead lol last post is 11-1-11 gonna start my save and compile a list of players that you can get.

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