In recent years one of the major goals of MLS has been to bring home US Men’s National Team players who are playing in other leagues overseas. With the league pushing to bring their stars home, the allocation Order system was implemented, in part to give teams a fair shot at acquiring these players when they come back to the States.
The Allocation Order ranks MLS clubs on who has priority to acquire players on the Allocation Ranking List. This list is important because it is made up of chosen U.S. Men’s National Team players, youth U.S. National Team players, and former MLS players returning to the league after joining another league for a transfer fee above $500,000.
The order for clubs is the reverse order of the league standings at the end of each season. If an expansion club enters play that season they will receive the first position in the Allocation Order. Allocation Order does not carry over to the next season.
When a club uses their allocation ranking to add a player to the roster, they drop to the bottom of the rankings. Allocation Order can be traded, making it a valuable asset for General Manager’s trying to wheel and deal during transfer windows.