TAM Increase

MLS Increases Investment in Player Acquisition and Retention

NEW YORK (December 9, 2016) – Major League Soccer today announced that all 22 MLS clubs will receive a total of $1.2 million of Targeted Allocation Money in 2017, an increase of $400,000 per club from the previously announced $800,000 for the year.
In December of 2015, MLS announced that $800,000 of Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) would be made available to the clubs in 2016 and another $800,00 in 2017. With the additional funds announced today, the Targeted Allocation Money investment across 2016 and 2017 increased from $33.6 million to $42.4 million.
Introduced in 2015, Targeted Allocation Money is a strategic investment that provides every team with increased resources to add, or retain, players that will make an immediate impact on the field. To date MLS has committed a total of $53 million of Targeted Allocation Money for clubs to sign players earning at least the maximum salary budget charge (2017: $480,625), but less than $1 million.
Through the increased investment, teams have signed international impact players such as 2016 Newcomer of the Year candidates Jelle Van Damme (LA Galaxy) and Ola Kamara (Columbus Crew SC) as well as retain current talent such as 2016 Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright Phillips (New York Red Bulls). 

Soccer Smart: Understanding Targeted Allocation Money

The additional Targeted Allocation Money must be committed within four transfer windows. As such, the 2017 TAM funds must be applied prior to the conclusion of the 2018 Secondary Transfer Window. The use of the initial $500,000 of Targeted Allocation Money announced in 2015, which expires in 2019, will still follow the guidelines and timeline set forth in the CBA, outlined here.
In addition to the $1.2 million, expansion clubs Atlanta United and Minnesota United FC will receive an additional $300,000 of Targeted Allocation Money they are due proportionally from that initial $500,000 investment in each MLS club.
Additional terms of the increase in Targeted Allocation Money include:


  • Clubs may use a portion of or all of the available Targeted Allocation Money to convert a Designated Player to a non-Designated Player by buying down his salary budget charge to at or below the maximum salary budget charge. If converted during the Secondary Transfer Window, the Designated Player may earn at maximum $1.5 million on a prorated basis. 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.
  • Clubs retain the flexibility to convert players bought down with Targeted Allocation Money into Designated Players if they have a free Designated Player slot.
  • Targeted Allocation Money and General Allocation Money may not be used in combination when signing or re-signing a player, or when buying down the budget charge of a Designated Player. Either Targeted Allocation Money or General Allocation Money may be used on a player in a single season, not both.
  • A Player must earn more than $480,625 per year (2017 maximum budget charge) to qualify for Targeted Allocation Money. The compensation ceiling for such players is set at $1,000,000 per year, unless amounts are applied midseason to buy down the budget charge of an existing Designated Player. 
  • The minimum budget charge for a player compensated with Targeted Allocation Money is $150,000.

September 11, 2020: Major League Soccer has announced the 2020 regular season schedule through the end of September. From September 18-27, each MLS club will compete in three regular season matches. Additional 2020 MLS regular season matches will be announced pending further developments regarding travel protocols. Attendance at matches will be determined in accordance with applicable state and local guidelines.