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What does the new roster rule change mean for Charlotte FC?

By Brian Maurer

Photo courtesy of Cisco's Art/TopBin90

Yesterday, Tom Bogert of The Athletic reported that MLS is expected to make a new roster rule change this summer. The plan is to decouple the Designated Player (DP) spots from the U-22 Initiative slots.

As things stand currently, teams who want to unlock all three U-22 Initiative slots have to make sure one of their DP signings is a Young Designated Player (23 or under), a DP under the Max-TAM Level salary (currently $1,683,750), or not have three DPs at all.

If MLS officially decouples the DP spots from the U-22 Initiative slots it won't matter what types of DPs are on rosters, they will be able to sign three DPs and three U-22 Initiatives regardless of status.

How does this roster rule change impact Charlotte FC?

For 2024, the roster rule change would not impact Charlotte FC's roster decisions. By signing Liel Abada to a YDP contract Charlotte has already unlocked their three U-22 Initiative slots. However, Abada turns 23 near the end of this season, making him a senior DP in 2025 since he turns 24 during that league year.

This rule change will give Charlotte extra negotiating power in the summer and winter window when they look to fill their final DP and U-22 Initiative slots, as they won't be beholden to finding a YDP to fill their final DP spot for the start of 2025.

While this change is nowhere near as significant as many fans and pundits around MLS want, it will open up the playbook for the Charlotte FC Front Office as they look to sign their third DP and third U-22 Initiative players.