Major League Soccer has expanded the Designated Player rule (or "Beckham Rule") to allow teams two DPs with the option to have as many as three on their roster.
All 16 MLS squads can now sign two DPs with the ability to "purchase" a third slot for $250,000 that will be given in the form of allocation money to any club without three DPs. (We'll jokingly call this the "Thierry Henry Rule," since New York stands to gain the most from this change.) The teams will be charged $335,000 for each DP under contract (it used to be $415,000 per). If a player joins the club mid-season, the team's budget will be charged $167,500.
The slots are no longer tradeable. And, Landon Donovan now counts as a DP for the Galaxy. Which is beyond amazing.
The Wizards have not used their DP slot since Claudio Lopez in 2008.
The rules take effect immediately. If you want to read more details, of which there are many that would bore the average MLS fan, you can do so at the (now working)MLS Web site. Here are the current Designated Players:
- Juan Pablo Ángel, New York Red Bulls (2007 - )
- David Beckham, LA Galaxy (2007 - )
- Julian de Guzmán, Toronto FC (2009 - )
- Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy (2010 - )
- Luis Ángel Landín, Houston Dynamo (2009 - )
- Freddie Ljungberg (2009 - )