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What Does “Targeted Allocation Money” Mean for the Timbers?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

 

According to numerous reports, Major League Soccer is set to announce a new roster rule for all member teams, which could allow numerous teams, including Portland, to sign additional high-salary player(s). 

Under the existing rules, each MLS team is allowed to sign up to three “Designated Players,” each of whom only count somewhere between $200,000-$436,000 (depending on the player’s age) against the salary cap, no matter how high the player’s actual salary is.  This was originally known as the “David Beckham rule,” in reference to how the Los Angeles Galaxy were able to afford the multi-million dollar salary the Englishman commanded while still remaining under the MLS salary cap. 

Under the new initiative announced by MLS, each team will be allocated $100,000 per year for five years to reduce the salary cap charge of players making more than the current Designated Player threshold salary of $436,000 to below that amount, removing them from Designated Player status. This money can only be used in conjunction with a signing of a new Designated Player at a salary above that of the player he would be replacing. In addition, teams may advance part or all of the $500,000 total to buy down a higher salary, reducing or eliminating their allocations in future years. 

That’s some pretty dense contract legalese, so to illustrate: Diego Valeri currently carries a salary of $500,000 for the Timbers, and his status as a Designated Player means that his charge against the salary cap is $436,000. Portland could use this newly-announced money to lower Valeri’s charged salary from $500,000 to $400,000 – which would put him below the Designated Player threshold. Under MLS rules, Valeri’s salary now only counts $400,000 against Portland’s salary cap, which means that he would no longer be considered a Designated Player. The Timbers would then have an open Designated Player slot that they could sign another player into, so long as his salary was above Valeri’s original $500,000. 

The other player the Timbers could use this provision on is Fanendo Adi, who carries a salary of approximately $600,000. Portland could use this year’s $100,000 as well as advancing next year’s $100,000, bringing Adi’s salary cap charge down to $400,000 and removing his Designated Player status. It is important to note that this provision can only be utilized on one player per year, so Portland could not pay down both Adi and Valeri in the same season and bring in two new players. 

The league is already abuzz at how the new provision will be used to “make the rich richer” so to speak, as Los Angeles is reportedly already in advanced talks with Mexican international Giovani Dos Santos, who would be signed as a Designated Player after using this provision to buy down current DP Omar Gonzalez. In addition, northwest rivals Seattle and Vancouver would both be positioned to utilize the provision to add another impact player, should they so choose.

But this rule will undoubtedly be beneficial to the Timbers, should they utilize it. Portland is one of the few teams in MLS that could use this provision more than once (this year and next year), with the salaries of two Designated Players falling within the range of the provision. While it is extremely unlikely that Portland will bring in any ultra-high priced players along the lines of Clint Dempsey, Steven Gerrard, or Kaka, a very solid, impact player or two with a salary range of $1-2 million could be on their way to a Rose City near year you in the near future. For context, consider a couple of Cascadia rivals – Vancouver’s Pedro Morales and Seattle’s Obafemi Martins are both considered among the top attackers in all of MLS, and both carry a salary of $1,400,000 and $1,600,000 respectively.

If the Timbers are able to utilize the new initiative properly and if Merritt Paulson is willing to spend the money required to bring fresh talent to the Rose City, Portland could find themselves among the biggest beneficiaries of MLS’ new initiative. 

GoLocalPDX partner Oregon Sports News: Since 2011, Oregon Sports News has provided entertaining, hard-hitting local sports news & commentary every weekday. To read more from this author, check out Oregon Sports News by clicking here.

 

Related Slideshow: Oregon’s Most Devastating Sports Injuries

Here is GoLocalPDX's list of Oregon's most devastating injuries that have occured within the past 10 years.

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Greg Oden

Sept. 2007 — Micro fracture surgery on right knee

Dec. 2009 — Fractured left patella 

Nov. 2010 — Micro fracture surgery on left knee

Dec. 2011 — Arthroscopic surgery on right knee

Unfortunately, Trail Blazer fans everywhere already know how drafting Greg Oden over Kevin Durant worked out for their team. After being be the #1 selection in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden was never able to play a full season due to ongoing knee injuries. The team eventually waived him in March of 2012.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
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Dennis Dixon

Nov. 2007 — Torn left ACL

During the 2007 season Dixon had the Oregon Ducks as the #2 team in the country. That was until he suffered a torn ACL against Arizona State and attempted to play on it the following week against Arizona. After Dixon went down for the season the Ducks lost their remaining two regular season games. Fortunately, they were able to end their season on a high note with a victory over South Florida in the 2007 Sun Bowl.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
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Brandon Roy

Sept. 2008 — Cartilage removed from left knee

April 2010 — Meniscus tear in right knee

Jan. 2011 — Arthroscopic surgery on both knees

Brandon Roy is perhaps one of the most beloved Trail Blazers in the history of the franchise. After being drafted in 2006, and leading the team out of the "Jail-Blazer" era, he had to make the tough decision to retire at the young age of 28. His degenerative knees prevented Rip City from seeing their superstar ever play to his full potential.

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Jacquizz Rodgers

Nov. 2008 — Grade II separation of the acromioclavicular joint

During the second to last game in 2008 Jacquizz Rodgers suffered a separated shoulder that ended his season. Unfortunately, this meant that he wasn't able to play in the Civil War, which was perhaps the biggest game of the year for the Beavers. If the Beavers had been able to defeat the Ducks they would've been able to book their tickets to play in the Rose Bowl. Instead, they went to the Sun Bowl where they defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers.

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James Rodgers

Oct. 2009 — Torn left ACL

After participating in only 4 games during the 2009 season Rodgers went down with a torn ACL while playing against #9 Arizona. This couldn't have come at a worse time for Rodgers considering he was expected to have a breakout season. Rodgers, who was a senior at the time, was able to end his career at Oregon State as the career leader in all-purpose yards.

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Joel Pryzbilla

Dec. 2009 — Ruptured right patella tendon and dislocated patella

In December of 2009 the Trail Blazers' backup center, Joel Pryzbilla, was lost for the season with a ruptured and dislocated patella. This was a huge blow to the Trailblazers' frontcourt because they had already lost Oden for the season a few weeks before. Pryzbilla was also the team's defensive anchor who provided an inside presence. "The Vanilla Gorilla" was sorely missed for the rest of the year.

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LaMichael James

Oct. 2011 — Dislocated right elbow

The 2011 season couldn't have started any better for LaMichael James. After the first game James became Oregon's career rushing leader, surpassing Derek Loville. During the second game he rushed for over 200 yards against Missouri State. Unfortunately, James' year was slowed by a dislocated elbow suffered against Cal. Luckily for Duck fans he was able to return to end the season.

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Nate Costa

Nov. 2010 —Torn Right ACL

After suffering a multitude of knee injuries throughout his career at Oregon Costa was forced to officially retire from football after tearing his ACL for the third time in agame against Washington. Although Costa's career was hobbled by injuries many of his teammates looked to him as their leader. Oregon's coaching staff referred to Costa as the "heart and soul" of the 2010 team that won the Rose Bowl.

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Sean Mannion

Oct. 2012 — Torn Left Meniscus

During the beginning of the 2012-2013 season, Sean Mannion was enjoying one of his best as a Beaver. Unfortunately, he tore his left meniscus against Washington State that resulted in him missing around half the season. With Mannion leading the way the Beavers had the Pac-12's fourth rated offense, averaging 459.5 yeards per game. With Mannion sidelined Cody Vaz became the starting quarterback

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Marcus Mariota

Oct. 2013 — Partial MCL Tear

Marcus Mariota is widely regarded as one of the greatest Oregon Duck quarterbacks to ever play at Autzen. Unfortunately a knee injury hobbled his sophomore season. After Mariota suffered a partial MCL tear against UCLA he conintued to play the remainder of the season. With Mariota's knee not allowing him to be as mobile as he was accustomed to teams were able to take advantage. In the weeks following the injury the Ducks suffered losses to Stanford and Arizona. Duck fans everywhere would like to know what that season woud've loked like if Mariota had stayed healthy.

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CJ McCollum

Oct. 2013 — Broken fifth Metatarsal In Left Foot

After being taken 10th overall during the 2013 NBA Draft the shooting guard out of Lehigh wasn't able to start his career the way many had hoped. After breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot the rookie wasn't able to take the court until January of 2014. Before the injury McCollum was in consideration for playing time behind Lillard. 

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Alex Morgan

Oct. 2013 — Stress reaction in talus bone

During the 2013 season Morgan suffered an injury that doctors misdiagnosed as a mildly sprained ankle. After a few additional tests were performed it turned out that Morgan had suffered a far more serious injury. She actually suffered a stress reaction in the talus bone that put her immediate future with Team USA in question. After rehabbing for 7 months Morgan was able to make a full recovery.

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Bralon Addison

April 2014 — Torn left ACL

After exceeding expectations as a freshman and sophomore at the University of Oregon Addison was expecting big things from his junior year. Unfortunately, Addison suffered a torn ACL during last year's spring practice that kept him sidelined the entire year. Without Addison in the lineup the receiving core never lived up to their full potential. If he had been able to play this season the National Championship may have wielded a different outcome.

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Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

Dec. 2014 — Torn ACL

In preparation for the first ever college football playoffs Ekpre-Olomu ended up tearing his ACL during a routine practice. This was a huge blow to the Ducks considering Ekpre-Olomu was one of the team's better defenders. He was also one of the best corners in the country who many analysists expected to be selected as high as the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

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Wesley Matthews

March 2015 — Torn left achilles

Just 2 months before Matthews suffered a torn achilles he had become the Trailblazers' all-time leader in 3-point field goals made. It looked as though the Trailblazers were poised to make a deep playoff run. Things took a drastic turn when Matthews was lost for the season. With the team in a 0-2 hole against the Memphis Grizzlies it doesn't look as though they will be making it to the second round of the playoffs this year.

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