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MLS weighing proposal to dramatically boost available TAM

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New Targeted Allocation Money would apparently be paid by each individual owner, similar to Designated Player budgets.

There could be more players like Victor Rodriguez coming to MLS.
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

There could be a rather large influx of Targeted Allocation Money available to the Seattle Sounders, and any other team willing to spend a bit more out of pocket. According to a report by FourFourTwo’s Paul Tenorio, MLS owners are weighing the possibility of making an additional $2 million in TAM available to be spent at each team’s discretion. This would bring the total TAM pool to $3.2 million per team.

Unlike the existing TAM, though, each owner would be responsible for the additional money, similar to how it is now with Designated Players. Although there’s obviously been no indication as to which owners would be inclined to use these discretionary funds, there’s every reason to think the Sounders would be among those interested.

Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey has already shown himself one of the bigger proponents of TAM, with three such players on the roster now (Roman Torres, Kelvin Leerdam and Victor Rodriguez). As recently as last week’s Sounders Annual Business Meeting, Lagerwey pointed out that one of the befits of the program was being able to sign three TAM players for the same salary-cap cost as one Designated Player.

Along with this money, the league is discussing the possibility of raising the ceiling at which a player is TAM eligible. Currently, that figure is $1 million — although there appears to be some wiggle room. The new proposal would set the cap at $1.5 million.

For a team like the Sounders, this proposal might not necessarily mean spending a ton more than they already do. Rather than spending $4 million on a player — as they’ve done in the past — the Sounders could choose to bring in a $2 million DP and spread the rest of that money to two additional $1 million-a-year players.

Either way, this proposal promises to add the kind of flexibility many around MLS have long been clamoring for.