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MLS ‘Roster Profiles’ are positive step toward transparency

We can now see much more insight into how each team is using their roster.

Last Updated
2 min read

In a significant win for advocates of MLS roster transparency, the league released on Thursday a new feature they’re calling “Roster Profiles.” Essentially, the league is publishing roster statuses and contract lengths for every player in the league, giving fans their most significant insight into machinations.

Here’s how the Sounders’ roster now looks:

For Sounder at Heart subscribers, most of the Sounders information was already available through our “Estimated Salary-Cap Position” page. This does, however, confirm a few details. The two most notable are that Josh Atencio occupies a U22 Initiative spot and there are two open international roster spots, with Yeimar Gomez Andrade and Nathan both receiving their green cards earlier this year.

The one bit of previously unreported roster news is that Stuart Hawkins is apparently on a season-long loan to the Tacoma Defiance. Hawkins, who signed a MLS Homegrown contract last year, has been training almost exclusively with the Defiance this year and has not yet made a first-team gameday roster. That doesn’t entirely preclude Hawkins from playing for the first-team this year, but it would require a short-term loan.

More broadly, though, this is a massive step forward for a league that has a host of complicated roster rules. At least now, fans and amateur general managers can have significantly more informed opinions about what a team can and should do to improve.

One early example is on Sounder at Heart partner site Backheeled, who took a look at each team’s roster and made suggestions for what they can do over the summer. The Sounders, for instance, have the ability to add another U22 player and more than enough cap space to make such a signing.

Of course, this isn’t quite the Holy Grail that many of us have been seeking. No, that will come when MLS allows us to see how each team stacks up against the salary cap, including things like available Allocation Money and contract amounts. Until then, though, we’ll continue to do the best we can to give our readers that insight on our own.