If you take Don Garber at his word, Seattle and Toronto are the only two MLS clubs currently making a profit. I think however that this “profit” does not include the revenue each club generates from “Soccer United Marketing” , the league entity that promotes non MLS soccer events in North America and is owned equally by all MLS clubs. Seattle and TFC may be the only clubs generating profit from game day and broadcast revenues but I think the overall health of the league from a financial perspective is perhaps a little better than Donny Boy is letting on.

With the strike averted and labour peace now set for five years, last week Garber floated a trial balloon about allowing a second Designated Player (with the unfortunately dirty acronym of DP) per MLS squad. And a lot of Toronto fans appear to be excited about this as a way for the club to finally get a handle on our striker problem (you know… the fact that we essentially don’t have one).

Garber apparently wants this to happen and he needs to get the approval of team owners in order to push it through. Most MLS clubs do not even use one DP, let alone two, and it remains unclear if the “smaller market” clubs will go along with this or not.

Will TFC go for it??

The other question specifically from a TFC perspective is how the second DP will be integrated into the salary cap structure of MLS. Right now you can pay a Designated player anything you wish but the first 400k counts against the salary cap. If we are allowed to sign a second will there be the same hit against the cap or not?

I would submit that if the same salary rules apply for a second DP as they do the first DP roster slot then not only will TFC not be able to afford it under the cap, I think they should NOT DO IT. Our salary cap situation is so out of whack at this point that taking yet another huge chunk out of it to accommodate some star striker will mean that the striker will not have enough players of any quality to get him the ball.

Unless the second DP has no impact on our salary cap situation now then I think the “Raul spotted in Yorkville” and “Ruud Van Nistelroy spotted house-hunting in Rosedale” rumours will be only that… rumours.


  1. Interesting to see Garber going for this. Although some of the smaller markets won’t be able to afford a DP salary (regardless of how what the eventual cap hit would be) I would wager that Garber sees this as a way for the ‘richer’ clubs to bring in some bigger names in hopes of pushing up attendance for their road games (see LA Galaxy/David Beckham). This would in turn put a few more dollars in the pockets of the small market franchises. And since adding a DP in the first place does not necessarily equal on field success in this league, it shouldn’t (in theory) affect the competitiveness of these smaller market teams.

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