Minnesota United FC received some future benefits, and a much-needed current asset, in return for its No. 1 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order.
The team announced a trade with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday and will receive $100,000 in general allocation money and $125,000 in targeted allocation money in 2018 as well as an international roster spot for this season.
The allocation order determines which club has the first crack at acquiring a player on the list. For Vancouver, that's Fredy Montero. United now drops to No. 4 in the order.
The international spot is an important one, as each team is allowed eight on the roster. But United previously traded to grab one more spot, and this trade now gives the Loons 10. Currently, I believe the players that will take up those international slots are goalkeeper John Alvbage; defenders Francisco Calvo and Vadim Demidov; midfielders Bernardo Anor, Ibson, Mo Saeid, Rasmus Schuller, Bashkim Kadrii and Johan Venegas; and forward Abu Danladi.
Those names are semi-subject to change, as United has until the end of February to be fully roster compliant, and it's possible the club helps some of these players earn green cards. (Anor told me he's hoping the club will help him get his.)
(Also of random note, midfielder/defender Thomas de Villardi told me he has dual-citizenship with France and the U.S. His grandmother on his father's side lived in Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Now, for the money. Let's do a brief run-down of the difference between general allocation money (GAM) and targeted allocation money (TAM), since those are phrases you'll hear a lot in Major League Soccer. Allocation money, in general, is used to sign players and also to allocate players' salaries so as not to exceed the league's salary cap.
Each MLS team gets GAM and TAM each year from the league, with extra going to expansion teams, non-playoff teams, CONCACAF champions league qualifying teams, teams who transferred a player outside MLS and teams without a third designated player.
GAM can be used to sign new players to MLS, re-sign MLS players, off-set acquisition costs like transfer and loan fees, extend a new MLS player's contract to the second year and reduce the salary budget charge of a DP by 50 percent or less.
TAM can be used to sign new players if the player's salary and acquisition cost is more than the maximum salary budget, to re-sign a player if he is earning more than the maximum salary budget and to convert a DP to a non-DP.
I'm going to let you all soak that in for awhile.