Saturday, November 11, 2006

Beckham rule approved; All 2007 MLS games to be on TV

Major League Soccer's Board of Governors has approved the so-called Beckham rule for the 2007 season.

The actual name is the Designated Player Rule and it will allow teams to bring in a high salary player with only $400,000 of their salary counting towards their $1.9 million salary cap. Each team will get one designated player allocation, which they can use or trade to other clubs. However, no team can have more then two designated players. Current players such as Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Carlos Ruiz (FC Dallas) and Eddie Johnson (Kansas City) will count as their team's designated player.

The passage of this rule means teams can now sign the big names that the rumor mill has turned out of late such as David Beckham. (Updated here)

Although this rule is new, the idea is not. Clubs have signed players in this manor before (with only a portion of the salary counting towards their cap), but the league had to come up with some creative reasoning behind it. Now every team has the same rights.

This rule will only last between the 2007-09 seasons.

This rule is no big surprise and of all the ways for it to be implemented, this is probably the best since it gives each team something. If a club can't get a top name player, they can still make some money by selling their allocation. Hopefully teams will use this to bring in players who will not just sell tickets but also up the play on the field. My guess is New York will be the first team to bring in someone new under this rule.

The governors also announced that, for the first time every, every single MLS match will be televised. This is all the information MLS gave, but it seems to suggest that either teams are no longer responsible to get their games on the air, meaning the league will now front the bill, or that all clubs are now required to air their games.

Next year's MLS Cup will take place on November 18th, but they did not announce a site (edit - the site will be DC).

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