Here are some of the key points of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Association, which were announced Monday.
TERM:  February 8, 2021 – January 31, 2028

MLS Player Compensation

  • An overview of player compensation for the new CBA follows below.
Year Salary Budget General Allocation Money Discretionary TAM Available Spend
on Roster*
2021 $4,900,000 $1,525,000 $2,800,000 $9,225,000
2022 $4,900,000 $1,625,000 $2,800,000 $9,325,000
2023 $5,210,000 $1,900,000 $2,720,000 $9,830,000
2024 $5,470,000 $2,585,000 $2,400,000 $10,455,000
2025 $5,950,000 $2,930,000 $2,225,000 $11,105,000
2026 $6,425,000 $3,280,000 $2,125,000 $11,830,000
2027 $7,068,000 $3,921,000 $2,025,000 $13,013,000
*Clubs have the opportunity to exceed these figures with spending on up to three Designated Players and up to three players through the League’s under-22 player initiative.
  • As was the case in the CBA agreed to in June, players also will share in the increased revenue generated by MLS’ new media agreements beginning in in 2023. MLS will increase player spending by an amount equal to 12.5 percent of the incremental media revenue, as defined in the CBA, in 2023 and 2024, increasing to 25 percent for the 2025, 2026 and 2027 seasons.  The League’s current local, national and international media rights partnerships expire at the end of 2022.
  • Team bonuses and 401(k) contributions will remain as agreed to in the previous CBA.
  • The Maximum Salary Budget Charge, the maximum a club can be charged for an individual player on the team’s salary budget, increases from $612,500 in 2021 to $883,438 in 2027.
Year Maximum Salary Budget Charge 
2021 $612,500
2022 $612,500
2023 $651,250
2024 $683,750
2025 $743,750
2026 $803,125
2027 $883,438
  • Minimum salaries for players on the senior roster increase from $81,375 in 2021 to $125,875 in 2027.
  • Minimum salaries for players on reserve roster increase from $63,547 in 2021 to $97,700 in 2024.
  • Clubs will continue to have the ability to sign up to three Designated Players.

Free Agency

  • Under the most recent CBA, to be eligible for free agency a player needed to be 24 years old and have five years of service in the league.  Beginning in 2026, the eligibility has been expanded to include players who are 24 years old with four years of service in the league.
  • For the 2026 and 2027 seasons only, the new CBA also has modifications to the increases in compensation that free agents can earn:
    • For players making the maximum salary budget charge or less, a free agent can sign a contract with another club with an initial salary of the greater of $25,000 above the maximum salary budget charge, or 20% above the player’s prior salary.
    • For players making between the maximum salary budget charge and the maximum targeted allocation money (TAM) amount, the player could earn 20% above the prior salary up to $500,000 above the maximum salary budget charge and 15% of such salary from $500,000 above the maximum salary up to the maximum TAM amount.