With the flurry of moves by the Vancouver Whitecaps over the last 24 hours, and honestly, over this off-season, you might be wonder what the Whitecaps roster situation currently looks like. We are here to break it all down for you.
First, let’s start with the MLS Roster Rules. The club has 30 roster positions which they can fill. However, some of those positions have certain requirements. Roster positions 1-20 are considered the ‘senior’ roster. These players count towards the $4,035,000 salary cap.
Roster positions 21-24 are called ‘supplemental’. These salaries are ‘off-budget’, meaning they do not count towards the salary cap. Let’s put the most expensive players there you say? Sorry, can’t do that. These slots must meet the following requirement
“filled with (i) Senior Minimum Salary Budget Charge Players (US$67,500 in 2018) which may include Homegrown Players, (ii) Generation Adidas Players, or (iii) any specifically designated players eligible for the MLS SuperDraft, or (iv) Homegrown Players earning more than the Senior Minimum Salary subject to the Homegrown Player Subsidy.”
Also, “all Generation Adidas players are automatically Supplemental Roster players, until they graduate from the program.”
Who Fills the Supplemental Roster slots on the Whitecaps?
Honestly, we do not know. However, last season, they were filled by Brett Levis, Stefan Marinovic, Jake Nerwinski, and Mauro Rosales. I suspect that Marinovic, and possibly Nerwinski, are no longer on the supplemental. My guess for the four? Brian Rowe, Brett Levis, Myer Bevan, and, maybe, Sean Franklin. Regardless, it is safe to say they are using all four.
Roster positions 25-30 are called ‘reserve’. Again, these players do not count towards the four million plus salary cap. Which players can occupy these positions? Well, the MLS Roster Rules states the following:
- Players occupying roster slots 25-28 may be filled with players earning either (i) the Reserve Minimum Salary (US$54,500 in 2018) or (ii) Homegrown Players earning more than the Reserve Minimum Salary subject to the Homegrown Player Subsidy.
- Reserve Minimum Salary Players must be 24 years or younger during the League Year (age of player is determined by year - not date - of birth).
- These slots may not be filled with Senior Minimum Salary Players or Generation adidas Players.
All players in slots 25-28 must be paid a base salary that is at least the Reserve Minimum Salary (US$54,500).
Players occupy slots 29 and 30 follow the above rules, but must be Homegrown players. This is where David Norman Jr. probably is located. Also in the ‘reserve’ pool is Alphonso Davies and Russell Teibert. Needless to say, the Caps are actually making good use of the reserve roster rule.
Okay, What About the Senior Roster?
Let’s get down to the ‘important’ information: the senior roster. First, each team can have a maximum of three designated players. I could get into the details of that, and buying them down, but I will not for now. Currently, the Whitecaps have two designated players: Kei Kamara and Brek Shea. Yes, Shea still counts as one, because of the following requirement for Targeted Allocation Money:
“Clubs may use all or a portion of the available Targeted Allocation Money to convert a Designated Player to a non-Designated Player by buying down his Salary Budget Charge at or below the Maximum Salary Budget Charge. If Targeted Allocation Money is used to free up a Designated Player slot, the club must simultaneously sign a new Designated Player at an investment equal to, or greater than, the player he is replacing.”
The club has yet to replace Shea with another player, so he is still, technically, a DP. Yes, the club could use General Allocation Money to get around this, but that would be pointless.
International Roster Slots
Each team is given eight international roster slots. Luckily, for the Whitecaps, they have an additional slot until 2031, thanks to Colorado. Yes, you read that correctly. The Whitecaps acquired an international roster slot from Colorado on November 24th, 2010, for Sanna Nyassi.
As of today, the Whitecaps have a second international roster slot, thanks to the Tim Parker trade with the New York Red Bulls. Therefore, the Whitecaps have 10 slots.
Who fills the 10 slots for the Caps? Yordy Reyna, Anthony Blondell, Cristian Techera, Efrain Juarez, Kendall Waston, Jordan Mutch, Aly Ghazal, Bernie Ibini, Nicolas Mezquida, Stefan Marinovic, and Jose Aja.
But wait you say, that is 11. Correct! Figure that one out! Some argue that Aja isn’t an international, but according to the Whitecaps players page, he is. However, we know that the MLS rules are simply a guideline and not actually followed, so....whatever.
The rest of the players occupy the domestic, senior, roster. Those players are: Brek Shea, Kei Kamara, Felipe Martins, Aaron Maund, Erik Hurtado, Marcel de Jong, Doneil Henry, and Jacob Nerwinski.
Give Me a Summary!
Sure. The Whitecaps have 19 of their 20 senior roster positions currently occupied, along with all four supplemental roster positions occupied, and three of their six reserve roster positions occupied. Translation, they can sign three homegrown players if they wanted. With the ThunderCaps folding though.
The Caps can also acquire one senior roster player without moving another player. The Caps have two, of three, designated player slots currently being used, but certainly have the Allocation Money available to buy one down, should they want. We don’t know the exact salary cap situation, but looking at the numbers from last year, and the players acquired this offseason (give the availability of $4.5 million in TAM), they should be okay to acquire any player without it impacting their salary cap (buy Shea down to $150,000 minimum and they are good to go).
And that is that. Hopefully this gives you a bit of information on the roster situation for the Whitecaps heading into Sunday’s first match. If you have any questions, or notice an error, let me know in the comments. I will try to answer any questions to the best of my ability, and correct any mistakes.