Insider Notes: MLS to significantly increase TAM spread across the league

In the next week, MLS is expected to announce an $8.8 million increase in Targeted Allocation Money over what had been previously earmarked for 2017. That’s an increase of $400,000 per team to $1.2 million per team of TAM for next season.

TAM is a strategic investment that helps teams add or retain players that will make an immediate impact on the field while allowing teams to spend outside of the modest $3.6 million salary budget. It was designed to help teams attract more top talent down the roster outside of the allotted three Designated Player spots.

Recent TAM recipients have included LA Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme (Best XI, Defender of the Year and Newcomer of the Year finalist), Columbus Crew SC forward Ola Kamara (16 goals, Newcomer of the Year runner-up), D.C. United midfielder Luciano Acosta (three goals, 11 assists) and New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips (24 goals, Golden Boot winner, MVP runner-up).

Total TAM money for 2016 and ’17 has thus been increased from $33.6 million to $42.4 million league-wide beyond the money committed by the owners in the league's collective bargaining agreement.

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