Salary Cap Breakdown Charts: A Primer.

Recently, I shared the following on Twitter:

This excellent diagram (not my own) shows the breakdown of the salary cap in MLS. I felt this was an appropriate framework to analyse the shaping up of MLS teams as we edge closer to the 2016 MLS season.

Alongside some salary cap projections for Chicago Fire (taken from Reddit) I’ve created the following chart:

There are a few different features to note here:

  • Each roster spot is given a number from 1 to 28 (as there are 28 roster spots in MLS). Spots 1–20 relate to the Senior Roster and 21–28 are the Supplemental Roster.
  • The red line on the far right relates to the maximum salary hit of any player, and therefore the Designated Player cap hit.
  • The black line on the left relates to the minimum salary of roster spots 21–24 ~ $60,000 last season.
  • The brown line on the far left relates to the minimum salary of roster spots 25–28 ~ $50,000 last season.
  • There are several different “Types” of players that I’ve denoted, that reflect the different types of cap hits. Players are either Designated Players (DP), Homegrown Players (HG), Generation Adidas Players (GA) or regular players that don’t have any specific attributes attached to them (Reg). These can be seen in the key on the right.

I’ll continue to churn these out as the season gets started. Obviously there is a lot of projection to do because of the lack of salary figures this early in the season, but they should still form a useful tool to see how teams are shaping up.

Here’s New York City FC’s Salary Cap Breakdown chart. I’ve not adjusted these charts for a salary increase this year - but potetially this is something that can be added in in the future.


Any requests or improvements you would like to see with these, please hit me up on Twitter @FrontOfficeMLS.

Thanks for reading!

Dollars and Decisions.