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What Does the Core Player Slot Mean for Orlando City?

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Yahoo! Sports reported that the MLS is adding a new Core Player designation that could allow LA Galaxy to sign Giovani dos Santos. Does this mean Orlando City can sign Chichartio or someone else?

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

As we learned Friday, the MLS will be implementing a new designation called the Core Player slot as essentially a means of getting more star power into the league without altering the salary budget too much. This can help a team like the LA Galaxy, which already has three designated players on the roster, to sign someone like Giovani dos Santos during the upcoming July transfer window.

The Core Player slot is essentially a way for a club to free up one of their three Designated Player slots by making one of their DPs a Core Player. However, the only catch is that a Core Player can only be making between $436,000-$750,000. So, chances are, most teams would have to "pay down" a player's salary using allocation money in order to make him a Core Player.

So what does this mean Orlando City?

It means, presumably, that Orlando City is actually in a good situation with this new player slot. Sure, they already have three Designated Players -- Kaká, Carlos Rivas and Bryan Rochez -- but given that it is publicly known they are interested in Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, this slot makes it more possible to happen, or, at the very least, it gives them a chance to get another quality player to come in on a Designated Player spot.

Let's take a look at each player to see how they would fit as a Core Player.

Kaká

This is easy. Kaká does not fit as a Core Player. He makes $7.7 million dollars or so. Not sure all of the allocation money in the league could pay that down to under $750,000.

Bryan Rochez

Bryan Rochez is on the roster as a young Designated Player, and being such means he is likely much cheaper than the likes of Kaká or even someone like Omar Gonzalez, who made $1 million in base salary last season, and is likely the person LA Galaxy would "pay down" into their Core Player slot to free up a space for Dos Santos.

Rochez's contract is probably workable to make him a Core Player if they want to go that route. Because Rochez has only made six appearances this year, it might be possible the club wouldn't want to use a designated player spot on a player who is appearing in less than half of the club's matches. There was also a fair amount of competition in signing Rochez, so his price may have been higher than some are expecting.

There is a better candidate for the Core Player slot.

Carlos Rivas

More than likely, Carlos Rivas will be the guy Orlando City makes a Core Player if they designate anyone. Rivas, acquired in January, was the third of the Designated Players to be acquired by the team. More importantly, he wasn't originally named a Designated Player when the team signed him. That would leave one to assume that Rivas is making less than Rochez and possibly not much more than the league maximum, although we'll know more when MLS does its annual salary release.

It's very possible the club would not have to use any of its allocation money to get Rivas in to a Core Player slot, as he may fall in that threshold already.

Conclusions

This new player designation, in theory (we don't know any of the the exact numbers on contracts), could actually really help Orlando City. It frees up a slot for a new big time player transfer, there might not be any salary adjusting needed to fit a player into that slot, and it could allow the Lions to use allocation money elsewhere to help the club.

However, due to the opacity of the league, no one really has any accurate idea of which players make what kind of money until the 2015 salaries are released, or how much allocation money is with what team, and we all pretty much have to sit and wait to see what happens. A few things, though, are certain.

  • There are a lot of ways around the salary budget.
  • Orlando City is interested in getting Chicharito.
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