MLS Designated Players 2021: Complete List For All 27 Clubs

Here’s a running list of all the Designated Players for the league’s 26th season.

The year that was 2020 disrupted a lot of the financial models for Major League Soccer and resulted in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement ratified back in February, but the 26th season of MLS is now underway while looking largely similar to previous editions, particularly with regards to the MLS Designated Players list 2021.

The Designated Player Rule, also known as the Beckham Rule, allows teams to sign up to three players who are outside the team’s salary cap ($4.9 million in 2021). In essence, this allows teams to compete for star players in the international market (like how the LA Galaxy started this whole rigamarole by signing David Beckham to a five-year contract worth $6.5M annually back in 2007). 

Footballers given the Designated Player tag that are over the age of 23 carry a maximum salary budget charge of $612,500, and it’s up to owners as to how much they want to pay them beyond that.   

In a list such as this, we’d usually include what players earned last season as revealed by the MLS Players Association, but the MLSPA decided not to release that data in 2020 because of the impact of the pandemic. Hopefully that information for 2021 becomes available (usually in June) and we’ll update this list accordingly.   

MLS Designated Players List 2021

Atlanta United

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Alan Franco (Argentina) | 24-year-old | Center Back

Josef Martínez (Venezuela) | 27-year-old | Striker

Ezequiel Barco (Argentina) | 22-year-old | Attacking Midfielder

Austin FC

Tomás Pochettino (Argentina) | 25-year-old | Midfielder

Cecilio Domínguez (Paraguay) | 26-year-old | Forward

Chicago Fire

Ignacio Aliseda (Argentina) | 21-year-old | Winger

Robert Berić (Slovenia) | 29-year-old | Striker

Gastón Giménez (Paraguay) | 29-year-old | Midfielder

FC Cincinnati

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Brenner (Brazil) | 21-year-old | Forward

Luciano Acosta (Argentina) | 26-year-old | Attacking Midfielder

Jürgen Locadia (Netherlands) | 27-year-old | Winger

Colorado Rapids

Younes Namli (Denmark) | 26-year-old | Winger

Columbus Crew

Darlington Nagbe (USA) | 30-year-old | Midfielder

Lucas Zelarayán (Argentina) | 28-year-old | Attacking Midfielder

Gyasi Zardes (USA) | 29-year-old | Striker

FC Dallas

Bryan Acosta (Honduras) | 27-year-old | Midfielder

Franco Jara (Argentina) | 32-year-old | Forward

D.C. United

Edison Flores (Peru) | 26-year-old | Winger

Paul Arriola (United States) | 26-year-old | Winger

Houston Dynamo 

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Darwin Quintero (Colombia) | 33-year-old | Forward

LA Galaxy

Jonathan dos Santos (Mexico) | 31-year-old | Midfielder

Javier Hernández (Mexico) | 32-year-old | Stirker 

Kévin Cabral (France) | 21-year-old | Winger

Los Angeles FC 

Diego Rossi (Uruguay) | 23-year-old | Forward

Carlos Vela (Mexico) | 32-year-old | Forward

Minnesota United FC

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Emanuel Reynoso (Argentina) | 25-year-old | Attacking Midfielder

Adrien Hunou (France) | 27-year-old | Forward

Ján Greguš (Slovakia) | 30-year-old | Midfielder

Inter Miami CF

Blaise Matuidi (France) | 34-year-old | Midfielder

Gonzalo Higuaín (Argentina) | 33-year-old | Striker

Rodolfo Pizarro (Mexico) | 27-year-old | Attacking Midfielder 

CF Montreal

Victor Wanyama (Kenya) | 29-year-old | Midfielder

Nashville SC

Randall Leal (Costa Rica) | 24-year-old | Attacking Midfielder 

Hany Mukhtar (Germany) | 26-year-old | Midfielder 

Jhonder Cádiz (Venezuela) | 25-year-old | Striker 

New England Revolution

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Gustavo Bou (Argentina) | 31-year-old | Forward 

Adam Buksa (Poland) | 24-year-old | Striker 

Carles Gil (Spain) | 28-year-old | Attacking Midfielder

New York City FC

Maximiliano Moralez (Argentina) | 34-year-old | Attacking Midfielder 

New York Red Bulls

Patryk Klimala (Poland) | 22-year-old | Striker

Dru Yearwood (England) | 21-year-old | Midfielder 

Orlando City SC

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Mauricio Pereyra (Uruguay) | 31-year-old | Attacking Midfielder   

Nani (Portugal) | 34-year-old | Winger 

Philadelphia Union

Jamiro Monteiro (Cape Verde) | 27-year-old | Attacking Midfielder 

Portland Timbers

Sebastián Blanco (Argentina) | 33-year-old | Midfielder  

Jarosław Niezgoda (Poland) | 26-year-old | Striker  

Yimmi Chará (Colombia) | 30-year-old | Winger 

Real Salt Lake

Albert Rusnák (Slovakia) | 26-year-old | Midfielder 

Jeizon Ramírez (Venezuela) | 20-year-old | Winger 

San Jose Earthquakes

Cristian Espinoza (Argentina) | 26-year-old | Forward 

Seattle Sounders FC

João Paulo (Brazil) | 30-year-old | Midfielder 

Raúl Ruidíaz (Peru) | 30-year-old | Striker 

Nicolás Lodeiro (Uruguay) | 32-year-old | Attacking Midfielder 

Sporting Kansas City

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Johnny Russell (Scotland) | 31-year-old | Forward 

Alan Pulido (Mexico) | 30-year-old | Striker 

Toronto FC

Alejandro Pozuelo (Spain) | 29-year-old | Attacking Midfielder 

Jozy Altidore (United States) | 31-year-old | Striker 

Yeferson Soteldo (Venezuela) | 23-year-old | Winger 

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Lucas Cavallini (Canada) | 28-year-old | Striker 

Ali Adnan (Iraq) | 27-year-old | Wing Back 

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