When Major League Soccer announced Thursday evening that its teams will begin to seek training compensation and solidarity payments for academy products who sign contracts overseas, reactions rippled across New England about the future of developing soccer players at the club and academy level.
In simple terms, the news from MLS means its teams will comply with longstanding FIFA rules whereby clubs receive funds for helping to develop players. Traditionally, the policy is designed to help smaller clubs from going out of business, providing another revenue stream to offset operating costs.
The FIFA rule benefits the club (or clubs) a player developed at between ages 12 and 23, where a commensurate portion of the transfer fee goes to those parties. But here's the catch: This move currently applies only to MLS clubs, affecting those players on the Revolution or who join an MLS residency program (i.e. Seattle Sounders, Atlanta United) outside the region.