April 16, 2024
  • April 16, 2024
Vancouver FC TJ Tahid

Canadian Premier League Updates Roster Rules For 2024

By on March 13, 2024 0 1177 Views

As we reported last month, the Canadian Premier League is updating its roster rules ahead of the league’s sixth-ever season.

The first significant change is the one we tipped you off about: the removal of age requirements tied to the seven international roster slots made available to each club. Teams no longer have any U-23 percentages to aim for with internationals anymore, freeing clubs to sign whatever internationals they want with the seven slots allocated for such.

Pacific FC Zakaria Bahous
Photo Credit: John Jacques

Another game-changer is that players signed to CPL-U SPORTS contracts will no longer count towards any club’s primary 23-man roster. Instead, clubs can sign up to three players to its developmental roster, allowing university-level players to maintain their university sports eligibility while getting professional sporting experience.

That means that U SPORTS contracts become the third subcategory for each club’s developmental roster, which includes the relatively new Exception Young Talent rule (which allows CPL clubs to sign two U-18 domestic players outside of the main roster, with those players remaining eligible to stay in the category until they turn 21), along with the development players subcategory that allows teams to sign up to four U-18 players to developmental deals at once.

In theory, this means that clubs could have up to 32 players on the books between their 23-man main roster, with a developmental roster featuring two exceptional youth talents, four development players, and three U SPORTS players.

It should be noted that the league says a club’s developmental roster ‘generally’ does not count towards its player compensation budget, but evidently that isn’t always the case.

Vancouver FC Anthony White
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

The Canadian Premier League is also increasing each club’s player total compensation budget by about 8%, with a new maximum spend of $1,212,500 being introduced this year – that’s an increase of $87,500 overall.

It’s worth noting that housing allowances count against this cap, along with travel allowances and individual player bonuses – though these do not include ‘league or club accomplishment bonuses’.

To his that maximal cap, clubs would need to utilize the league’s U-21 player incentive, which sees players in that category only have 50% of their salaries hit the total compensation, up to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per CPL club per year. The minimum player compensation floor speed remains at $750,000.

Each club mast have at least three domestic U-21 athletes (defined as those born January 1, 2003 or later) on the books, with a minimum of twenty players signed to standard professional contracts. Clubs are required to maintain a minimum of two goalkeepers on their primaries rosters.


While the news is only being made public today, clubs were informed of the new roster regulations and salary cap changes well ahead of the 2024 CPL season. With the playoff format remaining unchanged, it’s set to be another blockbuster year on the pitch from coast-to-coast.

Header Image Photo Credit: Beau Chevalier

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