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

CPL Expands Roster Sizes With New ‘Exceptional Youth Talent’ Rule

By on July 20, 2023 0 1987 Views

The Canadian Premier League is increasing the roster size for all of its clubs in a brand new move focused on the next generation of young talent.

The new roster subcategory is called ‘Exceptional Young Talent’, and it allows for CPL clubs to assign two U-18 domestic athletes who are on standard player contracts to the new category.

An important detail is that salaries for players assigned an Exceptional Young Talent slot do not count against the club’s salary cap, and those youngsters can remain in the category up to and including the year they turn 21. A portion of bonuses and housing will also not count towards the team’s cap.

The new move not only gives clubs more incentive to sign young domestic talent in the U-18 category, but gives them more flexibility in keeping those players through an important developmental stage of their careers – potentially giving clubs time to showcase the young stars and earn a bigger profit from player sales, too.

The new roster designation quietly became effective one week ago on Friday, July 14.

“We want to be the league of choice for the best young talent in our country,” said the CPL’s Costa Smyrniotis. “The introduction of this new roster category further exemplifies the League’s and our clubs’ commitment to investing in and developing the next generation of talent in our country.”

See Also: Eight Big Things The CPL Commissioner Is Open To

The league has confirmed that three players have immediately been designated an EYT slot from their respective clubs: Vancouver FC has filled their slots with TJ Tahid and James Cameron (who inked a new multi-year deal), while Forge FC has handed one to Khadim Kane.

In all, that means that Canadian Premier League clubs can have up to 29 players formally on the books: 23 to the main roster, two as Exception Young Talents, and four on development player contracts – though we’re guessing emergency contracts can still plug holes as needed.

This marks the first time since the league’s launch that the full roster capacity has been expanded, and the fact that the Exception Youth Talent roster subcategory bypasses the salary cap means that it’s the closest the CPL has come to a designated player rule of sorts, too.

It’ll be interesting to see how the new roster rule impacts league signings, especially with the change coming in the middle of a busy midseason transfer window.

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